Friends of Israel – Christians, Muslims and All Honest People

Friends of Israel – Christians, Muslims and All Honest People

© David Burton 2021

Friends of Israel

     Don't believe the hype pushed by Israel's detractors. And definitely reconsider the notion that Israel is an "apartheid" state. In November of 2017 an article in Israel Today reported:

     Far from feeling marginalized or oppressed, a firm majority of local Arabs are actually proud to be Israeli. A survey published by the free daily newspaper Israel Hayom asked a random sampling of Arab citizens their attitude toward the State of Israel. An overwhelming 73% majority said that they feel a sense of belonging in Israeli society. 60% went so far as to say they are proud citizens of Israel.

     Supporting this are the facts that in 2015, about 1,700 Bedouin soldiers – Muslims - were enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), although there was no obligation on them to do so. In 2016, there were currently ten times the number of Arabs serving in the IDF than there were in 2013. The numbers have continued to grow since.

     Here in 2020, additional indication that Israel’s Jewish and Muslim communities are more united than some media reporting would indicate has come as both work together in the face of the Coronavirus epidemic.

     “Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) national ambulance service is a microcosm of the society, staffed by employees and volunteers who are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, paid employees and volunteers.
     “When an ambulance got a minute of quiet during a hectic shift earlier this week {3rd week of March 2020}, two crew members, one Muslim one Jewish, took advantage to fulfill their daily prayer obligations and stepped outside the vehicle to pray. {One member faced Mecca and the other faced Jerusalem.}
      - - -
     "The ambulance crew members {said} that they worked together and lived together. Praying together was a normal thing for them.” (Ref. 1)

     Additional signs that the two communities are more united than divided came after President Trump’s “deal of the century” was announced. “Since the unveiling of the plan, thousands of Arabs have been demonstrating to express their rejection of the idea of placing them under the sovereignty of a Palestinian{-Arab} state.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 2) These Israeli-Arabs, who are mostly Muslims, know all too well that they have much better lives in the State of Israel than in any Muslim country or any make-believe “Palestinian State”.

     There are many other cases of Israel-Jews and Israel-Muslims being united and working together for their common good. One such example is the community of Jaffa.

     “More than any community in Israel, the port city of Jaffa has proven itself to be an enduring bastion of coexistence where Arabs, Jews and Christians have peacefully lived, worked and socialized together for decades.
     “Located adjacent to Tel Aviv, Jaffa has approximately 46,000 residents – including 30,000 Jews and 16,000 Muslims and Christians {as of 2017}.
     “And while it is best known for its picturesque beaches, restaurants, heralded flea market and shops, what is perhaps most notable about this small city is its uncommon camaraderie between otherwise warring factions.
     “Indeed, in Jaffa, Jews and Arabs frequent the same streets, eat in the same restaurants, drink in the same bars, work in the same stores, know one another’s families, and often greet one another with warm smiles and embraces.
      - - -
     “{Arabs and Jews in Jaffa get along so well because they} don’t get involved in politics . . . and treat each other with a lot of respect. . .
     “. . . no distinction is made by the city’s inhabitants based on religion.
     “There is no difference between Jews and Arabs here. . . They see each other as human beings, not as enemies. The key to getting along here . . . is respect.
      - - -
     “{One Jewish resident reported that she works} with Muslim, Christian and Jewish people, and {they} spend eight hours a day together . . . Five or six of them are {her} closest friends, and {they} call each other all the time, trade Jewish and Arab recipes, meet for lunch every day at the same place, and celebrate important events in {their} lives together.
      - - -
     “. . . an Israeli tour guide who has lived next to Arab neighbors in Jaffa’s Flea Market for over five years, said the absence of religious and political extremists is the key to the city’s ongoing harmony.
     “ ‘We don’t let extremists on either side interfere or increase conflict,’ he said. ‘People here just want to enjoy their lives. . .’
     “Ultimately . . . Jaffa’s secret to coexistence can be distilled into four simple words. . . ‘Live and let live’ . . . “ (Ref. 3)

     In one of my trips to Israel, my wife and I were taken to an ice cream parlor in the Upper Galilee, jointly run by and an Israeli-Jew and an Israeli-Muslim – a concrete example of Israeli-Jew and Israeli-Muslim cooperation,

     The two Israelis — the Jew from a kibbutz, and the Arab, from a nearby Arab village - created Buza Ice Cream in 2012. Five years later, the pair had five ice cream parlors in northern Israel and Tel Aviv, and had won a prestigious United Nations prize for businesses promoting peace. [4]

     Christians in Israel have prospered and enjoy total freedom of religion, while their brethren in Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa face overt discrimination and even genocide. One group of Christians has made an outstanding example of tolerance toward Jews and the State of Israel. Those are Evangelical Christians.

     Evangelical Christians make up the single largest segment of Christendom in the world today and the vast majority of them stand with the Jewish people and support the Jewish State. So, just who are these Evangelical Christians and why do they are they so tolerant of Jews and why do they support the State of Israel?
     Because Evangelical Christians take a very literal interpretation of what the Bible has to say about a future for Israel and the Jewish people, Evangelicals have historically supported the reestablishment of the State of Israel in the ancient homeland of the Jewish people. And for the vast majority of Evangelicals, their support of Israel includes a love and respect for the Jewish people and faith that is rooted in an understanding of what the Bible says about the eternal covenant between God and Israel.
     There is no denying the fact that, in general, Evangelicals believe it is part of their calling to share their faith with all peoples. However, while there are certainly some Evangelicals for whom the desire to convert Jews to Christianity is the motivating force behind their support for Israel, the vast majority love and support the Jewish people and State for biblical reasons.
     Are Christian Zionists only excited about the restoration of the State of Israel because of a particular belief concerning the End Times, which says that the regathering of the Jews to their ancient homeland is a necessary prerequisite for the return of the Christian Messiah?
     The bedrock of Christian Zionism is the Hebrew Bible, in which the berit olam – the eternal covenant between God and Israel – is the central story throughout, and the promise of a particular land is at the heart of that covenant. The history begins in Genesis 12, where God took the initiative to take a certain people to himself, and then give that people a specific land. Centuries later, when the Jewish people were in exile, the Hebrew prophets declared that the land was still theirs.
     The recognition of the emphasis the Hebrew Bible places on a particular land, and the promise of the return of the Jewish people to that land, is a significant part of the foundation of historic Christian Zionism. And, it is one of the most compelling reasons modern Evangelicals are Christian Zionists.
     The Jewish authors who wrote the Christian Testament held on to the Hebrew prophets’ promises that the Jewish people would one day return to that land from the four corners of the earth and reestablish their nation.
     It is clear from the beginning to end of the Christian Testament that Jesus, his apostles and the biblical authors expected a future return of the Jewish people and the restoration of Israel as a sovereign nation. Everything comes to completion in the final book of Revelation in which Zion, Jerusalem and the twelve tribes of Israel are at the center of End Time events.
     Evangelicals have historically understood the inseparable relationship between the teachings of Jesus and Paul and their Jewish foundation and context, and have heeded Paul’s warning to not be arrogant against the Jews.
     It is quite striking that with the freedom of religion provided by the modern State of Israel, Christians have free access to Jerusalem. And in the past few decades, we have seen such unprecedented progress in Jewish-Christian relations that Jews and Christians involved in these relationships consider each other brothers and sisters. This relationship may be contrasted with bitter animosity between radical Islam that bars Christians and Jews from praying upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
     By the nineteenth century, the Evangelical movement within Christianity was quite strong and Evangelicals saw philosemitism as what made them distinct from other Christians who had persecuted Jews throughout the long history of Christianity. Furthermore, they maintained that their faith went back to biblical Israel itself – a belief that is very similar to that of modern Evangelicals, who understand the Jewish roots of Christianity.
     Today, Evangelical leaders and organizations in multiple countries are committed to educating others about Israel and insuring that their nations support the existence and safety of the only Jewish State.
     There is a 2000 year history of Christian belief in the restoration of Israel that is based on an understanding of the centrality of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people – and the promise of a particular land at the heart of that covenant – throughout the Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament. What we now call Christian Zionism, or Evangelical support for Israel, is simply the modern version of that historic belief, built on a theological foundation as old as Christianity itself.
     The vast majority of Christian Zionists support Israel and the Jewish people for theological and historical reasons that do not include attempts to convert Jews, or the desire to see Jews gathered in Israel in fulfillment of a particular interpretation of End Times events. Rather, modern Christian support for the State of Israel is rooted in the historic Christian belief that Jews would, some day, return to their ancient homeland, an understanding of the historical and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to that land, and agreement with the right of Jews to self-determination in their own land. This belief has made Evangelical Christians some of Israel’s best friends in an all-too-often anti-Semitic world.[5]

     While the Jew-haters, anti-Semites and Israel-bashers, along with the ignorant know-nothings of the world have long been spitting out their hateful screed that Israel is an Apartheid state, the truth is that Israel is and has been - since its establishment in 1948 - the only totally tolerant and democratic nation in the Mid-east.[6]

     In spite of the vehement hatred of Israel and the Jewish people by the admitted anti-Semites of the world and that of the closet anti-Semites who cloak their anti-Semitism in the lies that they aren’t anti-Semites but are “only” anti-Israel or anti-Zionists, the truth that needs to be told is that there are many friends of Israel. Today, even historically hostile Arab nations, like the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are reaching peace accords with Israel. Other Arab nations have long had surreptitious relations with Israel. Ethnic or religious groups such as Christian-Arabs, Israeli-Arabs, Circassians, Arameans, Druze, Baha'i, Buddhists, and Samaritans have all found the State of Israel to be welcoming and completely tolerant of their beliefs. This has been in stark contradiction to their experiences elsewhere, e.g., the genocides committed against the Circassians in Czarist Russia and against the Bahai in Iran.[7]

     The friends of Israel are not misled by the anti-Semitic liars and slanderers of the world. The friends of Israel know the truth – Israel welcomes and is tolerant of all. The friends of Israel respect and support the State of Israel because, since its establishment, it has been the only democratic and religiously tolerant nation in the Middle East.


  1. Snapshot of coexistence during corona crisis goes ‘viral’, Paul Shindman, World Israel News, 26 March 2020.
  2. Analysis: The real reason Arabs in Israel do not want to live in ‘Palestine’, Khaled Abu Toameh,
    World Israel News, 4 February 2020.
  3. Jaffa: Israel’s ultimate model of coexistence, Daniel K. Eisenbud, The Jerusalem Post, 23 November 2017.
  4. A Jew And An Arab Opened An Ice Cream Parlor Together…, Ari Feldman,,
    11 September 2017.
  5. Who Are Evangelical Christians and Why Do They Support Israel?, Tricia Miller, Ph.D., Camera,
    15 September 2020.
  6. The Peoples of Israel, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 351, 24 February 2019.
  7. Israel – An Apartheid State?, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 259, 28 July 2016.

  10 December 2020 {Article_450; Israel_49}    
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