One of the most astounding things we do on our EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOURS, is visit the area of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. There, to most everyone’s surprise, we find Jews and Arabs living and working peacefully side-by-side! We even seek out factories and other places of business that will allow us to enter and observe the cooperation and, indeed, dependence of one people group on another. Tour guests often comment, “I had no idea! I thought all Jews and Arabs were enemies!”
Well, the latest conflict in Gaza caused a greater-than-normal rift between Jewish and Arab citizens living in Israel, outside the Gaza Strip. Why? Primarily because particular elements, such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip and other community leaders, with the backing of evil regimes, worked alongside mainstream media to spread discord and strife among citizens, and they were highly successful.
False narratives were spread regarding both sides, and chaos broke out in the streets of some Israeli cities where Jews and Arabs typically coexist peacefully. Why the rift? It serves the same purpose as the current “racism” mantra in the US. It divides, sows discord, and provides more opportunity for heavy-handed leaders to control by force or allow the situation to deteriorate into anarchy.
Needless to say, the impact of those riots and disturbances touched off animosity beyond what is normal. That’s when the small, but growing, community of Arab, Palestinian and Messianic Jewish pastors rose to meet the challenge. Great efforts are being made to reconcile relationships, and amazing things are happening in and between Arab and Messianic congregations.
You need to hear about the miraculous work of reconciliation which is producing unbelievable fruit! Our friend, Pastor Saleem Shalash, an Arab pastor in Nazareth, shared the following. It follows a Spirit-filled time of worship and fellowship when Pastor Israel Pochtar, a Messianic Jewish pastor, came to speak to Pastor Saleem’s Arab congregation, Home of Jesus the King. Then miracles happened as pastors gathered in northern Israel. Here is Pastor Saleem’s account:
In the wake of the recent Israel-Gaza war and the violent protests all across Israel, the Lord has been dealing with Arab and Jewish believers and pastors in the land of Israel on the topic of reconciliation and forging stronger bonds of friendship. Many of the bridges that had been build in previous years had been severely damaged by the recent war and its fallout, but now the time has come for us to repair those bridges and prepare the fields for revival and for harvest. Last week saw a regional meeting of Arab and Jewish pastors take place in the north of Israel with the express focus of seeking God’s face in repentance and prayer. We shared communion together, shifting our focus to the Lord Jesus, who is the reason that we have been saved and have been ushered in the Kingdom of God. The sacraments of the communion, the blood and wine, are precious and powerful reminders of the price that the Lord paid for our freedom, and we dare not take it lightly. The communion was a solemn time that we shared together in the Lord’s presence, after which the Lord led us to repent to each other on behalf of the nation of Israel, as Jew and Arab, of the recent violence and conflict that had ensued between our peoples. The Lord then led us into a time of warfare and interceding for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel. Our time together was a blessing, and we were all refreshed in our spirits and strengthened in our bond as brothers and sisters in Christ. We at Home of Jesus the King Church also received a wonderful offering from the messianic congregations in the north of Israel. 15 Messianic congregations pooled together and supplied us with 60 food baskets to bless Muslim families in Nazareth with, to show them that they are loved and that they are being prayed for. Amen, what a testimony that turned out to be! The Muslim families whom we visited were so pleasantly surprised to hear that these food baskets came from Jewish Israelis who love Jesus Christ, and who want to bless the Muslim community in the name of Jesus. The Lord was glorified through this acts of love and kindness, and we also saw many Muslim hearts were touched by the Lord as they heard about the love of God. Hallelujah!
Incredible! Messianic believers reaching out to Muslim people with the love of Yeshua! And all because Jewish and Arab pastors are choosing reconciliation over rioting and resentment! Praise God for that! Let’s rejoice with Pastor Saleem, thanking God for the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus to Jews and Arabs alike!
Friends, I want all of you to go to Israel with me to meet these wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ! There is nothing in the world to compare with a trip to Israel, and my heart beats to take people there! We had some recent cancellations and our previously sold out October trip now has space available. Check out the EXPERIENCE ISRAEL page for details, or email us at Looking4theBlessedHope@gmail.com. There has never been a more important time to be in Israel than now! Touch base and ask me why…I’m happy to explain!