"Tough Love" Toward Israel?

* Thank you for the careful, thought-provoking articles reviewing evangelical attitudes toward Israel [Oct. 5]. Timothy Weber's cover article was instructive. Calvin Shenk's sidebar was pastoral, and the article on Brother Andrew was challenging! You mentioned an organization linking evangelical churches with Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza; your readers might be interested to know that there is another program matching families and churches in North America with Palestinian families whose homes are threatened with demolition by the Israeli government. Christian Peacemaker Teams (Chicago) coordinates this program in cooperation with several Israeli groups (including Rabbis for Human Rights) who together form the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

For those who want what is best for Israel, it is important to see that as distinct from supporting whatever the current government of Israel does; we must not lazily assume there is one Israeli point of view. The Bible shows us a God who loves all, and who consistently sides with the oppressed. Maybe it is time for us to practice "tough love" toward Israel.

* Weber cites Richard Cizik's belief that "most evangelicals simply have not thought through the issue of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories." This troubling indictment grabbed my attention more dramatically than Weber's history of the dispensationalists' prophetic excesses. In our rush to help Jesus take his place upon David's throne, have we forgotten the gospel of peace?

Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFIC) appreciates being labeled "one of the most innovative humanitarian organizations supporting Israel," but we protest three inaccuracies in Weber's cover ...

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