Israel is the land of my faith. Where the roots of my faith began, and where the Christian community can live and practice their faith without fear under the law. Where their rights as religious minority are protected.
Israel is the land where the land breathes history, beautiful architecture, hope, fulfilment, and above all, an insatiable love of life and survival in the face of past and continual threats of annihilation, and where the compassion of Israelis is evident, even to those who are committed to it’s destruction (treating Palestinians and Syrians in it’s hospitals) and preserving the lives of civilians in wartime situations (many times withdrawing targeted air-strikes when civilians obscure the cross-hairs, or when there is no clear shot without harming the bystanders or other persons in the vicinity.)
Israel is the land of innovation, of charity, and solidarity. From turning sand dunes into cities and deserts to green blossoming fields, the resolve to survive and thrive is in-bedded in Israelis’ psyche. Culture from all over the world is in Israel, including Christian ones. From the Ethiopian Churches to the Orthodox (Catholic as well as Protestant) to the more liberal, Israel is home to many denominations of Christian belief.
Christian Holy sites under Israel’s jurisdiction like the Holy Sepulchre, Skull Hill, Garden of Gethsemane, (and for Catholic Orthodox especially the Franciscans- the Via Dolorosa with it’s places en route of prayer), the Garden Tomb, and the Mount of Olives, are kept well and peacefully and maintained for pilgrims and worshippers from any Christian denomination. During my trips to Israel, Christian from all over the world and in all languages came for their own pilgrimages and their own services in their own languages. I heard a Portuguese service next to an English one.)
Israel is not perfect. No country is. But the freedoms that are granted by law and tolerance of Israel’s Christian minority are far greater than the countries surrounding it.
So when I hear the libellous slander and defamation of the country I love, by the bizarre and lie-ridden agenda of those who hate Israel, and the modern remake of the 1940’s boycott: The Boycott Israel Movement and their ilk, (this boycott usually refers to Israeli Jews – no Israeli Arab/Israeli Christians are targeted in such a concentrated way) it was perhaps inevitable that I would feel it my duty and my privilege to stand with my Jewish brothers and sisters against this rising threat to even the truths of Israel’s own ethnicity, history and culture by the boycotters (whom I’ve encountered in many a shape and form). The boycotters very quickly often admit the issue with Israel’s administration in the West Bank (AKA Judea and Samaria) is only a part of the continual goal of ousting a Jewish presence in the Holy Land in favour of an Arab takeover administration, who do not favour a 2 State Solution, but to get rid of Israel altogether. One can spend many an hour researching this!
Israel protects its citizens and this includes it’s Christian minority. This is why, as well as all I have written, I support Israel, it’s right to exist, and it;s multicultural tolerance which is special, unique, and which is an example in the war-torn Middle East.