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Israel at War

Once again the Middle East is in flames. The incalculable human misery that is graphically portrayed in the media cannot leave one unaffected. The terrorists’ abuse and massacre of unsuspecting Israeli civilians on October 7, 2023 was horrific and of unprecedented barbarity. When Israel responded, Palestinian families have seen their homes and possessions disappear in rubble and dust as bombs fell on Gaza.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians seems intractable and without any solution. The war is also being fought through the media. Both true facts and lies are vying for a hearing. Winston Churchill is said to have once quipped: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Well, that may be the case, but an effort should at least be made, even within the confines of an article, to separate some facts from fiction.

Some key facts

Although present day Israel has no biblical right to the land (see “Is the State of Israel a fulfillment of biblical prophecy?” at, yet Israel has every legal right to be there as a nation according to international law.

Here are some key facts. In 1947, the United Nations (UN) voted to partition Palestine into two states when the British Mandate authorized by the League of Nations would come to an end in the following year. One state was to be for the Jews and the other for the Palestinian Arabs. Jerusalem and Bethlehem were to be in an international zone.

When Britain withdrew, Israel declared its independence and occupied the land designated to it by the UN. However, rather than adopt the UN’s plan of two states, Arab armies from all the surrounding nations attacked Israel, determined to exterminate it. They were not successful. This was not the last time that the Arabs would try to rid the Middle East of Israel.

When Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were preparing to attack Israel again, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike in 1967. The war lasted six days and ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. In 1973 Egypt and Syria once more attacked Israel, with Israel once again prevailing. Eventually, Egypt under Anwar Sadat recognized Israel in 1978, and for his trouble, he was assassinated by Arab extremists in 1981. King Hussein of Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have also made peace with Israel. Morocco has diplomatic relations with Israel. The refusal of other Arab nations to recognize the State of Israel has continued up to today. This refusal, especially as demonstrated by Hamas, has been the key obstacle to peace in the region.

Arab grievances

Many grievances fuel the hatred for Israel and the determination to wipe the country off the map. A common charge against Israel is that the Jews displaced Palestinians who had been living in the Holy Land for centuries. A little history lesson is needed to answer this accusation.

Prior to the massive immigration of European Jews to Palestine in the late 19th century, the land, which is now the land of Israel, was mostly barren and under-populated. An 1857 report from the British consul in Jerusalem reported that the country needed more people. As time went on, further reports noted that the area was becoming depopulated, villages were abandoned, and land was going out of cultivation. All this is credible information because living in that area at the time was extremely harsh. Infant mortality was high, life expectancy short, and water scarce. People were not moving in but out. When Jews started coming in, they bought land usually from absentee landowners, and over time dramatically improved the living conditions. By the mid-1890’s the Jewish presence was important and by 1947 they formed a majority in the territory that became Israel. Because the Jews prospered, Arabs moved in to share in their prosperity and the improved health care.

It is a myth that European Jews displaced a large, stable, long-term Muslim Arab population that had lived in that part of the Middle East for centuries. There has never been a Palestinian people as a separate ethnic and national entity. Technically speaking there is no such thing as the Palestinian people since there has never been a Palestinian State, that is, an Arab state in what is now Israel. Many of the people who call themselves Palestinians today are descendants of the relatively recent economic immigrants mentioned above.

Because of the growing number of Jews who legally owned the land they lived on, the territory at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, historically known as the land of Canaan, became in essence a homeland for persecuted Jews. This development eventually led to the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. Israel has the full political right to be a nation in the Middle East, occupying the land that their ancestors have lived in for thousands of years. Israelites and their descendants have been dwelling continuously in the land since the days of Moses.

With the establishment of the State of Israel, the Jews had encouraged the Arabs to stay and build the country with them. However, the Palestinian Arabs were advised by the surrounding Arab nations to leave Palestine and that after the war (1948) and the anticipated defeat of the Jews, they could return. Israel, however, won the war and 700,000 Arabs who had left Israel were homeless. Here are the makings of the refugee problem.

