Some 200 Christians traveled to the threatened Jewish community of Migron in Samaria on Sunday to stand in solidarity with the pioneering Jews who live there.
Despite being originally established with tacit government approval and the cooperation of the Israeli army, Migron has been repeatedly targeted for uprooting as an "illegal" settlement outpost. Most recently, the government of Israel ordered the destruction of the village's first three permanent homes. The rest of the residents have lived for years in trailer homes.
The Palestinian Arabs and the international community claim such outposts are the primary obstacle to peace in the region.
But Jan Willem van der Hoeven and the pilgrims joining him for the International Christian Zionist Center's (ICZC) Feast of Tabernacles celebration brought a different message.
"Be strong and very courageous," Van der Hoeven told the 50 Jewish families that live in Migron. "Do not give up the fight for the land God gave your people forever."
The beleagured community, seemingly without a friend in the world, was surprised but touched as the hundreds of Christians prayed over the village and firmly proclaimed the God-given right of the Jews to live there.
In a press release sent out prior to the visit, Van der Hoeven stated that "the eternal God of heaven and earth has singled out this, His land, as an everlasting possession for His own people Israel. We – Christian Zionists from the nations – will visit Migron during our Feast of Tabernacles celebration to show our deeply felt support and encouragement for these courageous Israeli families."