Its now close to the end of August, and thought I would briefly comment on some things happening here of late;
Glen Beck comes to Israel
I’ll be honest that I don’t know much about Glen Beck, all I know is he is some US TV celebrity, hes a Mormon and he supports Israel.
A lot of people around this land including people from many Christian organisations went out the Caesarea this week to see him speak, along with John Hagee and some senior Orthodox Rabbis.
There seems to be a frenzy amongst Christians to see Glen Beck, but I am not sure why as hes not a Christian. Its nice that he is out here showing support. My message to any believers here looking forward to seeing this event or watching it on Christian TV stations is discernment, discernment and discernment. In the past theres been dubious things dressed up meant to be Christian, so it great to see this man show support, and mingle with Christian organisations, people just need to be careful.
You will of heard about the recent bus attacks in Eilat, the bottom corner of Israel which looks out onto the Red Sea, my Japanese housemate went to this place only 5 days earlier, I have traveled on this Egged bus service but not since November 2009. This tragedy is significant for several reasons, again this was just ordinary civilian Israel folk on this bus that were shot, and another bus had an RPG launched at it resulting in 8 innocent people dead, there has been reports that Palestinian terrorists also were wearing Egyptian army uniforms and therefore risk dangerously damaging relations with Egypt.
Often the war between Israel and the Palestinian militants, is not just a war of deadly weapons, its also done with the media, something that manipulates the news, so Palestinians always look like the victim.
Lately one of the main BBC reporters Yolande Knell who does many of the recent stories about Israel and Gaza also works for the Muslim Brotherhood English web site!
Its rare I see any pro-Palestinian organisation or secular news source ever to look at Christian Arabs being persecuted or how the main political group Hamas acts as a mob over the people in Gaza. I do know of wonderful Christians that work here who have a genuine love and compassion for Arab people here though.
At the moment, there is a sense of nervousness because of a high risk of terrorism alert, and last weekend I was advised by a friend who is in the IDF not to use the bus or go near any crowds.
This week the several years overdue light electric rail system finally went live in Jerusalem, although to me this seems like bad timing as it could well be a target.
I work with people who have family in places like Ashdod where missiles are being rained down upon, and its upsetting that around 1 million Israelis (from places like Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva) are having to sit in bomb shelters lately, as well as two people killed and several seriously injured also.
I don’t like talking about politics but these are some important things to be praying about.
Christian events in Israel:
ELAV 2011 – www.elav2011.co.il
Some friends from my church went to the ELAV youth event in Tel Aviv last week, this is a Christian worship event for Jewish and Arab believers, I didn’t go, but heard encouraging things from friends (Christian foriegners and local Jewish and Arab young believers)
Yad Ha’Shmona (Hebrew for ‘hand of eight’) www.yad8.com
Also with my church I went to an outdoor worship event in this town just a few minutes outside of Jerusalem this week, this was also an youth event, with some really good Hebrew worship music.
In the craziness of things happening in this part of the world (as opposed to a different type of craziness of people stealing and burning things in several parts of the UK!!) its massively encouraging to see great relationships between Jews, Arabs and overseas Christians at these type of events, and friendships and reconciliation.
Still with the places I visit, my job looking after equipment and resources for a Christian organisation to bless the Jewish people, and my church here and my friends of all different backgrounds here and around the world, I wouldn’t change it for the world!!