Meanwhile, the Arabs who had stayed in Israel were relatively well off and shared in the general prosperity of Israel. They still have their own representatives in Parliament, and enjoy freedom of the press and religion. Arabic is also an officially recognized language. As a minority within a Jewish state, they undoubtedly have their own special difficulties and hardships. However, in the past wars, they have shown solidarity with the Israelis.1

Another Arab grievance with more validity is that Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank, which is not part of Israel according to the 1947 UN partition plan. Arabs living in the West Bank are understandably upset by the establishment of Jewish settlements in the region and the gradual encroachment of more and more settlements into what they regard as their territory. Israel is therefore accused of being an expansionary colonial power. Even prominent Israelis and some of the most ardent supporters of Israel like Alan Dershowitz oppose these settlements.

But, for context, a couple of things should also be noted. From Israel’s government’s point of view, their occupation of the West Bank is a result of their winning the 1967 war, a conflict with which Arabs had hoped to obliterate Israel. Wars have results, and who controls what changes with those results. Furthermore, Israel has shown that the matter of settlements is not a barrier to peace if Arabs would be willing to recognize Israel. When Israel made peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel removed their Sinai settlements. In 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon indicated that Israel would be willing to make “painful concessions” regarding the settlements in exchange for peace and give up some of them. Under his watch, Israel left everything they owned in Gaza when 21 settlements were dismantled in 2005.  Polls have shown that the majority of those who live in these settlements are willing to abandon their homes if it means peace for Israel.2

The legality of Israel’s occupation is currently before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The UN General Assembly had asked the court for a non-binding advisory opinion on Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. The issue is incredibly complicated. It came before the court in February (2024) but the expectation is that it will take the judges months to issue an opinion.

The refugee problem

The media have informed us at length of the tragedy of the refugee camps where Arabs who fled from Israel now live and where new generations are being raised. What is not often made clear is that Arab countries do not want the refugee problem to be solved. They want it to serve as a permanent pressure and weapon against Israel. The Arab leaders show that they do not care about the refugees by refusing to let them be permanently resettled in their own countries. Meanwhile the refugee camps continue to be breeding grounds for hate and terrorism. Here is a problem that could have been solved but the failure to do so is ultimately because Arabs refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israel.

A resolution of the problem of the refugees has been further complicated by the emergence of The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, and more recently Hamas which is even more radical in its determination to wipe Israel off the map. Hamas was founded in 1987 and took over from the PLO in about 2006, assuming control of the Gaza Strip shortly after that. It also launched the massacre of last year in southern Israel.

Because everything depends on recognizing Israel’s right to exist, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is not seeking solutions for the resettlement of the refugees as would normally be the case. Instead it is simply maintaining these refugees in the camps. According to the UNRWA the total number of refugees was about 5.6 million Palestinians in 2019, of which 1.5 million lived in camps. The numbers have continued to increase. Entire generations are being raised and educated to hate Israel.

The refusal to recognize Israel

Much could be solved if Arab leaders would have accepted a two-state solution of Israel and a Palestinian State in 1937 (the Peel Commission), 1948, and 2000. On all these occasions, Israel accepted a two-state solution, but to no avail. There was no Arab reciprocity because it would involve recognizing the legitimacy of the State of Israel. This was dramatically displayed with the Camp David peace negotiations in 2000-2001 (a result of the 1990’s Oslo Peace Accords). To everyone’s amazement and even shock, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians virtually everything they had been demanding: a state with its capital in Jerusalem, control over the Temple Mount, a return of approximately 95 percent of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip, and a $30 billion compensation package for the 1948 refugees. Yet Yasser Arafat rejected that historic offer. Why? Because he would have had to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State of Israel. He preferred to go to war. Suicide bombings and terrorist attacks followed. When Israel responded with force, it was blamed for overreacting and not caring about the Palestinians. Arafat and his PLO, and now Hamas, did not and do not care about the fate of the Palestinians in their camps and in Gaza. Hamas continues to use civilians as shields in their war and then blame Israel for the casualties.

