Sep 24

Written by: Dr. Ernie Moore
Monday, September 24, 2018  RssIcon

WELCOME BACK, BARNABUS.

We have been on an extended sabbatical as some of you know. Health issues; but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Now we are on the mend and ready to share with you some of the events, people and politics of the Middle East, with the spotlight on Israel, as well as some commentary on other parts of the world as events draw our attention.

In Israel, Bibi is still the PM. The longest serving in Israel’s modern history. He has the confidence of the voting majority because they know that he works very hard to keep the nation safe.

Bibi and Trump have this in common – they are constantly under attack by the media and the miserable liberals. There. You see my politics are not neutral. I am a Biblical conservative and a political conservative. No apologies. There are certainly enough liberals for you to read if you want to. From this page, you can expect the truth, but without all the fluff of someone who wants to believe that all positions are true. Not so. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, preserved and presented for the edification of all who will believe.

Politically we are staunch Constitutionalist. We don’t want to change it, apologize for it or reject it for some kind of silly socialism.

Regarding Israel: we support the nation Israel. And before you think that we might agree to the two state solution, let me say that if the Palestinians could have shown their ability to run a government, then they could have done it by now. They have not.

Israel allows Arabs, Jews and Christians to hold full citizenship. They are treated equally under the law, and the law-abiding folks can start a business, live peacefully and get an education. Those who break the laws will feel the full weight of the law on them. That, we believe, is as it should be.

That’s not to say that we believe Israel is perfect. Far from it.

Taxes and corruption are in full swing. If you want to buy an automobile then expect to pay about twice what one will cost you in the US. Taxes. But the government provides a certain amount of healthcare, and other benefits. And the military costs about twenty-eight percent of the government’s income. The cost of being a Jewish nation in an area surrounded by Arab lands that don’t want them there.

One thing that I love about Israel is the steadfastness of the people. I’ve lived in Israel during three of their wars. I’ve watched them withstand suicide bombers, rocket attacks and armed attacks. I’ve seen the blood on the ground, shed by innocent civilians and I’ve witnessed the cheering by Palestinians that disgust me.

But one thing that has impressed me was the fact that Israelis – regardless of the attacks – keep moving ahead. They go to work. They serve in the military or other public services. They believe in their nation and they get on with life. Sadder, but moving ahead.

On the bombings: We have been to the bombing sites while the shed blood was still warm. The dead and injured are taken away, the blood is hosed away and the buildings are rebuilt. And the people are shockingly determined that it will not eradicate their nation. The purpose of terrorism is to strike terror into the hearts of the people. Well, it certainly does that at times, but it does not deter them. I admire that.

We have both Arab and Jewish and Christian friends. Not just cultural Christians, but born-again believers. The Arabs are hard working people, just as the others are. And virtually all of these groups are careful about who they allow into their hearts. It takes time, being proven as a friend, and patience, but when they allow you in, you are in. I remember an Arab plumber who worked in our apartment complex some years back. He went about his work quietly and was good at what he did.

One day he was working at our apartment and I made him some tea. We sat and enjoyed it and discussed his family briefly. We talked again and again. One day the manager of the complex was there and the man said to him that I was a “good man” by which he meant that I was to be trusted and was friendly. The manager later told me that I had befriended the toughest man he employed. The manager was an Israeli.

An Israeli friend had stomach cancer. His wife divorced him and left him with two young daughters. He came often to our apartment and we prayed and studied the Bible together. He is an agnostic. He doesn’t believe in much. But we stayed close,he recovered, and we remain friends. One day we were drinking coffee at a restaurant and he said to me, “Ernie, you’re the best friend I have ever had.”

I was astonished. But I accepted it with gratitude. I said, “David, all I’ve done is what a friend should do.” He responded with, “It’s more than others did.”

One think Israel has dome for me is destroy my preconceptions about people. And I’m thankful. Too often, I think, we look at someone or hear something and think we know them.Not true. Give it time.

You may learn that the first impression was all wrong.

Israel captures your heart if you give it time. We have friends from the northern border to the southern desert. Some are loud and brazen like our friend Dr. Jacob Armon and some are quiet and reserved like  our friend Shalem. Both are dear to us and both make up what Israel is all about.

It’s a dangerous place with the ‘lone wolf’ stabbers and the crazy drivers. Thankfully, most tourists won’t be troubled by these, but it’s a fact of life. You have to be careful if you are in the land alone.

It’s also a place of delicious food. Falafels, that fried chickpea concoction, can be found just about everywhere. And a visit to many malls and markets will find raw meat on a stick just awaiting the hot coals that will turn it into a savory dish.

The Iraqi market in Jerusalem is one spot to dine. I still do not know the name of the place, but if you go back to the rear of the market at Mahane Yehuda, look left and see a little corner with a handful of tables, you have arrived. Soup, dumplings, meat and a welcoming smile are yours.

This is all a part of the landscape. Come to visit. Come to learn. Prepare to be impressed and disappointed. It’s all here for the visitor.

We’ll be discussing lots of topics in the coming weeks. We hope you will join us. Shalom.

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