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Is Israel a Racist State?

In a speech at the United Nations, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described Israel as a “paragon of racism.” Similar charges are leveled against the Jewish State in the global media and across college campuses, where Israel is likened to Apartheid South Africa.

What’s the reality? These claims couldn’t be further from the truth. Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy, where all people – regardless of faith, ethnicity, or political ideology – enjoy the same rights and freedoms.

In contrast to every other nation in the region, Arabs in Israel vote for their government. They sit in the Israeli Parliament and on the Supreme Court, and hold significant positions in the arts, culture, academia and the sciences, and serve in the army. And Arabic is an official language of Israel.

The contrast couldn’t be clearer with other Middle Eastern countries like Syria and Lebanon, where Palestinians live as second-class citizens, denied the right to own property, serve in the public sector, or work in professions like law and medicine.

The truth is that there is sometimes discrimination between people in Israel – just like in the United States and every other country. Yet, this is not imposed by the government, which ensures that all of Israel’s Jewish, Muslim, and Christian citizens enjoy the same democratic and human rights.

Arabs have access to their own religious courts and Arabic-language schools funded by the Israeli government, just as Israel’s Jewish citizens have their own religious courts and state-funded Hebrew-language schools.

Moreover, Palestinians would be living in their own independent state in the West Bank and Gaza if their leadership had not walked away from numerous peace proposals. As long as the Palestinians refuse to make peace, Israel has no choice but to maintain security control over these areas, while it allows the vast majority of Arabs in the West Bank to live under the day-to-day jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

The truth is plain and simple: in a region plagued by hate, tyranny, and prejudice, Israel is the only country that protects the individual freedoms and human rights that we as Americans hold dear. 

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

How do Israel and the United States Work Together?

In a complex and dangerous world, there are few allies more important to the United States than Israel. The tiny Jewish State has an outsized impact in advancing America’s security, enriching its economy, and improving life for its people. In turn, America is Israel’s most critical ally on the face of the planet. Many wonder: how exactly do these two great allies work together?

To fight common threats like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Iran, the US and Israel share intelligence and jointly develop military capabilities. For instance, America funded the creation of Israel’s remarkable Iron Dome defense system, which has knocked countless terrorist rockets right out of the sky. It will soon be used to guard American troops abroad.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter credits Israeli technology and innovation used in Iraq with saving U.S. soldiers’ lives. Our soldiers also routinely train together and our generals coordinate at the very highest strategic levels.

Israel and the US are also intimately tied economically. With a population of just 7 million – Israel is a vital research and development hub for American companies like Microsoft and Facebook. It has more foreign companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange than any other country besides China. 30 years ago, Israel and the United States signed America’s first free trade agreement.

Israel and the USA also cooperate in scientifically vital research areas. From biotechnology, to clean energy, to healthcare, American and Israeli scientists are working together to improve all our lives. For example, Israel is home to the world’s largest and most advanced water desalination plant in this world and has already pledged to use its technology and expertise to help California cope with its draught.

Perhaps most importantly, Israel and the United States share an unwavering commitment to the values of democracy and human rights, the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. The US-Israel friendship helps spread these values in an area of the world suffering from radicalism, fundamentalism, and discrimination.

When Israel declared independence in 1948, America was the first country in the world to formally recognize her. In the words of President Johnson, "America and Israel have a common love of human freedom and they have a common faith in a democratic way life."

While a recent policy disagreement between the two governments over the Iran agreement created unavoidable tension, both governments have voiced hope in putting it in the past. Thanks to our shared values, the Israel-America friendship will continue to flourish and grow stronger in the years to come.  

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

Why Should America Support Israel?

The American-Israeli relationship is one of the strongest friendships between any two nations on Earth. Built on a foundation of shared interests and values, the relationship benefits both nations immensely.

There are many different reasons why Americans should support Israel.

Israel shares our values. It is the only democracy in the Middle East – the only place in the region where the fundamental values championed by the United States – like individual freedom, human rights, and the protection of minorities – are exercised.

Israel shares our interests. Israel shares America’s interest to create a peaceful and democratic world. At the UN, the two nations have a virtually identical voting record. To put it simply, there is no country on the face of the earth more pro-American than Israel.

