Give Israel time

The international community must allow Israel to defend its sovereignty and protect its people.

eckstein  (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The unprovoked assault on Israel by Hizbullah terrorists has served to further clarify the dangers the Jewish state must deal with every day. Unfortunately, there are still countries that either do not see the true picture, or refuse to accept reality. While we are grateful for the supportive voices of America and Britain, Israel's leaders are being harshly criticized for acting to protect their people. These voices must not be permitted to pressure Israel into seeking a compromise that will leave these threats to her existence intact. What is now obvious to the world is that Israel's actions in Lebanon and Gaza are not just an attempt to rescue kidnapped soldiers, but to stop terrorists from raining death and destruction on Israeli cities. We have witnessed for years the tiresome rhetoric of those who always seem ready to make Israel the scapegoat for the world's ills. But in light of Israel's struggle for survival against terrorists bent on her annihilation, calls for Israel's censure are not just hostile words. They are a virtual death sentence for countless innocent people in the Holy Land! In fact, it is also now clear that even periods of relative calm on Israel's borders are no promise of future peace, but merely a time for terror groups like Hizbullah and Hamas to be rearmed and resupplied by the Syrians and Iranians. I thank God that Israel has the ability to defend itself. And I am deeply grateful that the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is able to play a crucial role in sustaining Israel at this critical time. Within literally hours of the first rocket attacks on northern Israel, we were rushing food, water, and other essentials to Israelis trapped in bunkers and bomb shelters. Our supporters, both Jews and Christians, responded to my call for help like true Guardians of Israel with an outpouring of generosity to bolster us in this effort. This is all in addition to our regular program providing millions of dollars for relief and security throughout Israel. I could not be more proud of these compassionate partners! As someone who has spent the past 30 years building a strong alliance of Christians and Jews united in support of Israel, I have seen the enormous good that can be accomplished when caring people join hands. The present crisis makes me even more sure the work of The Fellowship is critical to Israel's future. This organization will continue to build a coalition of committed people who will form a solid wall of protection and support around Israel. We must continue to move forward with all haste, using all the resources at our disposal, to offer lifesaving assistance to suffering Israelis... and a voice of reason in answer to the chorus of voices calling for Israel's censure or demise. Just days before the attack by Hizbullah, I was in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, whose people live in constant fear of the next rocket attack from Hamas. The city's warning system gives only 12 seconds to react when a rocket has been fired - a way of life that has badly traumatized Sderot's young people. In the meantime, Israel must battle this terror on two fronts, and needs the unwavering support of its true friends. I want to remind my fellow Jews of how critical it is to know who our friends are. Second, it is important for you to know, dear reader, that evangelical Christians have proven time and time again to be steadfast friends of Israel and the Jewish people. Therefore, it behooves all of us to do everything we can to deepen the Jewish-Christian alliance - which The Fellowship is in a unique position to do! The writer is president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (From the August 2006 edition)