Having just returned from Israel after participating in the Jewish Agency Board of Governors’ meetings, it was time to reflect on just how surreal it was to be in Israel—And on many levels.
But why should this trip have been any different?
In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the biggest challenge is finding a seat in overcrowded cafés or restaurants, whilst the residents of the south are still dealing with those “peaceful protesters” from Gaza.
You know the ones burning the fields of Israeli towns and villages with their “peaceful” kites and almost nightly firing rockets into Israel to show how much they really want co-existence.
And as Israel, with some UN and USA backing, attempts to work out how to get as much aid as possible that cannot be used for terror purposes into the Hamas run enclave, the Palestinian Authority led by that other “peacenik”, Abbas – demanding, (demanding mind you) that no aid be given to Gaza until Hamas recognises his authority. Abbas is a real humanitarian!
If this is how much he cares about his fellow Arabs, what hope have we got when it comes to the Jews.
Up north is another looming catastrophe.
After two days of watching CNN, which I do not normally do in Australia, hoping for some sanity and fairness but seeing none, I just had to switch off.
CNN must have written the definition of surreal into their broadcast guidelines.
Moslem… minorities have more rights and freedoms [in Israel]…than Moslems in Arab countries.
Multiple times daily the CNN anchor led with the story of the growing Syrian refugee crisis on the Israeli and Jordanian border.
Not one word from the anchor in the backgrounding of the story about what has caused this latest tragedy.
Nothing about the Syrian government with the backing of Russia and Iran pounding their own citizens. Not a mention that Assad, with the tacit or active agreement of his partners Putin and Rouhani, is deliberately taking a policy to bomb everyone in his way including women and children, directly causing hundreds of deaths and many thousands of Syrians to flee towards the Israeli lines.
No, the CNN anchor repeatedly begins the story with criticism of Israel for not allowing these people into Israel and for not providing aid.
She invariably starts her piece saying that because of Israel’s refusal to help, these people have no tents and no medical supplies and no food.
Simultaneously in the background, CNN is playing video footage of tents, medical aid and food stations without a hint of embarrassment or understanding of the irony of what they want to pass for serious news.
She then switches to the CNN journalist on the ground who directly contradicts the anchor in every way and even shows footage of the Israelis opening the fence and driving tents, medical supplies and food through to the Syrians on the other side.
Next hour, the CNN anchor, completely contrary to her supposed commitment to accurate reporting, repeats exactly the same false criticism of Israel once more.
And again, with CNN’s own pictures putting the lie to her words and again the local journalists explaining that Israel has been helping the Syrian refugees and has been doing so for years.
And it struck me that this macabre dance is similar to the one being played out in many parts of the world generally.
It is beyond reasonable logic to try and comprehend just how sections of the media talk about Israel, despite the true pictures playing in the background even as they speak.
And so it is now, with the new Nation State Law passed by the Israeli Knesset which merely codifies into Basic Law, a decades old reality.
70 years ago, the Israeli Declaration of Independence stated: “Accordingly, we members of the People’s Council, representatives of the Jewish community of Eretz Yisrael and of the Zionist movement, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over Eretz Yisrael and, by virtue of our natural and historic right and on the basis of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael, to be known as the State of Israel.
The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.”
It was very clear about the purpose of the Jewish State and also about that fact that the Jewish People, and only the Jewish People, would express their national aspirations within the State of Israel.
Of course, also stated very clearly, the Declaration continues, the State of Israel: “…will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions”.
And so it has been for 70 years, the State of Israel is the Jewish State and all individual rights are protected, observed and promoted.
Indeed, with some 20% of the Israeli population not being Jewish, in fact overwhelmingly Moslem, these minorities have more rights and freedoms—as they should—than Moslems in Arab countries.
What a conceit it truly is for people, safe from the problems of the Middle East, to look down on Israeli morality and try and promulgate the falsehood that only they are the keepers of some worldly conscience. Israelis not only pay lip service to, but daily live within the paradigm of the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The challenge for Israel and her Christian supporters is how to enable people around the world to see this reality, rather than hearing the background noise of an ideological agenda out of touch with the true facts on the ground.