7 Reasons Social Justice Begins in Israel
One small nation has been accused in United Nations resolutions outlandishly more than any other. Since 2015, Israel has been condemned by an unbelievable 112 UN General Assembly resolutions. Second place? Russia with…12. A few other nations that barely made the list? The dictatorship of North Korea with a meager 6 resolutions, and the rogue Iranian leadership with only 5. China? A thunderous zero. (source: unwatch.org.)
Numerous rogue dictatorships have committed gross human rights violations, while the democracy of Israel has been disproportionately singled out and targeted. But that same nation of Israel – about the size of New Jersey – continues to lead the way in stemming the tide of terrorism, fascism, and totalitarianism.
There has been much discussion recently around the seeming decrease of support for Israel from younger evangelicals, who are increasingly viewing the world through a “social justice” lens, and/or may subscribe to some form of “replacement theology”, which basically states that Israel has fully fallen away from their God and has now been replaced by the Church through belief in Jesus. This belief system can at times result in an antagonistic view towards the Jewish State.
I, for one, do not believe that there is cause for concern with this temporary trend, because the truth is that Israel, while imperfect like other nations, nonetheless has a unique national commitment to justice – one of the most highly developed in the world.
I have stated often, and repeat again here, that even if I were not a believer in the Bible, and had no religious viewpoint on Israel or the Jews, but simply had a moral compass based on “the common good”, my viewpoint on Israel and the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians would be the same. Plain and simple, supporting Israel is just the right thing to do! When you look at and truly understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s track record, it is clear that Israel is on the right side of history.
The following seven reasons are why I believe every individual truly committed to justice and willing to seek out the truth in pursuit of the common good should support Israel:
1. Israel is the lone true democracy in the Middle East today.
To follow Middle Eastern headlines is to see the tenuous nature of a region that has had more than its fair share of violence. But where does this violence originate?
If you look at a map of the Middle East, Israel is a small state surrounded by Islamic regimes on every side – many of which operate their nations by dictatorship and/or Sharia law. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PLO, was elected to a 4-year term…16 years ago. There have not been any elections since that have actually taken place.
These governments do not abide by the Western values of democracy that we hold as self-evident. They do not permit their people to exercise simple democratic freedoms in their daily lives, which keeps them from being prosperous as a society. Radical ideologies are encouraged as an impetus for terrorism and violence, rather than being expunged from mainstream culture.
2. Israel is the one of most advanced nations for women’s rights anywhere in the world.
Decades before Vice-President Kamala Harris was elected, Golda Meir was one of the first prime ministers of the state of Israel, from 1969 to 1974. Israel is a progressive nation featuring women in the highest positions of governance, business, and education.
Today, just as in the U.S., women in Israel are allowed to vote, run businesses, and maintain seats in the Knesset legislative body, which is not the case in various nations under the leadership of totalitarian regimes.
3. Israel has an exemplary commitment to diversity.
Israel’s highly diverse society has provision built in to allow all its minority groups – religious, social, and ethnic – to be able to grow. Israel affords the strongest protection of basic human rights for its minorities of any of the Middle Eastern nations, and is one of the most diverse nations in the entire world.
A major buzzword of this hour in the United States and beyond is the idea of racism and equality. The ability (or lack thereof) of all peoples to live in peace side-by-side is a major issue that many people are heavily focused upon.
In Israel, holy sites are carefully preserved not just for Jews but also for Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Baha’i. People of all backgrounds are able to grow in educational and career opportunities to further advance the society at large. The LGBTQ community enjoys protections and equal rights in Israel which are unthinkable in the nations which are her detractors, where these members of society often fear for their lives.
One of the amazing stories of Israel is the voluntary participation of non-Jews in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Arab Christians and Arab Druze participants (including women) are known in particular for demonstrating their loyalty to their country by enlisting in the armed forces. Israel is a country worth fighting for – and its minorities agree.
4. Israel constantly uses its high-tech innovation and expertise in places of crisis around the world.
From the tsunamis that hit Indonesia and surrounding nations in 2004 and 2018, to the major earthquakes in Kashmir (Pakistan) in 2005 and Haiti in 2010, to the recent rescue efforts in the Miami building collapse, Israel is known for being on the front lines quickly with medical and humanitarian assistance for nations who are in need.
From medicine to information technology to agriculture and more, Israel’s innovative discoveries continue to astound the world and also benefit other nations, including those avowed to Israel’s destruction. Israel’s tech community rivals Silicon Valley in its productivity and research, thus making possible many interventions throughout the world.