Israel is a critical ally in the war on terror. In the battle against Islamic extremism, Israel and America stand together on the front lines. According to Maj. Gen. George J. Keegan Jr., the former head of U.S. Air Force intelligence, the Untied States “owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any single source of intelligence.”

Israel makes America – and the world – a better place. Israel’s incredible contributions in fields from health to agriculture to technology save lives, create jobs, and enrich communities across the United States. With advances ranging from text messaging to cancer research, from drip irrigation to the flu vaccine, odds are that the innovative Israeli people have improved life for you and your family! 

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

Where is the Best Place to be a Christian in the Middle East?

More than 100,000 Christians have been murdered each year for the past 10 years in the Middle East. That’s five Christians every five minutes. In Libya, 200 Egyptian Christians were lined up on a beach and beheaded by ISIS. In Saudi Arabia, the Christian Bible is banned throughout the entire country. In Iran, Pastor Saeed Abedini just spent his 35th birthday behind bars – imprisoned for the crime of preaching the Gospel of Christ.

So you might ask, is there anywhere in the Middle East where Christians are flourishing?

Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf answered this question for the UN Human Rights Council last year. He said, “There is one country in the Middle East where Christianity is affectionately granted freedom of expression, freedom of worship, and security…it is Israel, the Jewish State.”

Like all minorities in Israel, Christians enjoy equal rights and freedoms.

Their right to worship is protected. Their freedom of speech is enshrined. Under Israeli control, Christian holy sites – like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of St. John the Baptist, and Mary’s Tomb – have been protected and made free for all worshippers for the first time in hundreds of years.

In a region where ancient Christian communities have been decimated by persecution and violence, it’s no coincidence that Israel is the only place where Christian numbers are growing. The Jewish State is a beacon of human rights and tolerance – and a critical ally in the war against Islamic extremism. By supporting and safeguarding Israel, we support and safeguard Christians – a vulnerable minority in the Middle East.

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.comand get your questions answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

Why Should Christians Support Israel?

Why do hundreds of millions of Christians around the world stand with Israel? There is not one answer. The truth of the matter is that the bond between Christians and Israel is as multifaceted as it is strong. 

Theologically, Christian Zionists believe in God’s promises to Abraham, which made clear that the land of Israel was bequeathed to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession. God chose Abraham and his descendants to bring about the world’s redemption. The return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland represents the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and as such, demands Christian support.

Christians who know their Bible will also point out that the text commands us to pray for the peace and well-being of Jerusalem in Psalm 122:6, and to serve as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem in Isaiah 62:6-7. In Romans 9-11, the Apostle Paul is clear that the church should honor the Jewish people for their theological contributions to the foundations of Christianity.

Morally, Christians seek to foster a new era of Judeo-Christian friendship after centuries of Christian anti-Semitism. They condemn the demonization of the Jewish people and delegitimization of the Jewish state as nothing more than modern expressions of anti-Semitism. Christians also see the Jewish state a champion of the Christian values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.

Gratefully, Christians support Israel in gratitude for the protection of their Christian brothers and sisters. While religious minorities face intense persecution across the Middle East, Israel provides the only safe haven for Christians and is consequently the only country in the region where the Christian community is growing.

Personally, for millions of Christians, the Bible has come alive on their life-changing visits to Israel, which instills an enduring love for the Jewish state.

Historically, the Bible-based Evangelical Christian movement has preached from the scriptures that the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland would bring a great blessing upon the world. Modern Christian supporters of Israel follow in the steps of great Christian leaders such as John and Charles Wesley, Robert Murray MacCheynne, Charles Spurgeon and many other Puritan preachers.  

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

What can YOU do to support Israel?

For Americans, it can often feel like there is little we can do to support Israel in its struggle for survival. While Israel’s soldiers and border police work tirelessly to protect the Jewish state from terrorism and military threats, supporters of the Jewish State around the world are also a critical – and powerful – force for safeguarding its future.

Here are five important ways that you can stand with Israel.  

