The answer to the above question is “neither.”
Many are still confused, largely because of a few factors: 1) their eschatology mistakenly informs them that modern-day “Israel” is something special ...
Either side you take is a human one with plenty of wrongdoing involved.
(But it's not trivial that one side hits civilian targets mostly by accident in open military attacks and the other side hits civilian targets on purpose in surprise suicide bombings. Then there's the whole historical debate over who's land it is. But it is possible to be critical in varying degrees of both sides without making the two morally equivalent.)
Both sides are evil.
1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.
Personally, I take Israel's side, because the moral case in every respect favors them.
That's beside the point. Name me two governments that aren't "evil".
James K wrote:
Both sides are evil.
Hoping to shed more light than heat..
Regardless of one’s view of eschatology:
Israel gained its present-day territory as many nations do by conquest, annexation, or outside influences not by divine right and has the right to defend itself especially against those who do not recognize its right to exist.
We do know that Hamas fires rockets randomly which causes more fear than damage and that more often than not they are the instigators of violence. They are the enemy and many Gazans are victims.
We do not know how many civilian casualties are “accidents” keeping in mind how small Gaza is and that there are few places to hide when the borders are closed. “Accidents” are inevitable.
We know what we are told by the media and governments and always need to remind ourselves of the source of our information which is always incomplete, partial, or propaganda.
Good comments Steve. Thanks. I believe God has a future for Israel. Israel is yet to go through her darkest hour as she will in the Great Tribulation. It will make the fires of Auschwitz look like a birthday party by comparison. The hatred for Israel appears Satanic to me. Here you have six million Jews surrounded by 300 million Muslims who want nothing else than to kill every Jew. The Muslims go after the Saturday people first and then the Sunday people second. ISIS is a good example of this. Generally, I stand for Israel in opposition to the murderous activities of her terrorist neighbors. Politically I stand with Israel because it is a western democracy that has brought a general prosperity to their people including Arabs who live in Israel.
Pastor Mike Harding
I do not favor Israel on an eschatological basis. The modern state of Israel is mainly a secular state.
I favor Israel because they are liberal society with a mostly representative form of government. They don't pick fights with their neighbors, and they don't want to kill me and my family.
The USA should step back and give Israel a free hand. We should not engage in their war, or try to preach restraint to them as they fight their battles. I also think we should park a carrier group off their coast and tell all nations that we will declare war on any nation who attacks Israel (I believe we have such a treaty).
If Israel had a free hand, I think this war would be over in 30 days, and Hamas would take decades to recover.
To me it seems simple. Interesting that I just read the filings article about not overstating one's case. Found this article a little like that when it seems to assume that anyone who would disagree with the eschatology of the author is foolish and ignorant. Eschatology and the nature of Israel and the church is too nuanced in the Scripture to trot out the old "it is abundantly clear..." and "a simple reading of the text obviously shows. . ." kind of rhetoric. I know the author did not use those exact phrases, but at least I experienced a sense of superiority that made it hard to engage with his eschatalogical points.
However, I agreed with many here, we need not use eschatology to determine foreign policy regarding any country. I think dispensational as well as reformed views should agree on that. Both (not the extreme forms) believe that end times Israel is not necessarily the same thing we are seeing today. But like Sean, I support Israel based upon issues unrelated to eschatology, yet based upon morality.
First, we ought to nationally support Israel because they are our allies. Whether one agrees or not with Israel, it is the morally upright thing to do to honor ones vows which is precisely what an alliance is. The minor prophets pronounce judgment upon those nations who do not honor their alliances. So whether we agree with Israel or not, we need to support them or cut the alliance (which would be a foolish thing to do since they are our only friend in the Middle East).
Second, the case has been made by others that Israel is not unjustly attacking Palestine. Sifting through all news media reports, a theme emerges. Israel pursues restraint, but are hard pressed while under constant duress. At some point you just get fed up when your neighbors lie and murder on a regular basis.
Third, I recently visited the Auschwitz death camp in Poland and I came away with this thought. When you as a people group have experienced the evil and atrocities that Israel has, you deserve the benefit of the doubt when your neighbors profess to want to wipe you off the map, especially when we are talking a bloody attempted genocide within the last 80 years (generation). If my father's family was nearly annihilated by someone and then my neighbor has threatened me to do the same thing, I am pretty sure no one would think me a warmonger for taking it seriously and even preemptively acting to secure my families safety. All may not agree with me, but after being in the death camp (a very emotional experience) I have a hard time not supporting Israel.
Any ways, We are not compelled to take a side, but if we do take a side, it seems to me fairly clear that Israel has the greatest claim to defense of her people in this issue.
I support Israel, because I support the right to defend oneself.
Eschatology is a separate issue. My faith in Jesus is not dependent on if I see the word Israel on a map.