Pope Francis will be welcomed to the Holy Land by Israel on May 25, 2014. His visit will, no doubt, be touted by the press as a renewed call for peace and reconciliation among the diverse and divided population who call this place home. His visit brings to mind the long and turbulent history of Christianity’s connection to Israel. The Pope is supposedly bringing with him a message of unity and peace however it is not for everyone. Reports state that he is planning to meet with the Mufti of Jerusalem on Israel's holiest site, the Temple Mount. What a slap in the face to Israel. Clearly the Pope seems to be aligning himself with the Palestinians.
Many religious and political discussion forums are taking place across America and around the world in an attempt to foster understanding and tolerance between Christians, Jews and Muslims. I, too, am a proponent of the concept of understanding. To be able to co-exist with Muslims, Christians and Jews and the West in general must possess more than a surface or media-generated understanding of the Islamic mindset. What I have observed coming from these forums thus far clearly indicates that we are failing to grasp even the basics principals necessary to understand Islamic thought and reasoning.
Support for Israel runs deep in the United States for a number of reasons. According to recent polls as many as 80 percent of American Christians feel a moral obligation to support Israel. A large part of this is due to the influence of the Bible but there is also an appreciation for Israel’s democratic values as well as empathy with Israel since the same terrorist organizations that want to destroy the Jewish state have also attacked America.
Another value that runs deep in American society is truthfulness, therefore dishonesty is frowned upon. For this reason many Americans are quite gullible and simply believe what they are told because of the assumption that they are being told the truth.
Many stories of justice and of God overcoming evil fill the Bible, God’s Holy Word. One of the most dramatic and best known is the amazing defeat of the giant Goliath by David in I Samuel 17. David was a shepherd boy who miraculously vanquished the mocking giant Goliath on a battlefield in Israel. “The battle is the Lord’s,” shouted David as he hurled the fatal stone from his simple slingshot into Goliath’s forehead. The giant crumpled dead onto the battlefield floor. With this heroic feat and his simple trust in the Lord, David saved the Army and the nation of Israel from destruction.
Israel’s right to exist started long before it became recognized as a modern nation by then President of the United States Harry S. Truman in 1948. Its existence was predestined when God said to Abram “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” Thus the everlasting covenant was established between Abram the Hebrew and God to go and establish Israel as the “Promised Land.