After the horrid and barbaric abuse and slaughter of civilians by Hamas on October 7, 2023, Israel has responded as they have the full right to do so in self-defense. They have, however, taken extraordinary measures to safeguard civilian life in Gaza – measures unprecedented in military history according to one expert.3 But if the enemy uses civilians as a shield what can one expect but civilian deaths? One must not forget that according to the polls taken after the attack, most of the Gazan population was in favor of Hamas and its barbaric terrorism against civilians in the October 7 atrocities.4

There is also an important underlying religious dimension. Islamic fundamentalism will never recognize Israel as legitimate because according to them, territory once conquered by Islam, as the territory of Israel was once conquered, can never be relinquished. It must be retaken. The Hamas Charter (1988) states that “the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [land that belongs to Allah] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day” (Art. 11). Hamas therefore “strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine” (Art. 6). Consequently, “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time” (Art. 13).

Not surprisingly when Hamas terrorized southern Israel last October, they did so crying: “Allahu Akbar!” that is, “Our god is the greatest!” The hatred of Jews and their perceived illegitimacy has a long history in Islam. They regard the Jews as being under God’s curse5 and terrorists shouting “Allahu Akbar” undoubtedly think that to kill Jews is to do the will of Allah.

Where does the solution lie?

The root political problem is the refusal to recognize Israel. As long as that is the case, there is no solution. Combined with the underlying problem of nationalism and self-determination are also the conflicting claims of Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and Arab Muslims have a strong emotional attachment to Palestine. Arab Muslims assert that they are descendants of Abraham, through Ishmael. As Muslims, they claim Jerusalem as a holy site because according to Islam, Jerusalem was the last place Mohammed visited before he ascended into the heavens and talked to God. Neither side can appeal to the Bible and say on the basis of the Scriptures, “The land is mine!” Many experts think that a solution should be sought in having two viable and realistic states in the Middle East, one for Jews and one for the Arabs in the region. For that to happen, however, Israel needs to be assured that such an Arab state would not have the desire to keep working on the long term goal of putting an end to the State of Israel. That trust is understandably completely lacking at the moment.

A young woman, in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, looking over a wall of pictures of the Israelis abducted by Hamas during its October 7 terrorist attack. (Photo credit: Jose Hernandez Camera 51/Shutterstock)


[1] See also Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & sons, 2003), 80–85.
[2] Dershowitz, The Case for Israel, 176–77.
[3] Ruth Marks Eglash, “Urban Warfare Expert says Israeli Military Taking Unprecedented Steps to Protect Gaza Civilians” Fox News, 17 February 17 2024, accessible at Fox News website.
[4] TOI Staff, “Poll Shows Soaring Palestinian Support for Hamas; 72% back October 7 Atrocities” 13 December 2023, accessible at the Times of India website.
[5] See Haggai Ben-Shammai, “Jew-Hatred in the Islamic Tradition and the Koranic Exegesis,” in Antisemitism Through the Ages, ed. Shmuel Almog (Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press, 1989), 164–66.

For further reading

Helpful resources for information found in this article include:

  • Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & sons, 2003), a defense by a Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard University, of Israel’s rights, supported by indisputable evidence. He is however not an uncritical supporter of Israel. Most recently he also wrote War Against the Jews (2023).
  • Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1985), a classic compilation of the facts by a former White House consultant on the Middle East. Its publication was hailed as a historic event. 

Top photo is a section of Gaza City after bombardment by Israeli forces. Photo credit: ImageBank4u/Shutterstock

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Is the State of Israel a fulfillment of biblical prophecy?

