When COVID-19 officially became a world pandemic, about half of our staff was in Israel and the other half in the U.S. Since then, as you can imagine, everyone has been stuck in place, and we still don’t know when our staff will be able to return to Israel. For that matter, we don’t know when we’ll be able to resume our volunteer programs, although we have great hopes that Israel’s borders will open up in time for the grape harvest season, which will start in August.
In Israel, many of the restrictions relating to the coronavirus have been lifted, and people are returning to normal life. In the last several days, however, there has been another upsurge in cases, and there are again discussions of lockdown. More than fifty schools closed again, and students have been sent home due to outbreaks of the virus.
Whilst Israel fights to keep coronavirus from returning to their country, talks of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria have taken center stage. For several months now there have been discussions of whether or not to move forward with Trump’s “Deal of the Century” peace plan, which incidentally calls for sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria. The U.S. has said that Israel can move forward with this sovereignty plan very quickly. Although Trump’s plan is the best one ever put before Israel, it also has its own dangers and pitfalls for the Holy Land, which we outlined in detail in a previous article entitled The Deal of the Century Revealed.
More and more leaders in Israel are seeing the dangers of Trump’s peace plan, and there is currently a campaign going on in Israel to alert the public and Israel’s government to that fact. We’ve personally seen banners all over the towns and roads in our area that say in Hebrew, “No to Half Sovereignty.” Meaning that gaining sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria is not worth the price of potentially establishing a terrorist Palestinian state alongside of Israel’s heartland.
Currently, there are reports that Netanyahu is planning to bring the issue of sovereignty before the Knesset next week, which could spark fierce debates on both sides of the issue. One interesting report that has not been verified says that Netanyahu plans to advance the idea of sovereignty separate from the full American peace plan. This would be a huge step in the right direction for right-wing camps, as it would eliminate language in the sovereignty plan that calls for a Palestinian state and a commitment to keep open negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over the next four years.
With the issue of COVID-19 ongoing, and no one really knowing when it will all end, the one underlying question that we should be asking as Christians is….why? A few months ago, we published an article here on the Heartland Report entitled Don’t Touch the Apple of God’s Eye, with fascinating statistics that connect catastrophes from U.S. history directly relating to their treatment of Israel. Ironically, the official declaration of COVID-19 as a world pandemic happened just two days after the “Deal of the Century” was announced to the world.
This week, I read another fascinating article that listed the top countries in the world most affected by coronavirus. Interestingly enough, all of them have a history over the last 2,000 years of their negative treatment of Israel. We don’t have the space to go into all of the details here, but suffice it to say that of all the countries hardest hit by the virus, all of them have treated Israel very poorly – some over the last 2,000 years, and some in more recent history.
You might be thinking, “But President Trump is the most pro-Israel president in U.S. history!” This is true, and Trump has done more for Israel than every other president before him. However, the release of his mideast peace plan was a major downfall. The plan requires Israel to commit to remaining open to negotiations with the Palestinians for the next four years, freeze building in all of Judea and Samaria, cut off fifteen settlements from the rest of Israel, and ultimately agree to a Palestinian state. Remember, we are talking about a terrorist entity. In the last several weeks, there have been multiple terrorist attacks by the Palestinians against Israel, some of which have resulted in Israelis being killed. Just one recent example is an IDF soldier who was killed while on a mission in an Arab village. A concrete block was dropped on his head from the third story of a nearby house while he and his unit were carrying out their mission.
While the U.S. is engulfed in riots and busy dealing with the coronavirus, Christian leaders have been calling for revival and prayer, in a much needed resort to bring the nation together. I believe the only missing ingredient in this endeavor is Israel.
What should be our stance regarding Israel? Do not, in any way, shape or form, make an attempt to divide the land of Israel! Is this advice too strong? Listen to what the prophet Joel has to say:
“I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.” (Joel 2:2)
This is no small warning for us as Christian Zionists. No matter how pro-Israel our American government is, calling to establish a Palestinian state and divide up parts of Israel’s heartland goes directly against God’s Word.
Don’t be found standing on the wrong side of the fence.