• Introductions: Name & What would you do to get peace between Israel and Palestine?
  • Restatement of theme:
    • “If this issue was the reason a non-believer gave as their obstacle to Christianity, what would we say to them?”
    • Theme verse: “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” (Matthew 13:19)
  • Today’s Topic: Israel
  • Discuss Pat Robertson’s recent comment on the 700 Club
    • What did he really say?
      • I found a transcript at Contratimes:
        • ‘Ladies and Gentlemen I said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous periods of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person and I am sad to see him in this condition, but I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who “divide my land.” God considers this land to be His. You read the Bible and He says “this is my land” and for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says “no, this is mine.” I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, it was a terrible thing that happened but nevertheless he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon who again was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he’s at the point of death. He was dividing God’s land and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America. God says “this land belongs to me. You’d better leave it alone.”’
        • It is interesting that he didn’t directly say that God was judging Sharon.
        • Thoughts? What did he say that is right or wrong? What do you think of his actual words versus what you may have heard on the news?
        • Sent (and Israel accepted) an official apology.
  • What are opinions that you’ve heard regarding what should be done between Israel, Palestine, and the rest of the Middle East? What reasons can you think of and have you heard from both sides?
    • Both Jews and Arabs generally claim Abraham as father.
    • Very messy situation—“Who really should have claim to the land” is a very messy question, as it seems that there have been lots of bad decisions made on both sides
    • Palestinians think that Israel stole their land (and left them only with the worst parts of the desert) and are militarily attacking civilians.
    • Israelis see suicide bombers and (some) radicals bent on attacking innocents through terrorism.
    • Began with Jewish immigration to region in 1920’s—increased during WWII.
    • From Wikipedia:
      • “Those qualifications mean that any rapid summary of the nature of the conflict is bound to be very partial. That said, those who advocate violent Palestinian resistance generally justify that as legitimate resistance to an illegitimate Israeli military occupation of Palestine supported by military and diplomatic assistance from the U.S. Many tend to view the armed Palestinian resistance within the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a right granted by the Geneva conventions and the United Nations Charter, and some extend this view to justify attacks, frequently against civilians, within Israel proper…Conversely, those sympathetic to Israeli military action and other Israeli measures against the Palestinians tend to view these actions as legitimate Israeli self-defense against a campaign of terrorism perpetrated by Palestinian groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others, and supported by other states in the region and by the majority of the Palestinians, at least those Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens. Many tend to believe that the control of part or all of the territory is necessary for the security of Israel. This sharp contrast of views on the legitimacy of the actions of each party to the conflict has been a key obstacle to resolution.”
    • Can anyone explain how Israel returned to be a state?
  • Discuss Biblical points—what is Israel today? How ought Christians think about it—are they “brothers and sisters”? Evil Jesus-killers? Always blameless?
  • Conclusion
    • I’m not always sure I know what to think about this whole thing, either. But here’s how I wanted to wrap it up: for unbelievers who heard of Pat Robertson’s remark this past week and who think that all Christians must be utterly foolish. I think we can defend Robertson (to some degree), acknowledge his faults, and have an intelligent discussion with them about the topic.


© 2005-2007 David and Rita Hjelle