Is it Safe to Visit Israel?

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Does this look dangerous?  (Photo credit: Alamy/Daily Mail)

I hear it all the time!  “Isn’t it dangerous to go to Israel?”  My response: the most dangerous part of going to Israel is the drive from your house to the airport to catch your flight to Israel!  Seriously!

Despite “terrorist nuisance” emanating from the Gaza border, Israel is safe to visit!  If necessary, Israel could destroy the Gaza Strip in a matter of minutes.  They simply don’t want to attempt to rule unruly people.  Besides, most tourist don’t go anywhere near the Gazan border where the activity takes place.

But, allow me to defer to Susan Michael, Director of the US branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem to answer the question, Is it Safe to Visit Israel?

Enjoy!

Jews and Arabs Leaving Peacefully Side-by-Side!

I recently read an article entitled, Biblical Shomron: Israel’s Strategic, Peaceful and Beautiful Heartland.  In it is the story of the Shomron Regional Counsel’s success in developing areas where Jews and Palestinians work peacefully side-by-side.  The area is called the West Bank, but in Biblical terms, it is Samaria.

This area is targeted by the BDS movement, an effort to boycott, divest and sanction Israeli companies for the purpose of “helping” the Palestinians.  But the truth is, if these companies were shut down, more Palestinians would be out of work than Israelis!  That’s one of the things that makes the BDS movement so ridiculous!

I have been to this area and I have seen Jews and Palestinians working peacefully side-by-side and it is such a refreshing sight!  Peace is possible when left to the citizens themselves.  It is when the Palestinian Authority and/or Hamas get involved that things turn south, as they have in the ongoing conflict at the Gaza border.

If only the citizens were allowed to seek a better living, Israel would give them that!  Those who do have the opportunity to live and work in the Shomron region bear testament to that!

Please pray for the people of Gaza.  The oppression (and brainwashing) is so intense, violence is all they know.  Pray they will find the freedom enjoyed by their countrymen in the Shomron region.

BTW – the Jewish “settlements” in the West Bank we hear so much about on the news look like this:

Israel Living Securely in the Land

…and they are living securely…land of unwalled villages…those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates…My people Israel are living securely…
~Ezekiel 38:8, 11, 14

Notice how the prophet Ezekiel describes Israel in the days leading up to the invasion from the north, known as the War of Gog and Magog.  Clearly, Israel will be living in safety and security.

Long-time friends of mine have just arrived in Israel, but not before we talked over dinner a few nights ago.  I was asked the most common question about Israel: “Is it safe?”   I answered as I always do, with a resounding “yes,” then got the typical, “Are you sure?” look! (Of course I’m sure!)

It is true that Israel has a low crime rate, and I feel as  safe (if not more so) walking the streets of Jerusalem as I do walking the streets of American cities.  While some accept that fact, many can’t get beyond the thought that Israel is being targeted (and at times fired upon) by enemies who desire to destroy her.  That was the concern of my friends who were undoubtedly excited about going to Israel, but somewhat anxious about their safety.

So, is it safe?

That question goes beyond simply our limited view through human eyes.  One must understand God’s promises both to Israel and to us as believers.  There is a spiritual element that is best explained in a recent report by Amir Tsarfati from the Golan Heights.  Just a mere stone’s throw from the Israeli-Syrian border, one might think the Golan Heights would be particularly dangerous.  Yet, there is Amir, safely leading a tour group in that very place!

“But wait!” you say.  “Isn’t the Israeli Air Force engaged in conflict with Iranian forces in Syria right now?”  Ahhhh…yes!  Indeed there is conflict in Syria, but that is specifically the point!  Israel is safe and secure because Israel has drawn “red lines” regarding what they will allow at their borders.  Currently, Iran is no match for the IDF, thus Israel is well able to deflect conflict to Syrian territory rather than Israeli territory.

Would I go against the instructions of the IDF?  No.  If they say it isn’t safe to travel to the Golan Heights, I would not go there.  However, Israel is calm and life continues as normal today because the IDF is doing its job.  Moreover, as believers in Christ Jesus, we have nothing to fear!  We, too, can live securely as our Savior and Protector is doing His job!

Settle in and tune in to Amir’s report!  Then, decide for yourself if Israel is indeed living in safety and security…just as Ezekiel prophesied.  You will be blessed!

PS: We’re heading into exciting days, so stay tuned!  I hope to report from Washington DC in a few days, where I will attend a ceremony at the Israeli Embassy, linked by satellite to the festivities surrounding the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem!

 

A Look at Ancient Shiloh – Israel’s First Capital

Did you know Jerusalem has not always been the capital of Israel?  Indeed, when the Israelites came into the land, Shiloh became the first center of worship before the first Temple was built in Jerusalem. (1 Samuel 1, Joshua 18, Judges 21 for example)

Want to get a modern-day peek at the newly excavated Shiloh?  Here you go: