Is it safe to travel to Israel?

In all the years I have been taking individuals and families to Israel, I have tried to give an honest response to the question I am most often asked: “Is Israel safe?”
My response may surprise you.
First, from a purely natural perspective, Israel has never been safe. Israel is the geographical land bridge between history’s great civilizations which have crossed her territory on the way to do battle with one another.
Jerusalem may mean “City of Peace”; however, it has seen 118 separate conflicts, been surrounded by armies 23 times, has been attacked an additional 52 times, has been captured and recaptured 44 times and completely destroyed twice. Since reestablishing herself as a modern nation, her neighbors have rejected having an Infidel (non-Muslim) people in their midst as if they were rejecting cancer in the midst of their corporate body.
Israel was not safe when God told Abraham to move there. Abraham lived his entire life among people who did not want him around. Israel was not safe when Moses brought God’s people back to their Land from Egypt. When the people saw that it might be dangerous to enter, they decided to cancel their trip. God let them turn around and He waited for a fearless generation to arise who were willing to go in. Israel has not even been safe for God’s own people as He twice drove them from the Land. And, Israel was certainly not a safe place for Jesus to be. He was killed there.
Will Israel ever be safe? To put it another way, “When will there be peace in the Middle East?” The answer to this question depends on how one defines Peace.
There may be honorable Muslims who reject the jihadist worldview; however, anyone who truly understands the core values of Islamic theology, understands that Islam anticipates the universal conversion of humanity with those refusing to convert either being put to death or, at least, being placed in subjection to the “one, true religion”. Jihadist Muslims accept peace only when they determine it is in their best interest to discontinue a current conflict and are, therefore, willing to agree to a (temporary) cease-fire. Of course, this is not peace, but a truce and truces do not alter a warrior’s final intent.
Real peace between peoples comes only when they have met Jesus, the Prince of Peace, who came to show humanity how to live in peace. This truth has been beautifully illustrated in the book, Son of Hamas, written by Mosab Yousef, eldest son of Hamas founder Sheik Hassan Yousef. As Mosab was being groomed to take over the leadership of Hamas, he met this Prince of Peace who forever changed the direction of his life. Read his book…
Perhaps the question “Is Israel safe?” is not the right question, after all. If the stories of the Bible tell us anything, they tell us that individuals who walk with God must never make decisions based on natural-soulish reasons; rather, they should make decisions after determining, as best they can, what God wants of them, regardless of what is observable in the natural.
So, if the real question is “Has God invited me to Israel?” I can virtually guarantee several things I have witnessed over the years:
First, if God has invited you to His Land, He has something marvelous waiting for you there that you can only experience if you respond to His invitation.
Second, if God has invited you to Israel, where else in the world would you want to be, anyway?
Third, in all the years I have taken individuals and groups to Israel, the most common statement from everyone has been, “Never once did I feel the slightest sense of concern for my well-being while here.” The entire government, as well as every guide, and all the military, is dedicated to making sure that at no time would anyone visiting Israel be allowed to be in harm’s way.
I would never attempt to talk anyone into going to Israel. In my opinion, if a person’s initial reason for visiting Israel is that Israel is simply another tourist destination, like Ireland or Australia, it makes perfect sense to look at circumstances and conclude that Israel might not be a good place to visit. Also, anyone who is unsure that God has invited him to Israel (or anyone who is fearful) probably should not go.
On the other hand, I recommend that everyone considering travel to Israel decide what is the real question they need answered and respond to the answer they believe they have received.
I hope this helps some of you who are wondering if Israel is safe.

Chris Davis
Israel Goodwill Ambassador