The latest poll of Israeli public opinion shows that a mere 6 percent of the Jewish population consider President Barack Obama to be a friend of Israel, down from 31 percent a few weeks ago.
According to the Smith Research poll conducted for The Jerusalem Post, exactly half the people surveyed believe Obama's administration is more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, and 36 percent said the policies were neutral. read more
Standing atop Mount Olive, I got a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the Old City during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I could see the Temple Mount, the City of David, and the “pinnacle” or the place where the Bible says Satan told Jesus: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you’” (Luke 4: 9-10, NKJV). To see the Holy City, click below to watch the video. read more
Tevye, the papa in the play/movie Fiddler on the Roof was surveying his sad situation—four unmarried daughters, a dry cow, a lame horse, Russian pogroms—he looked up to God and said,
"God it's nice that you chose me to be one of your chosen people, but would you mind choosing someone else for a change?!"
Obviously, Tevye thought being chosen meant he wouldn't have to suffer anymore. But God chose the Jews for something else. Through the Jewish people, he planned to teach the non-Jewish world about himself. Moses said to his people:
Look, I have taught you laws and rulings, just as Adonai my God ordered me .... Therefore, observe them ... for then all peoples [nations/gentiles] will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will ask, "What great nation is there that has laws and rulings as just as this entire Torah which I am setting before you today?" (Deut. 4:5-8, Complete Jewish Bible, CJB). read more
People who visit the Holy Land generally fall into one of two categories: tourists or pilgrims. Tourists go to see various sites, buy souvenirs, take photos and videos, and then return home to share with family and friends their pictures, purchases and adventures. Pilgrims go to experience God—and their lives are transformed in the process.
Peter Miano, executive director of the Society for Biblical Studies, made this observation: "Tourists pass through places. Pilgrims let places pass through them, allowing their hearts to be changed."
During the last 30 years, I have taken many people to the Holy Land, most of whom decided to go as pilgrims. Each one experienced a unique encounter with the Lord at some point during the trip. read more
In the Old Testament book of Joel 3:2, the Word says: "I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, they have also divided up My land."
God makes it clear that He will bring into judgment any nation, America included, that forces the division of the land of Israel. That also includes the division of Jerusalem.
Recently, the Washington Post published an editorial titled "Israel's New Government." It emphasized what the Israeli's must concede to continue to have support from the U.S.
What was lacking in the article was what Israel's neighbors must do before they have acceptance by Israel and the U.S. for a two-state solution. Pressure should not be put on Israel alone, as the editorial attempted to do. read more
A Holy Land artifact that dates back the time of Jesus is expected to draw Christians' interest in celebrating the roots of their faith.
Dubbed The Jesus Boat, the 27-foot wooden fishing boat was discovered by two brothers in 1986 in the Sea of Galilee after a drought. The vessel, officially dated to the first century, was preserved and put on display at the Yigal Allon Museum in Israel.
Although no one knows whether Jesus or His disciples ever used the boat, Christians helping promote the Jesus Boat believe it can "stir the imagination" and "inspire the faith of people." read more
Considered the lowest surface area on earth, the Dead Sea lies 410 meters below sea level. Located northwest of its shores is one of Israel’s most spectacular, ancient sites—the Qumran caves. Qumran was home to a sect of Jewish zealots who penned what has come to be known today as the Dead Scrolls. The members buried their precious scrolls deep in the crevices of the caves, where they remained until they were discovered thousands of years later. To see the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, click below to watch two videos. read more
The fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 shook international Jewry and greatly influenced the thinking of the Christian world. The Jews had resisted the power of Rome for years, but the Romans ultimately responded with unprecedented slaughter and cruelty, carrying out what was described by the early historian Josephus as a terrible holocaust.
The gentile church fathers interpreted this devastation as an indication of God's rejection of the Jewish people—in spite of the statement in Romans 11:28 that Israel was elect or chosen because of the patriarchs. Some church fathers still believed in Israel's final conversion at the end of this age, but the general thrust in Christian theology at that time was toward "replacement"—the idea that, under the new covenant, the church is the replacement for Israel. read more
Last week, President Obama gave a major speech in Cairo. There he made a number of important points, including issuing a strong rejection of Holocaust denial in front of an audience that has been far too sympathetic to it. Yet while confronting this one myth, President Obama unfortunately helped to perpetuate two other dangerous myths concerning Israel's right to exist and the roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave what was, at least in part, his response. In a major policy speech at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu not only set out his proposal for peace in the Middle East, but he provided a quick and cogent rebuttal to the two myths President Obama appeared to embrace in Cairo. It was good that he did so. read more
Recently appointed Israel Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov, plans to shift the direction of marketing efforts in Israel by promoting the country's holy sites. In light of Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to Israel, Misezhnikov will target unique Catholic and Evangelical markets around the world.
"What Israel needs to do is focus on what it has that others don't have, or in other words: the Holy Land," said Misezhnikov. "Israel is holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the focus of the tourism ministry today is to promote Israel as such." read more