In my years here in Shiloh, the numbers of Christians I have met are in the thousands. I have been privileged to have listened to and spoken with many good people, fervent backers of full Zionist activity including a renewed presence throughout Judea and Samaria. Often, I begin my words to the groups I address by saying “you and I are the only people that feel natural and uncomplexed in referring to these portions of the Jewish homeland as ‘Judea and Samaria’ rather than ‘West Bank.’”And when I get a puzzled look in response, I remind them that if they open a New Testament (and they all have copies with them because they know they are touring God’s land) to Acts 8:1, they will read of:A great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Indeed, Judea is mentioned 42 times in the Christian Scriptures and Samaria 12 times. There’s Bethlelem, River Jordan, Galillee and many other place-names we know from the Bible. Jerusalem is mentioned over 140 times. How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran? That’s correct, not once. And scholars dispute the attempt to geographically locate the “furthest mosque” (al masjid al-aksa) not to mention that Shi’ites do not accept this as well and here, too and here in Jerusalem for, after all, there was no mosque there in the early 7th century, among other issues. Incidentally, the term “Holy Land” referring to the Land of Israel (Al-Ard Al-Muqaddasah) actually does appear in the Koran:
Remember Moses said to his people:…“O my People! Enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will you be overthrown, to your own ruin.” Qur’an, 5:20-21
(On the issue of Islam and the rights of the Jews, see here)
Christian Zionism was, and continues to be an essential element in the reestablishment of Jewish independence and sovereignty and as such, is under attack by radical, liberationist theologians. Major supporters are maligned, ridiculed and denigrated. Sarah Palin’s wearing of the Star of David is viewed uneasily even by Jews, while its sits much more modestly on her than on a Jew such as Amy Winehouse. However, I do have one major complaint reflecting on this human covenant that has been forged between Jews and Christians and that is where are the Christian voices of protest when Arabs are killing…Christians? When churches are attacked? When Arabs are expelling Christians from their homes? When Christian woman are abused? (See here and here).While the unwillingness of some Christians to be outspoken on the right of the Jews to a secure life is understood though unacceptable, I see the adoption of a cowering position instead of full confrontation to be disappointing. It could signal a death knell for the Judeo-Christian civilization which provides mankind with a moral tradition which sanctifies life.If it will be left to the Jews, alone, to save the Christians of the Middle East, and to alert all Christians to the dangers for all non-Muslims throughout the world, the situation can become too untenable. Many Christians believe in the Covenant Doctrine (see here for Harold Fisch''s approach). The Covenant that Jews guard and maintain can be expanded but it is the choice of Christians to make their preference: the promise of a better future or the threat of intolerance, nuclear destruction and human servitude.