Joint ventures between Israeli doctors and medical staff on the Palestinian side have saved thousands of lives through Israel’s willingness to help even their enemies. Inventions like the flexible stent for treating coronary heart disease, cell phone technology, drip irrigation systems for global food production, and more were all developed in Israel. Those who are apt to point their finger at Israel might want to consider the massive negative impact that the absence of Israel would bring to global crises.
5. Israel has freedom of the press.
This is a huge one. Within Israel, journalists are free to report on the news as they see fit and to publish their opinions and political ideas.
In Iran, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and other tyrannical nations around the world, journalists are brought before punitive tribunals simply for expressing an opinion. As one of its first actions of control over a nation, totalitarianism always seeks to oppress free speech – because if it can suppress the expression of thought, it can implement a single ruling ideology.
Here in America, citizens are quickly losing their ability to speak freely about their opinions on political or social issues. We would do well to observe Israel’s example in this area, where Arab journalism is allowed to voice anti-Israel vitriol against the one country in the Middle East that enables Arabs to live in freedom.
6. Israel operates by due process in its courts of law.
If you or I are accused of a crime, we expect to have a fair trial. In Israel those who break the law, including both extremist Jews and radical Muslims, are brought before a court system that endeavors to exemplify justice based upon democratic values.
One recent hot-button issue in the international media is the presence of housing disputes in various neighborhoods in Israel, particularly in the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) – such as the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah which has been making the news headlines as of late. These disputes are handled in a court of law where due process is painstakingly followed.
Although there likely will continue to be disputes over certain issues in the courts, the fact that the courts continue to hear the cases is testimony in itself to the type of court system that Israel has – one that defends the rights of its citizens.
7. Israel is the most non-apartheid state in the world.
Unlike the nation of South Africa decades ago which operated under a system of real apartheid, Israel is actually the exact opposite. Minorities are represented at the highest levels of government.
One of the deputy ministers in the prime minister’s office in Israel, as of June 2021, is Mansour Abbas, the leader of the Arab party Ra’am in the new government coalition. An Arab Christian, George Deek, was appointed as an Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan.
If Israel were an apartheid state, how could these governmental appointees be selected for these positions? How, additionally, could multiple minority Arab judges serve on the nation’s Supreme Court, including one who was appointed to deputy chief of the court? Or how could people of different races be permitted to buy and sell to each other? In contrast, the Palestinian leadership in the Palestinian territories prohibits certain ethnic groups (Arabs) from selling their possessions or land to other ethnic groups (Jews).
If Israel were an apartheid state, how is it possible that rafting down the Jordan River next to each other in peace are Arab Muslims, secular Jews, evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Arab Christians? (to name a few). If Israel were an apartheid state, how could the “Miss Israel” beauty pageant be won by the Arab contestant Rana Raslan?
Minorities are fully integrated into Israeli society, and this is how most Israelis desire it to be.
An Imperfect Example
Is Israel perfect? Not by any means – not even close. But the last time I checked, there aren’t any perfect nations anywhere in the world.
The values and actions of the Jewish State show a courageous commitment to liberty, the dignity of all humanity, and defense of all its civilians – at great cost and great commitment by its leadership.
Israel is an example for all nations to follow – not by being perfect, but by constantly showing courage to make a positive impact within its borders and throughout the entire world.
The people of Israel are on the front lines for the future of democracy and human rights. Without the presence of Israel’s armed defense in the midst of her neighbors, Israel and the Middle East would quickly be overrun by totalitarianism and state-sponsored Islamic terrorism. Without the presence of her enemies’ armies, however, Israel would immediately be at peace with her neighbors.
Today’s social justice warriors and replacement theologians, at least those who are intellectually honest, will continue to learn the truth about Israel and its progressive, human-rights-based culture. As this happens, they will see the deception of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement for what it is – lying propaganda. My prediction? These younger people will become amazing non-Jewish allies of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Israel is a genuine partner with freedom-loving nations and with people of faith in the effort for peace. As Christians and people of goodwill, it’s time for us to give Israel the support – and friendship – that she truly deserves.
Want to learn more? The Bishop and The Rabbi is a dynamic and informative weekly podcast, hosted by Bishop Robert Stearns and featuring different guest Rabbis from the Jewish community. It presents discussions on topics like the content of this article, the Hebrew scriptures from Jewish and Christian viewpoints, current events in America and the Middle East, and the future of Jewish-Christian cooperation. Tune in now to the latest episodes on the Charisma Podcast Network!