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By David Zadok
Not long ago a friend suggested I read the book The Israel Test by George Gilbert. The thesis of the book states that the main reason for the conflict in the Middle East and the hostility against Israel is jealousy. The author lists the unprecedented achievements of the tiny state of Israel and then goes about showing the reason behind the hostility against the nation of Israel by the Palestinians, the Arab world and much of the western world. While I don’t agree with every point he makes in the book, the idea of jealousy and envy was something I could resonate with.
I got the book via Amazon (where else these days do you get a book!) three days before the Jewish New year. On the eve of the Jewish New Year, a 64-year-old man named Alexander Levlovitz was killed after a rock was thrown at his car while he was driving, which caused his death. At the time no one guessed that this was the beginning of a new wave of terror attacks against Israelis, a wave that some consider the third uprising. Many have been stabbed, others have been run over by cars or trucks, and yet others, like Alexander, have been killed or injured by rock-throwers. The last incident happened last night in Rishon LeTsion where our offices are located. Three were injured; two are in critical condition. As a result, the municipality has raised the security alert in the city particularly in schools and other educational institutions.
In Israel despite the hostility and wars between the Israelis and the Arabs, there has always been a solid and good relations between Jewish and Arab citizens. There are a few cities that are mixed with Jews and Arabs. There are schools where both study together – one of them in Ramla, a school that Grace and Truth congregation has been supporting for many years. Throughout the wars, the Palestinian uprisings, and other tensions when relationships have been put to the test, it has survived the ups and downs, and we hope, for the sake of our children and future generations, that it will continue to exist in even better and stronger ways.
But there is something else that needs to be said about the relationship between our two people, and it is related to the gospel. There is a solid relationship between Jewish and Arab believers. This is seen in various joint activities in the land, and the common goal of the two people – reaching others with the message of the good news of Jesus. These joint activities are seen in the cooperation between different societal levels and ministries. It is seen in our publishing efforts at HaGefen, where we have published for the first time evangelistic literature in Arabic and Persian. It is seen at the Israel College of the Bible, where both Jews and Arabs are studying together, side by side. This semester I started teaching wisdom literature at the M.A. Counseling program. Of the eight students, six of them are Arabs, and one was born in Gaza. It is only the power of the gospel that can make this possible, especially these tense days.
We have a message worth shouting out loudly. The message of peace not in the Middle East, but in the heart of individuals. A message that is able to break down walls of hostility and enmity and go beyond national or personal sentiments. A message that gives hope. Pray for us that the Lord will grant us wisdom to use the opportunities provided in the land and in the midst of the recent tension for the sake of the gospel and for the salvation of both our peoples. Israel is still considered the safest place for a Muslim to convert to Christianity without threat from the government, and far less from his own family and relatives. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the salvation of all its citizens.
 The Israel Test, George Gilbert, published by Richard Vigilante Books, USA, 2009.