I can’t even believe the vortex of powerful, consuming emotions that have overtaken me in my two days in Israel so far. There are so many things to tell you about, it’s hard to know how to channel it in one post. But if I were to impress upon you anything, it would be that this is undeniably the Holy Land. God is here and my faith and trust in Him has deepened.
So many people and media outlets posed the warning of coming to Israel because of the heightened terror attacks by Isis and Hamas. Logically, I should have been afraid when I heard the stories and watched the videos, but I simply didn’t feel a fear inside me. I felt peace despite the evidence that I should be afraid.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I decided to accept the incredible invitation to visit my Holy Land as a Christian and US Diplomat, an honor acquired due to my reign as Miss USA. I am already a supporter of Jewish people and Israel because I believe God appointed Israel as their land of refuge. He also says that whoever blesses them will be blessed. (Genesis 12:3) On top of that, they have created an exquisite, highly innovative country that provides job security, democracy, health insurance, top quality educations to people of all religions and races. Most importantly they value life over death.
We visited a school, hospital and police station at the border of the Gaza Strip on day 1 which was pretty scary considering there is a warning issued by the department of US State for travelers to go there. They have bomb shelters everywhere because they are consistently under attack. It’s crazy because Gaza is under Palestinian control, but the Israeli hospital we visited on the other side of the border still treats palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip. They do it because they value life.
1. Israel, although an established Jewish state is very multi-cultural. Muslims, Jews, Christians and other religious groups co-exist peacefully and work side by side. Even the Israeli parliament is diverse with representatives from minority groups and women.
It isn’t the people that don’t like each other, it’s the extremist groups that are oppressing their own palestinian people and using Israel as a scapegoat. It’s been done so many times throughout history. Hitler did the same thing when Germany ran out of money and fell into a Great Depression. He targeted the Jews to blame and shut down their businesses convincing Germans to believe they were the cause of all their problems. Hamas started experiencing financial pressure in the Gaza Strip and began concerted rocket firing in 2006. What do they do? Start attacking Israel.
2. One worldly misconception of Israel is that they are intentionally murdering Palestinian civilians. The truth is Israeli Army Intelligence will locate rockets in Palestinian buildings and are left with no choice but to bomb them in order to protect their country. They give the civilians warnings, but Hamas actually forces the people back in to the building in an effort to make Israel look bad to the rest of the world. Hamas is a young organization in itself, so they are social media savvy and know how to get their message out in the way they want. They are also in control of media outlets reporting on the war, so the perception people may have about the Palestinian vs. Israel conflict is quite skewed.
3. Israel is the only Jewish state in the Middle East. It is the size of New Jersey. They even evacuated part of their country, known as the Gaza Strip as part of the two-state peace solution drawn up in 2007 and surrendered control to the Palestinians. The Israelis had developed industry there and created a successful place for the people. But, after the Palestinians took over, they actually destroyed the industrial buildings and used the material to make weapons to attack Israel. The citizens are not thriving there because their leaders are not for them, they are for themselves and getting revenge. They value death, so every murder no matter what side it’s from or who is killed is a success for them.
Why is everyone so obsessed with conquering and attacking Israel? Leave them alone. Jewish people have been oppressed and persecuted for thousands of years. Rich historical monuments and artifacts have been destroyed over and over again. Every time, they pick up and rebuild amazing things from scratch.
Despite the constant threats and lack of support from the world, I was mesmerized by the fact that every Israeli we talked to had a genuine smile on their face and a glimmer of courage in their eyes. The high school students told us about their fearful realities, the fact that they always hear sirens and bombs going off and are rushing to bomb shelters. Yet they sat there at their desks looking and feeling just like us with an innocence and wonder in their smiles. The female soldiers in the army were the same way, passionate about protecting their country and their people with so much hope in their hearts.
It looks as if the cards are stacked against them and after being here I prayed for the safety and sovereignty of Israel, for peace among all religions and their surrounding countries and the immediate, sudden and supernatural end of terrorism. I pray that everyone who takes public stands on Israel will do their detailed research first, even visit Israel so you can have a complete knowledge on what you are promoting and supporting.
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