Get Educated

Israel’s adversaries have used boycott and propaganda campaigns to spread lies and demonize the Jewish state in the media, in church communities, and on college campuses. You can be an advocate to correct these lies – one person at a time –but first, you have to have a firm grasp of the facts. Learn more about Israel’s democratic values, its commitment to protecting human rights, and its remarkable advancements in medicine and high-tech so that you can effectively spread the word to your family, friends, and congregation. IsraelAnswers.com is a good place to start!

Get Politically Active

Make sure that your elected representatives know that you are a strong supporter of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship. Call. Write. Engage on social media. Join delegations to Washington. Write letters to the editor. Make your voice heard!

Pray for Israel

Join hundreds of millions of Christians who pray for peace in Jerusalem, the security and prosperity of the State of Israel, and the strengthening of the US-Israeli relationship through the ICEJ’s Isaiah 62 global prayer movement. Sign up here to receive prayer points each month.

Visit Israel

Visit Israel on your own or as a member of a solidarity mission. It will deepen your understanding of the Jewish State – the land of the Bible – while showing powerful support for Israel’s people. If you are unable to go, send someone from your church, perhaps your Pastor or Youth Leader. Let Israel impact their lives and your entire church as a result. For information on the ICEJ’s various tours to Israel click here.

Bless Israel

You can bless Israel financially by supporting humanitarian aid projects such as the ICEJ’s Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors, ICEJ’s food programs to feed the hungry, or ICEJ’s Israel in Crisis fund that places portable bomb shelters in vulnerable communities. 

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

What does the Bible say about Israel?

Millions of Christians support Israel. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to understand why.

The biblical basis for Christian support of Israel (known as Christian Zionism or Biblical Zionism) is found in the Abrahamic Covenant from the book of Genesis. This sacred covenant is confirmed throughout the Bible, including in the New Testament. Biblical Zionism existed 3,000 years before the modern political Zionist movement. 

It is through this covenant that the Land of Canaan was given to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession for the purpose of world redemption, and that God initiated a spiritual law of blessing with the Hebrews so that those who bless the Jewish people will be blessed, aligning themselves with God's eternal redemptive plan. Similarly, those who oppose His people will find themselves in direct opposition to God's redemptive plan.

The Bible instructs Gentiles to pray for the people of Israel.

Genesis 12:3 tell us to bless them, Psalm 122:6 and Isaiah 62:6 tell us to pray for them, Isaiah 40:1-2 tells us to comfort and encourage them, while Isaiah 60:10-12 tells us to assist them. The list goes on but the pattern is clear: God wants Christians to cultivate strong relationships with the Jewish State and her people.

Jesus affirmed that everything the prophets foretold – including the Jews’ return to Israel — will be fulfilled.

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:17-18)..

Jesus affirmed the Disciples' hope of future restoration.

Right before Jesus' ascension into Heaven, the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel to which he replied "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:6-7). His answer was clear: God would restore the kingdom to Israel; but the timing is not mankind’s concern.

The calling on the Jewish people is irrevocable.

In Romans 11:1, Paul exclaims "God has not cast away His people;" and in verses 25-29, adds that "...as far as the election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts, and his call are irrevocable."

In short, the Bible has much to say about Israel and how we, as Christians, have a responsibility to defend her.
 


Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

Why hasn't there been peace in the Middle East?

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has fought in seven wars, been confronted with Palestinian intifadas, and suffered countless random acts of terrorism against her citizens. So, after 67 years of conflict, why is there still no peace in the Middle East? The answer is quite simple: Israel has no willing partner for peace.

The Palestinian leadership has consistently “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity” for peace. In 2002, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat rejected Israel’s offer to create a Palestinian state on 97% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made another generous offer to the Palestinian Authority: Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and land equivalent to 100% of the West Bank. Again, the Palestinian leadership walked away from the negotiating table.

The past 80 years of history proves that Palestinian leaders do not want an independent state. Instead, the Palestinian leadership’s principal objective continues to be the destruction of Israel.

For this reason the Palestinian leadership has never agreed to the basic security arrangements necessary to protect the Israeli people. Instead, if a Palestinian state were to be created tomorrow, nearly half of the Palestinian population would be ruled by Hamas - a violent terrorist organization fundamentally opposed to peace.

