Vail Daily column: The case for Israel
Joel Rosenberg, modern-day Christian-Jew evangelist, author and speaker, has both strong opinions and prayer for solidarity behind both Jews and Arabs in all regions of the Middle East in these troubled times. His dad was of Jewish descent, and Rosenberg became Christian when he turned 17.
Joel started his crusade as a political consultant, and is now friends with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shared information that he has used in his books. I went to Denver late last year to listen to a seminar he gave prior to the Iran nuclear deal, exhorting all to understand the negatives.
His 2001 book “The Last Jihad” foretold the bombing of the World Trade Center nine months post-publication, earning him somewhat of a prophetic namesake. He based many of his similarly written novels on verses from the Bible (Old Testament), namely Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Another novel spoke to alliances between Russia and Iran against Israel, and an offensive to follow, from neighboring states. Syria … really? And soon after, oil would be discovered in Israel — not possible, most said. Sure enough, just last week, oil, lots of it, is apparently discovered in the Golan Heights, the area Rosenberg says the attack from Russia and Iran will intensify. Who knew?
Historically, the two sides in the conflict, Jews and Arabs, have been at it since the Romans took Judea from the Jews and renamed it Palestine. Then, after Rome fell, the Arabs took and inhabited the land for over a thousand years. Then came the Zionist movement, restoring the land to Jews, and in 1917, Britain sealed the deal. The Arabs have not been amused since then, even in 1993, when they were offered 97 percent of the land in West Bank, and all of Gaza — and all Arab sections of Jerusalem. They declined.
Rosenberg asked the November audience, including me, how we would feel today, in Israel, if the following were our own living conditions:
• Surrounded by hostile nations Iran, Syria, Iraq with 100 times the population and militaries.
• Iran threatens to vaporize Israel … often.
• Hezbollah and Shiite terrorism and rockets pound Tel Aviv without mercy.
• Palestinians revolt daily and are school-educated to despise Jews — literally to death.
• Our President Obama ignores Israel and hates Prime Minister Netanyahu, and King Abdullah, of Jordan.
Jews have had it tough, to put it lightly. During the Black Death era 1100-1400 A.D., the church used propaganda the blame the Jews for the rat-driven plague. Later, after land and property and wealth confiscations, and state-sponsored executions, it was discovered that the plague was not man-made. All attempts by physicians to contradict the church and state narrative were “discouraged.”
Follow this talking point to the Holocaust, and Jewish migration thereafter to Israel to escape the Nazis, Russians and even lukewarm sympathy gestures from the U.S. concerning resettlement options. The Israelis offered the Palestinians the land they are building homes on in 1993, and declined.
To protect themselves from harm threats from Shiites and Hezbollah and Iran, Israeli forces had to shut down trade access routes into Gaza from Egypt, discovering tunnels acting as conduits for weaponry from Iran. This act furthered the misery for Palestinians, blaming Israel for insensitivity, despite the terrorist attacks against them daily in the papers and CNN broadcasts.
I rarely take sides in conflicts I have no part in, but in this case I understand why they are referred to as the chosen people.
Pat Mitchell lives in Edwards.