The nation of Israel has a special place in the hearts of many Christians. For one thing, the Savior once walked through the land that this nation now occupies. Furthermore, after the destruction of the Jewish state in the year 70 by the Romans, the reestablishment of the State of Israel on the same land after almost two thousand years can be considered to be nothing short of a miracle. So is the resurgence of Israel as a national entity a fulfillment of biblical prophecy? Many affirm this to be the case. In view of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, it is good to reflect on these issues. The longing for a return Through the centuries, Jews have cherished the hope that some day they could return to the land of their forefathers. After the very last remnants of Jewish political power were crushed with the defeat of the second Jewish revolt under Bar Kokhba (A.D. 132-135), the dream of a return was never forgotten. Synagogue prayers, no matter where in the world they were offered, were made in the direction of Jerusalem. A strong emotional connection with that city was maintained. Through the centuries, the poetry and literature of the Jews spoke of Zion and Israel. Each year the Passover festival would end with the words, “Next year in Jerusalem!” However, and this is striking, for well over a thousand years, no attempt was made to return to the old Jewish homeland to transform the dream into reality. The pious hoped for a miracle and insisted that it would be blasphemous to force the hand of God by trying to get a homeland on their own. Even in times of tremendous persecution, in which the Jews suffered innumerable atrocities, there was no mass movement to the old homeland. There were some minor exceptions with relatively small groups going to Palestine, but that was all. Far more Jews went to other places for refuge. In spite of the emotional connection to Palestine, it was not coupled with action, even though those few who went apparently had no problems apart from enduring poverty. But that was surely a small price to pay compared to the difficulties they faced with oppression and persecution. What made the 19th and 20th centuries the time for the emotional ties and dream to be translated into action for a new reality? Why was it that even areas outside Palestine were considered as a possible new homeland for the Jews? The explanation is often sought in the anti-Semitism of the 19th century. This was undoubtedly an important immediate factor. But anti-Semitism had been around for centuries. Determinative were the new notions of nationalism and self-determination of which the French Revolution was a dramatic manifestation. People started to think that a nation is made up of individuals who determine their own destiny. A nation is no longer defined by a king or ruler, but by the people who determine what laws are to be passed and how to be a nation. The rise of nationalism positively impacted Jewish thinking about striving for their own homeland. Zionism The development of nationalism meant that Jews scattered all over the world began to think of themselves as needing to determine their own destiny as a people, and so the soil was prepared for modern political Zionism. Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries did what their forefathers had not done. They sought to determine their own future. Zionism was a nationalist movement in which a people sought their own self-determination and future as a nation. It was therefore not of ultimate importance to two fathers of modern Zionism, Leo Pinsker (Russian) and Theodor Herzl (Hungarian), exactly where the nation of Israel was to be established. Both had independently come to see the need for a national homeland and that was the important thing. When Pinkster published his Auto-Emancipation in 1882, he pleaded for self-emancipation, preferably in Palestine, but, if that wasn’t possible, elsewhere would do. Herzl and others had the same view, as indicated by the seriousness with which they considered a proposal from the British government to establish a Jewish homeland in what was then Uganda. Zionism was a political movement and not a religious one. The religious overtones were certainly there and that helped clinch Palestine as the place where the new state should be established. The basis for the state was, however, to be secular, although Judaism was privileged. Nationalist fervor demanded the restoration of the language of the nation – Hebrew. This return to an ancient language is unique in history, but Hebrew would bind Jews from Russia, France, Italy and other countries into the one people that they are. It is interesting to note that before the rise of modern Zionism, Reform Jews had eliminated all references to Zion from their prayer book, insisting that Judaism had outgrown Palestine and that it was now the mission of Israel to be a light to the nations. They therefore opposed Zionism. Orthodox Judaism was also against Zionism because they considered it forcing the hand of God. Their God would miraculously restore them to their homeland, for that is what He had promised, in their view. They must therefore wait for Him. The establishment of Israel was motivated by secular considerations and had little to do with obedience to God. But could it not nevertheless be possible that the reestablishment of Israel as a state