- Sunday: 9:00a, 11:00a, & 4:30p
The majority of Israel is actively protected by the Israeli Defense Forces (military). This makes most travel very safe. There are several spots within the country that are labeled as Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip). The Gaza Strip is the least safe, and we will not be near this area. Gaza is held by the Palestinian political party called Hamas. They are known for their stance that force is necessary in order to achieve statehood for Palestine. As such, they may sometimes fire rockets into Israel. However, these rockets do not travel far, and certainly nowhere near where we will be. As Pastor Tim likes to say…
“Say rockets were fired in Saint Louis and went 10 miles. If someone asks you ‘How could you live in Peoria? Don’t you feel unsafe?’ Your answer would be, ‘No… The rockets landed two hours away from me, and they won’t come any closer.’”
In addition, if safety were ever to be an issue, plans would be changed accordingly.
In the early 20th century, the Zionist movement began ramping up. Zionism is the term used for Jewish Nationalism, and after the holocaust, it became ever more pressing of a concept. As such, the United Nations agreed to create a homeland for the Jews in their historical home, the geographical location we know as Israel. However, there were already Arabs living there at the time the UN gave this land to the Jews. The UN created a two-state solution, giving land to both the Jews and the Arabs. The Arabs declined this agreement, seeing this land as theirs, and they began calling themselves Palestinians. In 1948, the Arabs went to war with the Jews, and the Arabs lost. Thus, the State of Israel was born. However, the Arabs continued to recognize this as unjustified, and over the next few decades, some land became known as the Palestinian Territories (the Gaza Strip and the West Bank). The international community has not dropped the conversation for installing a two-state solution. Palestinians and Israelis, however, continue to commit injustices against each other each and every day that makes peace something not currently held.
The command that was true in the Psalms is still true today. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!” (Psalm 122:6 ESV)