Calling Israel “no ordinary country” is somewhat of an understatement. Here, the miraculous serve as the building blocks of history, cemented by the Keeper of Israel’s faithfulness. Here, no day is ordinary, no chain of events random and no news headline arbitrary. 2015 was no different. Walk with me as we explore the good, the bad and the exceptional days, events and news headlines of the past 12 months in Israel.
A few years ago, the question as to what would spark major war in the Middle East had an easy answer, political commentator Nima Gholam Ali Pour argues. Provide one of the biggest terror regimes with access to advanced weapons, offer that regime a path to nuclear weapons and lastly, place billions of dollars at that regime’s disposal to fund terrorism and destabilize neighboring countries.
Fast-forward to July 14, 2015. As American and Israeli flags burned in Iranian cities, world powers and the Islamic Republic signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that creates the perfect conditions for a major Middle Eastern war, Pour says.
Calling the deal a “stunning, historic mistake,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that the Jewish state remained resolute. “The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel. Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, by itself…Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”
2015, was filled with encouragement and inspiration—even if it failed to make international headlines. As the flood of voices spewing anti-Semitism and demonization of Israel continues to infect hearts and minds, the year that was also saw more Christians rising up to stand alongside the Jewish people.
Over the years, Father Gabriel Naddaf has been one of the most passionate non-Jewish advocates for Israel, famously proclaiming to the UN, “Israel is the only place in the Middle East where Christians are safe.”
This year he took a firm stand against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In July, Naddaf released a booklet entitled, “Test the Spirits: A Christian Guide to the Anti-Israel Boycott Movement.”
“God does not want His church to be ignorant about such an important topic as Israel,” Naddaf tells Christians across the globe. “We simply have to look to Scripture to see that God claims Israel as the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8).
The return of the Jewish people to the Land has long since been regarded as a work of the Almighty. That is why the Jewish nation marks its Independence Day each year with thanksgiving and praise to God.
This year, Dr. Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, invited Christians to participate in the “Day to Praise,” an initiative uniting Jews and Christians in praising God for the miracle that is the State of Israel.
The main event took place in Jerusalem and saw Jews and Christians filling the benches of a synagogue as Psalms 113 through 118 resounded in English and Hebrew. The initiative had a much wider reach as 20,000 Christians around the world participated in the event through live streaming or social media.
Some 4,000 years ago, God promised Abraham, “… in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3b).
Today, refugees fleeing the Middle East carnage receive Israeli aid. Those injured in the Syrian civil war obtain life-saving treatment in Israeli hospitals. Drought-stricken areas thrive thanks to Israel’s revolutionary water technology. Breakthroughs occurred in the treatment of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Burn victims, mental health patients and the wheelchair bound—all these and more have a chance at a better life thanks to Israeli dedication and expertise over the past 12 months.
A tiny country with a huge heart, Israel is often one of the first to respond with aid and humanitarian relief. This year, disaster struck on April 25, 2015, as a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake cut a swath of death and destruction through Nepal.
Less than 48 hours later, hundreds of IDF soldiers, officers and medical personnel were headed for Nepal, carrying 95 tons of aid, search and rescue equipment and medical supplies. Twelve hours later, a state-of-the-art field hospital was operational, treating some 200 patients per day.
As the Israeli delegation stepped from the plane, a Nepalese army official greeted them saying, “We knew you’d come. You are the best army in the world.”
With the last days of 2015 fading fast and 2016 almost close enough to touch, we are looking forward to seeing what the year to come has in store for the people and the Land of Promise.
Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit
Source: By Ilse Posselt, Correspondent, BFP News Room
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