A ‘World Day of Prayer’ for Israel’s enemies?

Sometimes I get the impression that the world is deliberately trying to anger the God of Israel.

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: CHRISTIANS, Gaza, Hamas

Just as God chose the people of Israel, so the world has chosen the Palestinians, not only the UN, but also many Christian movements, as can be seen in the upcoming “Women’s World Day of Prayer.” Since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, the Christian association has prayed for Palestine twice, in 1994 and now in 2024. On March 1st of next year, prayers will be held worldwide for peace in “Palestine.” I begrudge that to the Palestinians, but why doesn’t this dear women’s association want to pray for Israel?

And honestly, what kind of peace should we pray for? Peace for the Palestinians, or peace for the Israelis? Of course people will say peace for all people in the Holy Land of Palestine – Jews and Palestinians. That’s nice, but how do you imagine peace in Palestine? Each of us has our hopes and our ideas. Do you pray for the peace that the Palestinians envision, or do you also have little regard for Israel and its biblical promises? Is the Holy Land only holy or holier when the Palestinians are happy?

In the brochure for this event, the key to peace is the Palestinians’ old front door key from 1948. At that time, the biblical promise of Israel was fulfilled and the Palestinians have been suffering ever since. I understand that and I’m not without sympathy. Because as long as they suffer, we will suffer too, unfortunately. But biblical promises have political consequences. Wasn’t that already the case in biblical times? When the children of Israel took over the land, were not all the peoples supposed to be driven out and exterminated? Biblically correct, but politically it doesn’t fit with our times. This is probably what is thought of on the World Day of Prayer. But don’t we believe that God is the same then and now? I am sure that if you had lived then, you probably would have prayed for the peace of the people of Jericho, for the peace of the people of Ai – basically for all seven peoples – in accordance with your pro-Palestinian stance today.

Because that’s what you’re doing today! You pray for the enemies of Israel – and I have nothing against that. May they be blessed. But you wish that the Palestinian descendants should return to Israel with the front door key. How do you imagine that? Do Israelis have to move out of their houses and apartments to accommodate this? According to the maps in your brochure, the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria belongs to Palestine. The Gaza Strip, too. I understand your compassion for the Palestinians. And I respect that. I also live and work with Palestinians and have many friends among them. Nobody can say that I hate Palestinians. On the contrary, I too am for compromise. I just think I’m a more realistic person and don’t live in a spiritual “Lala Land.” Your notion of peace is a pipe dream, doomed to failure, not because I think so, but because both sides have completely different ideas about peace.

Prayer is important and Israel’s rebirth in 1948 is not only a biblical miracle, but was actively proclaimed in war and on a political level. The Palestinians have paid a price for this and from a human perspective it is not easy to understand. But if God is behind Israel’s biblical promise, then God is equally to blame when it comes to the 1948 Palestinian “Nakba.” What is the difference between the suffering of the people of Jericho and the suffering of Palestinians today? If you understand it differently, then I know which direction you are going. I admit that I’m not objective, I’m completely on our side. But you pray in the name of peace for all peoples, “love” everyone on the outside, but on the inside it is all about Palestinian liberation. You say without words that the biblical promise is irrelevant as long as another people has to suffer because of it. True. But it has always been that way.

Ask the Palestinian Christians in the Gaza Strip why they have fled over the last 15 years and what they really think about the Hamas regime. Archive image: Wissam Nassar/Flash90

Now, when you pray for peace in Palestine, please don’t forget the people of Israel. The land was promised to the Jews and not to the Palestinians. I also know that I can’t convince Muslims of this – probably not you either. Nor do I want to. It is only in God’s power to accomplish such a feat. But thanks to your peace brochure, we have once again understood that the majority in Christian churches and the Christian world has always been, is and will remain antisemitic. And Israel has to live with that. We all know that a biblical promise does not fit into Palestinian liberation theology, no matter how you want to spin it. Believe me, if we had the slightest inkling or suspicion that both ideas and parties could cooperate, I would jump at it. But that’s not possible, not these days and especially not after October 7th, the Black Shabbat in southern Israel. Love our enemies? Save your words. The Jewish people exercised love for their enemies in their wars more than any Christian people in history. Even now in the Gaza Strip.

By the way, all three of my sons are in the Gaza Strip, as is my son-in-law. The sons and daughters of my siblings and friends, too. In the meantime, why don’t you pray a little for Israel and its soldiers? Over 400,000 reservists were called up to fight in the war. Aren’t we fighting for the land, just as the children of Israel defended the land in millennia past? Have you even seen the videos and pictures of the kibbutz massacres? Probably not. Images of decapitated babies, children and women. A pregnant woman’s stomach ripped open and the baby was taken out and trampled on. How do I know this? The Palestinian terrorists recorded these and many other barbaric acts with their head-mounted GoPro cameras. Israel has 50,000 of these horror films. The Palestinian Nazis, as these terrorists are now called in the country, attacked Israel out of hatred; We Israelis went to war out of love for our people. None of this probably concerns you because you are stuck in a theology in which Israel’s existence bothers you, even though it is based on biblical Israel. And if you don’t understand that, then you’ve probably slipped into Replacement Theology. Again, it’s your full right to think that way – but also have the courage to admit it publicly.

Do you pray for the peace and well-being of the Palestinians? Why didn’t you go to the Hamas terrorists and first preach the good news of Jesus there? I think you all talk and dream about loving your enemies. From your perspective, terrorists need Jesus the most – don’t they? The Palestinian terrorist groups are preventing any peace with Israel, but you probably believe that the Palestinians are entitled to resistance and a struggle for liberation. Your Palestinian Christians and friends are careful not to publicly criticize Hamas and the PLO, but that is not a problem with Israel. I know how afraid Palestinian Christians are of their Muslim neighbors – in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Ramallah and other cities.

See, we keep running into the same thing, you have a problem with Israel and that’s why you’re praying for Palestine next year. Not Israel. Something bothers you about Israel and the Chosen People. What? Because God chose Israel and Israel does not behave the way you want and imagine. You will always find an excuse to point the finger at Israel for everything it is doing wrong toward the Palestinians. But you know what, maybe you’re complimenting Israel without knowing it. Israel does not need a world day of prayer because the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob stands by His people even without your prayers.