was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy? Does Israel have a biblical right to the land? We need to look briefly at some of the prophecies that deal with the land and the promised return of Israel to the land that is now Israel. The land God promised Abraham, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18; cf. 17:8). Dispensationalists, who make a sharp distinction between Israel and the Church, consider this promise to have been unfulfilled prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. After that date, the prophecies about the land were being realized and so Israel will eventually get all the land from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (which would include most of Syria). The New Scofield Reference Bible in its note on Deuteronomy 30:3 states that it is important to understand that the nation has never been in possession of the whole land that was promised to them. However, is this true? The answer according to the Bible must be “no.” God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Old Testament times. This was most dramatically seen with Solomon’s kingdom. It extended from the river Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt (1 Kings 4:21; 2 Chron. 9:26). We can therefore say that the promise of the land given to Abraham has been fulfilled. God has no further obligations here, so to speak. The present nation of Israel has no special biblical claim to the land on the basis of God’s promise to Abraham. The return But what about the prophecies concerning the return? Many people regard the present situation of Israel in the Middle East as a partial fulfillment of the return to the land of which the Old Testament speaks. As a sample of what is usually quoted to support this idea, let us briefly consider promises made through the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah. In Jeremiah 23:3, the LORD promised: “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold.” Important here for Dispensationalists is the reference to “out of all the countries.” This must refer, according to The New Scofield Reference Bible note on this text, to a restoration other than the restoration from Babylon which is just one country. This prophecy still awaits fulfillment. However, that is not so. Why then does Jeremiah speak of a return “out of all the countries”? Because it was a customary practice to sell captives taken in war to other nations as slaves (see Joel 3:7, Amos 1:6,9). In this way Israelites could become scattered all over the known world (cf. Ezekiel 27:13). Representatives from both the northern and southern tribes returned. When for instance a sin-offering was brought at the dedication of the temple in the time of Darius, then it was “a sin-offering for all Israel, 12 male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel” (Ezra 6:17, also Ezra 8:35). The prophetess Anna belonged to Asher, one of the northern tribes (Luke 2:36). The New Testament also considers Israel as twelve tribes, whether literally or symbolically (Acts 26:7, Matthew 19:28). In view of the above, there is no need to take Jeremiah 23:3 and see the return mentioned there as referring to what is happening today. For further support to the notion that prophecy is now being fulfilled, Dispensationalists quote Isaiah 11:11-12: “The Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people … and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Dispensationalists consider the reference to this return being “the second time” as conclusive evidence that the Lord here refers to what is happening today, the first return having been from Babylon. But the first return was not from Babylon, but from Egypt. That was the first release from bondage for Israel. The Old Testament is full of that and even Isaiah 11:16 specifically speaks of it and connects it with the Babylonian return, which is clearly then the second return. Furthermore, Isaiah 11:14 goes on to say that the returned exiles “shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.” The late William Hendriksen aptly noted that these predictions were fulfilled, as is clear from the First Book of the Maccabees. In addition, “those who believe that now, in the twentieth century A.D., these Philistines, Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites must still be destroyed or plundered or subjected will have a hard time even finding them!”1 Israel was restored after the Babylonian captivity. The prophecy of the return was fulfilled. The New Israel There is one other factor that needs to be mentioned before we leave the issue of the promise of the land. Dispensationalism makes a very strong distinction between Israel and the Church. However, according to Scripture the Church is now “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, “it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8). All those who have believed God’s promises belong to His children, “the Israel of God.” This identity of the Church has consequences for the promise of the land. The fifth commandment as given to God’s people at Mount Sinai stated: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12). However, when this command is referred to in the New Testament, the reference is to living long “on the earth” (Eph. 6:2-3). God’s children as the new Israel will inherit the whole world! That is also the point of Romans 4:13 which states that the promise to