Another major obstacle to peace is the Palestinian leadership's refusal to renounce the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees. The so-called "right of return" means that millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees would settle in Israel. No Israeli leader would ever accept the "right of return," as it would mean the end of Israel. Yet, the Palestinian leadership has never told its own people that this claim will have to be forfeited in order to achieve peace.

The Palestinian Authority also refuses to prepare their people for the future possibility of two-states living in peace. Instead, it fosters a culture of hate against Israelis and Jews in Palestinian mosques, schools, and media. Jews are demonized, Israelis are falsely accused, and Palestinian children are taught to aspire to murder them. All while consistently denying Israel’s right to exist.

Time and time again, the Israeli government has extended an olive branch of peace to Palestinian leadership and time and time again, these efforts have been have been met with rejection from Palestinian leadership.

If international leaders really want peace between Israel and the Palestinians, then they need to admit where the problem lies and require serious changes from the Palestinian leadership.
 

 

Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.comand get your questions answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

What Does Israel Do For The World?

Israel is a small country making a big difference for others around the world. In 2010, disaster struck Haiti, as a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake ripped across the island, killing more than 100,000 people. Shortly after, a team of 240 Israeli doctors, nurses, and relief workers arrived in Haiti and were the first to set up a fully equipped field hospital in Port-Au-Prince. This ultimately saved hundreds of lives. 

For Israel, this is par for the course. From Japan to Nepal to the Philippines, Israeli doctors and rescue teams have been the first on the scene to help when disaster strikes and among the last to leave.

Since the 1950s – when Israel was still a developing country – the Jewish state has sent its experts to help other nations achieve prosperity. Israel has trained Senegalese lettuce farmers to use advanced drip irrigation, Ghanaian doctors how to treat malaria with minimal costs, and South Sudanese social workers how to combat sexual violence. Just recently, Israel sent medical professionals and mobile emergency clinics to high-risk areas in Western Africa to combat Ebola. Israel sees this work as a moral duty based on Jewish values.

While Israel is technically at war with Syria, this has not stopped its armed forces and civil society groups from providing desperately needed medical aid to refugees from the Syrian civil war. Since 2013, hundreds of Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals. Sadly, Syrians who receive treatment in Israel must guard their identity closely so they are not branded as “collaborators” and faced with even more danger when they return home.

In short, Israel is the Jewish State: it breathes life into the core values of the Bible by helping the people around the world who need it most.  


Do you have a question about Israel? Visit us at IsraelAnswers.com and get it answered!


For more than thirty years, Susan Michael has pioneered the development of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in the United States and around the world. She currently serves as the ministry’s USA Director and is a member of the ICEJ’s international Board of Directors.

How has Israeli Technology Revolutionized the World

What do text messaging, drip irrigation, and the latest flu vaccine have in common? Like so many other life-changing innovations, they were invented in Israel.

Israel’s story is an unlikely, yet inspiring one. Despite continuous wars and virtually no natural resources, Israel has transformed itself from a small developing country into high-tech nation in just 67 years, paving the way for developments that have transformed our everyday lives.

Medicine

In medicine, Israeli doctors, researchers, and inventors are saving and changing lives, with innovations that range from an exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk again, to a drug that reduces the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, to next-generation cancer therapies.

High-tech

Israel’s high-tech sector has revolutionized communications. AOL instant messaging, Intel’s computer processors, texting, voicemail, and the technology that powers your cell phone were all created in Israel. So was online streaming technology and the Amazon Kindle e-reader. Most major American technology companies – from Facebook to Google to Microsoft – take advantage of Israel’s intellectual talent with research facilities on the ground in the Jewish State.

Farming

Israeli irrigation techniques have improved farming from Africa to Alabama. Its green and clean technology – from solar to wind to water desalination – has made the world a healthier place, helping to address major challenges, like California’s recent draught and hunger in Southeast Asia.

As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “To be a realist in Israel, you must believe in miracles.” Undoubtedly, the Israeli people’s unique grit, incredible creativity, and can-do spirit has not only built a thriving Jewish State, but also generated countless innovations that have changed our lives.


Susan M. Michael is US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  Her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog” 

 

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