Zionist Jews, some secular and some religious, lay claim to either the
political right to the current state of Israel or, alternately, the
Biblical promise and mandate to possess all of historical Palestine and
beyond. Christians divide along several lines, including those:
Few other causes polarize and inflame like this one. Israel compares its
military actions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (areas Israel
conquered during the 1967 War) to America's War on Terrorism, recalling the
Arab refusal to honor the UN Partition Plan of 1947 and immediate attack on
the day-old state of Israel. Palestinian militant groups view so-called
suicide bombings as necessary to secure freedom for their long-displaced
people. The world looks on, parts of which show increasing anti-Semitism,
especially Western Europe. American Christians call on President Bush to
denounce the rising anti-Semitic sentiments (see link in list below).
How is a layperson to understand the issues, given the plethora of
perspectives: secular Jewish Zionist, scriptural Jewish Zionist, Christian
Dual-Covenant Zionist, Christian Zionist (not Dual-Covenant), Palestinian
Christian (tolerant of Jewish right to land or otherwise), anti-Zionist,
anti-Semitic, etc.? A brief, biblical-evangelical (but balanced within that
category) viewpoint on the convoluted issues follows in our Special Focus.
You will also find a Jewish Zionist perspective, along with some requisite
history and resources for further research from various viewpoints.
—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University
Engaging Israel's Disengagement—NEW
Provides a useful basic primer on three basic viewpoints of the evangelical Protestant Church regarding Israel's role and right to the Palestinian land now that settlers from Gaza and the West Bank are being relocated. Mainline denominations, dispensationalists and reformed traditions vary from liberation theology to nearly unqualified pro-Israel to a qualified view of Israel that makes allowance for Palestinian autonomy.
How should bible-believing Christians align themselves in the Jewish-Palestinian
conflict? There are biblical reasons for treating both sides with compassionate
public justice in the same way that disputes should be settled between
nations generally. In other words, the Bible does not teach us to be
partial today to Israel or to the Palestinians because either has a
special divine status. Israel has a unique place in God's plans, but
this status does not warrant a claim, at the present time, to divine
prerogatives. Note: from a covenant theological position.
Key Biblical Arguments for Israel's Right to the Land
John S. Kanter
Kanter, a Messianic Jew and traveling speaker, outlines well-footnoted
reasons for the Biblical claim to the land traditionally known as Palestine.
His views are based in dispensationalist theology and highlight the
eternal (or unconditional) covenant that the God of Israel made with
Abraham and his descendents.
The Zionist Imperative
Emil L. Fackenheim
A Jewish Zionist perspective: Fackenheim, by stepping through the
mid-Twentieth Century history of the Jews, argues for the
reasonableness--actually the inevitability, if they were to survive--of a
Jewish homeland, given the persecution and shunning of a homeless people.
The Untold Story
The author discusses the role of Christian Zionists in the establishment of
Israel's History Written in Advance
Robert C. Newman, condensed by Rich Milne
In the Old Testament, God made many predictions about nations and cities
and their fate. With remarkable accuracy, archeology shows that in every
case, what God predicted would happen even hundreds of years later, came to
pass. That the Jews still exist is an amazing testimony to God's
faithfulness even as He judged the nations around them.
Who is 'Israel' and What is Her Future?
The author discusses the issue of what, biblically, is meant by the term
'Israel,' and what God has planned for the future of the Jewish nation.
Remnant Theology: A Different Perspective on Israel and the Church
Through the centuries there have been two predominant concepts concerning
the relationship between Israel and the Church. Is it possible that both of
these popular positions have been somewhat in error? Is there a middle
ground of truth?
News From Israel
Web site of David Dolan, "Broadcast Journalist, Popular Speaker, Author"
CBS radio correspondent and resident of Israel since 1980, Dolan's
experience covering the Middle East is vast. See the link to Monthly News
Digest on his homepage.
Dual-Covenant Christian Zionism Perspective:
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
Christian Zionism Web site:
THE LAND OF ISRAEL - A Christian Zionist View
By Halvor Ronning, Board Member of the ICEJ
Christian Zionism Web site
Arab Press: Christian Zionists Aren't Real Christians
Christian Zionist site synopsizes and responds to anti-Zionist comments by
Fr. Atallah Hanna, official spokesman of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.
The Middle Eastern Research and Information Project
MERIP Primer on the Uprising in Palestine
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.