I have always wondered why some people think Zionism is a dirty word.
Many times in the news its kind of used as a slur for the way the way Jews have been returning to Israel from all across the diaspora, occasionally its even Christians, some that have studied all kinds of theology but appear to be perhaps lacking in what was taught in Isaiah and Jeremiah maybe. When speaking to people about my interests and visits to Israel, a couple of times I have been responded “Oh so you are a Zionist are you? ah yes these sorts of people hate Palestinians, Arabs and Iranians…” This is sad when people make rash and quick judgments like this.
There is plenty of authors of books critical of Israel, plenty are on sale on Amazon (even including some Jews, including people like Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein etc) ex-US president Jimmy Carter and former TV newsreader celebrity nutter David Icke like to look at Zionism being the worst kind of evil organisation ever. Likened to the Freemasons or some other paranoid organisation which has a corrupting influence on the world, and that Jews in some way are controlling. Really this is and should be quite laughable. There were famous books printed like the Elder protocols of Zion and founder of the blue oval motor maker, Henry Ford wrote some similar poisonous material, some of these nasty propaganda manuals are still treated as legitimate reference material today, as part of other modern day hatred such as holocaust denial. Its part of what I think make Anti-Semitism a bigger problem than people think and worse than other hatred of any specific racial group.
In reality these views can be held completely nonsense, when you look at the wide number of ethnic people in Israel, and different types of Jews worldwide. If you look at Aliyah, its true people emigrated to Israel, especially around the early 1990s with going with ideal of all Jews going into one nation closely to what the Torah said, but at the same time many Jews also made Aliyah because they had to, albeit sometimes reluctantly, as persecution in their previous homelands of nations like Yemen, Iran, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia etc, was unbearable or meant they could of faced death. For some other Jewish people the idea to go may have been purely economic, the promise of a job and financial security. For this reason many Israelis I have met can be secular or atheistic.
Where as Israel gets sizable amounts of money from the US government, its no secret so has the Palestinian authority. The Magon David ambulance organisation in Israel has all its fleets of vehicles donated by Jewish organisations mostly in the US but sometimes also from Canada and France. There are many Christian organisations in the US that have supplied money to charities and needy people in Israel, mostly because a good proportion of tax Shekels have to go to the military defending Israel against frequent threats from terrorism or war with its neighbours. Despite this and than poverty in Israel is high, Israel has made a high contribution to the rest of the world in terms of its exports, large amounts of fruit and vegetables, technology (IT, telecoms, renewable power, water treatment, etc) medicine and healthcare innovations are just a small example of these.
I am a supporter of Israel and the Jewish people, this could mean I could be considered to be a Christian Zionist, but would like to clarify things first. I believe God still has a plan for the Hebrew as outlined in the scriptures, that as Christians we are grafted in as his people. Sadly because of the false doctrine of what often known as replacement theology, people assume that Israel in the bible is more of a metaphorical ‘Israel’ for the modern day church. Paul says clearly in Romans 11 : 1 about this common misconception. I believe Jesus will still return to Jerusalem one days as promised in the scriptures, this is why Israel is never not in the mainstream news, as Satan attempts to twist and alter things in order to change unsuccessfully what God is planning.
Christians that support Israel are not always one particular breed or denomination. I have seen quite a few Christians visit Israel, from all over the place including Nigeria, South Korea and Japan. I have even seen a small group of people (they had name tags) at the Kotel recently from the Faeroe Islands, an extremely small little known Nordic island nation between Scotland and Iceland.
As a Christian I think its vital we don’t become complacent, and speak up and pray against hatred and lies spoke in governments around the world and in the media. I think God loves the Palestinian and the Arab and Persian people, its true also in recent times there have been large numbers of people in Islamic nations (do some searches on Youtube) come to Christ, normally this is secret as they can be in extreme danger, for this reason its hard to gauge how many Moslems, Hindus, Sikhs, etc come to Christ each year around the world.
The newspapers in the UK most definitely want to pick someone to blame for current world problems, whether its overpaid bankers, foreign immigrants coming in and wanting to change things to suit them, change the way our children are taught in British schools, worryingly extremist political groups like the BNP or Islam4UK, a kind of ‘bogeyman’ we can all blame. The scriptures in Ephesians 6:12 says “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Here its sin which can manifest into many different things that causes worry and distress.
For me, I only identify myself as a regular Christian, I may contribute in my church in welcome team, or being in prayer groups in some IT businesses I have worked at and in looking after the computer systems for Christian charity in Jerusalem. I am purely here as a servant to do whatever God leads me into doing, the only incentive or reward being able to see help go to the people that need it, make some new friends and get to study biblical places in more detail. I am not in Israel to convert people as this is greatly frowned upon and is illegal, its more of case of just a loving attitude in terms of me serving out there in terms of the context of my official volunteer job and spending time with some of my native Israeli friends.
When I see other Christians I know volunteer in nations like South Africa, Chile, Uganda, China etc, I don’t usually ask about politics, as its not fair to make assumptions based on what the media say, its not always easy to sum up what is right or wrong from casual observance. I also avoid mentioning political stuff to friends back in the UK (both Christian and non-Christian) due to antagonistic questions I have been asked and such.
For me, Israel is where almost all of the events of the bible happened, and where Christ himself will come again, and many things prophesied in the scriptures have become reality, the reformation of the modern state of Israel, a lot of its neighbours being its enemies, the way the Hebrew language which was something only ever kept for reading religious books has now made it into a usable language in business and every day, all of this in little over sixty years. It is only by sticking to a roadmap of what the Lord outlined in the bible will there be peace, as opposed to any artificial plan created by any other authority.