Abraham and his offspring was that “he would be heir of the world”! The promise of the land for the new Israel is far more than some real estate in the eastern Mediterranean. In this final age, God’s people have been promised the world! What makes Israel special and why should we care? Most Christians have traditionally held a soft spot for the Jewish people. After all, they were God’s special people and they have preserved for us the Old Testament Scripture. “The Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2) which have come down to us because the Jewish people so faithfully transmitted the Word from one generation to the next so that we have the complete Old Testament. We owe them much gratitude that God used them to give us so much of His Word. However, as we have seen, the State of Israel today has no special biblical claim to Palestine. Like Abraham, Israel must look forward “to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Nowhere does the New Testament give a prophecy of restoration to the land of Canaan for Israel. The State of Israel is not the solution for the ultimate well-being and salvation of Jews. The New Testament clearly shows this to be the case because thinking that a national political restoration is the solution for Israel is an old heresy. When the Lord Jesus walked on earth, many in Israel were looking for a political messiah. But Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world and He disavowed notions of a political restoration for Israel. Instead he prophesied the destruction of the temple. We do Israel no favor by appealing to the Bible to justify their existence as an independent nation in the Middle East. Their existence is legally and politically legitimate but not founded on the basis of biblical prophecy. If we want to help the Jews, and we should, we can begin by praying more for them. Part of the Reformed heritage are the beautiful prayers, found in books like the Canadian Reformed Book of Praise. Among these prayers is “A Prayer for All the Needs of Christendom” which includes this petition: “we pray for the mission among Jews, Muslims, and heathens, who live without hope and without you in the world.” Note the order. We can and should pray this prayer because Christ came so that also Jews may inhabit the land of the LORD, that is, the new world that is coming. And not only Jews, but also Arabs who according to the flesh are counted as sons of Abraham. One day in the Promised Land, the true Canaan, there will be peace and joy. All the elect, including Jews and Palestinian Arabs, will be there in perfect peace and harmony. The Jewish people may sometimes be off our radar, but not God’s. They remain a special people in God’s sight. A question sometimes asked is: but have the Jews not been rejected? Have they not shown they want nothing to do with the crucified Christ? Has God rejected the Jews? God has not rejected the Jews. Although the apostles turned from preaching to the Jews because of their unwillingness to listen and went to the Gentiles, yet, the apostle Paul said of the Jews: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Rom. 10:1). Scripture teaches that the conversion of the Gentiles will stir Israel to jealousy so that as Gentiles are saved, God will also gather Jews to Himself, until “all Israel” will be saved (Rom. 11:1-11, 25-26). This “all Israel” can be Jews plus Gentiles as comprising the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) or “all Israel” can refer to all the elect from Israel, all the believing Jews. In any case, the Bible gives no basis for the belief that there will be a mass conversion of Israel as a nation, but it does state that the total number of the Jewish elect will be saved (Rom. 11:26-27).2 We must never think that mission to the Jews does not concern us. In a sense we owe so much to them and they were God’s chosen instruments to prepare and to be part of the coming of our Savior to this world. The Jews remain a special people for the Lord and therefore also for us. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East reminds us of a sober truth. There is no abiding peace or political salvation here on this side of eternity. But there is hope and true salvation if eyes are lifted up on high and the God of Abraham is supplicated through our Lord Jesus Christ. Conclusion There is only one ultimate solution. It is found in the gospel and in embracing the glad tidings. The Lord Jesus gathers His Church, also in Israel, in the West Bank, and in Gaza. Messianic Jews in Israel are believers in Jesus Christ. In the West Bank and Gaza are also Christians who love and confess Christ under very difficult circumstances. They are a minority in a Muslim society. How God’s people would rejoice if the evil forces that function in nationalism and Islamism could be conquered by the Spirit-fed force of a joint Jewish-Arab Christian testimony in the Middle East. With such a testimony the importance of who gets Jerusalem or which piece of territory is relativized because of the overarching promise of a new Jerusalem which comes down from heaven to give the ultimate peace. There Jew and Arab can truly dwell in peace together. End notes William Hendriksen, Israel in Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968), 21 (emphasis is Hendriksen’s). See Romans 11 and the clear explanation in Hendriksen, Israel in Prophecy, 32-52....