Weekly Update: The spirit of rejection

editor - 23 October 2020

For over 100 years, the “Arab world” has been rejecting the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Ever since the Balfour Declaration in 1917 (in which the British government announced its support for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people), the restoration of this homeland has met opposition and violence. The UN’s proposal in November 1947 to establish a Jewish state and an Arab state west of the Jordan River was met with rejection by the Arabs, and when the Jewish State of Israel was established in May 1948, it was immediately attacked by Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, together with local Arab Palestinian militia, who sought to wipe the Jewish state from the face of the earth. After the Six Day War in 1967, the Arab League issued its famous “three no’s” in Khartoum: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel …”. To this very day, the Palestinian leadership led by Mahmoud Abbas refuses to acknowledge that Israel is a Jewish state, and the Palestine National Charter (the constitution of the PLO), rejects the existence of a Jewish state.

There is something very irrational about this refusal to accept even the existence of the Jewish people as a nation in the land. Perhaps it can be referred to as a “spirit of rejectionism” – an attitude that has its roots in something deeper than reason. One is reminded of the words of the angel to Hagar in Genesis 16, referring to Ishmael: “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

Yet, in Genesis 25, we read that Isaac and Ishmael are reconciled, and bury their father Abraham together.

Today, a number of Arab states are turning away from the standard rejection of Israel. They realize that Israel is here to stay, that it is a successful nation, and that their future lies in a positive cooperation with the Jewish state.

Let us pray that the spirit of rejectionism will be defeated, and for the reconciliation of the brothers Isaac and Ishmael, the sons of Abraham.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

David Horowitz at Times of Israel: “The PLO’s secretary general is on life support… in an Israeli hospital. There’s a whole world of tragedies, ironies, foul hypocrisies, and, just maybe, lessons in this story.” Read more..

Khaled Abu Toameh at Gatstone Institute: “It is one thing to fail your people by stealing the money that the international community sends to them. But it is another level of unacceptable indifference to turn a blind eye to atrocities committed against your own people by an Arab country.” Read more..

NGO-Monitor: “In 2011-2019 (latest available data), the EU authorized grants of at least €37 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with ties to EU-designated terrorist groups. NGO Monitor has identified 31 grants, totaling €37.65 million in funds, provided to terror-tied NGOs, including the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), Al-Dameer, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Health Work Committees (HWC), Bisan Center, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al-Haq, Red Crescent Society for the Gaza Strip (RCS4GS), Society of St. Yves, Ma’an Development Center, and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO). In some instances, the NGOs were founded by the PFLP itself. In others, PFLP members serve as staff, on the boards, and in key decision making and financial roles at the NGOs”. Read more..

Honest Reporting: “The BBC recently glorified a woman who murdered eight children. By providing unrepentant terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, notorious for her role in the 2001 Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem, with a massive platform, the news outlet showed its true colors when it comes to coverage of the Jewish state. Will the BBC’s anti-Israel bias finally be exposed?” Read more..

Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas at BESA: “Rather than address state actors as big or small, international relations theory might more profitably think in terms of smart vs. foolish. Two smart states, the UAE and Israel, have the potential to strengthen the Middle East region through their signing of the Abraham Accords. Smart states might constitute an effective form of deterrence—not only with regard to international relations revisionism but also to the volatility of this era.” Read more..


Video teaching by Johannes Gerloff about Hagar 

Hagar may have been a daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh. To Sarai she looked like the solution of a serious problem.


Video teaching by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer about Ismael and Isaac

In this teaching, Rev. Glashouwer explains about the relationship between Jews and Arabs that started with Ismael and Isaac. Isaac, born as a miracle of God. The blessings of Ismael and Isaac, also the suffering of Isaac and Israel, as a result of being chosen. The suffering of Christ and the Church. The core of the problems in the Middle East. But the glorious future will be that one day everyone shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for ever and ever.



Scripture for the week: Genesis 16

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar;

so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said.
So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.
He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.
Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
“Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.
And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”
10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.
16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Podcast Israel & Christians Today
#2 Does God still care about land? 

In this episode Johannes Gerloff and Andrew Tucker discuss if God still cares about land. Does God still care about Israel? If so, why? And what does it mean for us as Christians today.

Join our conversation about Israel, Theology, Law, Politics and world events from a Biblical perspective.

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