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Hope for Israel


A Resource and a Call to Action for Christians

At 6:35 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, as Israelis celebrated the end of the Jewish holiday Sukkot and the beginning of their Sabbath, the sirens began sounding, warning of incoming rockets to Israel.

Unprepared civilians faced a blitzkrieg of thousands of rockets entering Israel, which even the nation’s vaunted Iron Dome missile defense system couldn’t mitigate. Within an hour, Hamas soldiers had crossed the Gaza border into Israel and began taking over towns.

Hamas’s cruelty was unfathomable. It quickly started murdering unarmed civilians, including women and children. Hamas took videos of naked women they had raped and killed, standing over their bodies as trophies. Hamas fighters also began dragging hostages across the border, including children and the elderly, such as a 94-year-old woman in a wheelchair who is a Holocaust survivor.

The attacks occurred largely because Hamas, and many around the globe, including Iran, Hamas’s largest supporter, do not recognize the right of Israel to exist and want to eradicate the Jewish state. They view Israel as oppressors and occupiers, a designation that the United Nations shares with Hamas. This is despite the fact that in 2005, Israel gave the Gaza Strip to Palestinians and vacated and destroyed all Israeli settlements.

Although Israel has consistently been attacked by various Islamic nations that hate the Jewish state, it has attempted to be peaceful while defending itself.

Who Is Hamas?

Hamas, an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, or “Islamic Resistance Movement,” is a terrorist group first founded in 1987. It grew out of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and has since gained political power over the Gaza Strip and its citizens.

Brutal Palestinian terrorism is nothing new to Israel, as it has been the norm since even before Israel was officially recognized as a country in 1948. However, the tactic took a high-profile turn in 1972 when a terror group known as Black September killed two Israeli athletes and took another nine hostage at the Munich Olympics in Germany; the hostages were later killed when German police engaged the terrorists in a shootout. Decades later, documents that had been hidden by the German government revealed that terrorists had tortured the hostages “until their bones snapped,” among other atrocities.

Since then, Israel has had thousands of its citizens killed in terror bombings, shootings, rocket attacks, and other terror acts perpetrated by such pro-Palestinian groups as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hezbollah, and Hamas.

Palestinian terrorism is also nothing new to the U.S. and other Western countries that are allies of Israel. Since the 1970s, hundreds of Americans have been killed in dozens of suicide bombings, hijackings, shootings, and kidnappings. For example, in 1978, PLO terrorists shot and killed 38 people on an Israeli beach, including the niece of a sitting U.S. senator. In a series of attacks in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon, Hezbollah terrorists, with financial backing from the Iranian government, set off a remote-control bomb in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing 63 employees, and later drove a truck bomb into the nearby U.S. Marine barracks, killing 241 Marines and wounding 81. In 1985, terrorists posing as passengers hijacked a cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea and heartlessly murdered a wheelchair-bound Jewish-American man by throwing him overboard.

After the PLO signed the Oslo Accords in 1993 and agreed to recognize the state of Israel, Hamas condemned the PLO and kicked off its own terror strategy. This included bombing restaurants, synagogues, and other soft targets in Israel; disguising themselves and infiltrating cities to murder Israeli civilians; firing rockets into residential neighborhoods; and kidnapping IDF soldiers and civilians.

In 2007, Hamas members ran for election in the Gaza Strip and captured the legislature, overthrowing the U.N.-backed PLO and becoming the governing authority.

Despite this power, Hamas still refuses to co-exist peacefully or recognize Israel’s right to exist and it has since doubled-down on its terror strategy — not only increasing attacks on Israeli targets but also spreading lies about Israel to inflame the Palestinian people and offering money to any Palestinian who shoots an Israeli citizen and uploads a video of it to TikTok. It also uses the vile tactics of placing military assets and facilities within residential and urban areas in Gaza and using its own citizens as human shields to stymie Israel’s ability to retaliate and protect itself, as well as to gain media sympathy when its civilians are killed during an Israeli strike.

What Are the Latest Developments?

There are several quickly developing angles to the situation in Israel right now. Some recent news in early June includes the following:

On June 8, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) rescued four Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the Nusairat region of central Gaza. The four hostages, Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrei Kozlov, and Shlomi Ziv, 40, were rescued from inside two civilian homes in two simultaneous raids. All had been captured on October 7 by Hamas fighters near the Supernova music festival. Argamani’s boyfriend, who was also abducted, remains a hostage. The rescued Israelis were transported to a hospital and are reported to be in good health, but one IDF soldier, Arnon Zamora, was killed during the operation.

Hezbollah, the Iranian-sponsored terror group based in Lebanon, has fired numerous rockets and drones into northern Israel, setting off massive wildfires and injuring several IDF soldiers and civilians.

In a show of solidarity and hope, approximately 70 relatives of hostages marched at the head of the “Israel Day Parade” in New York City on June 2, leading tens of thousands of supporters down Fifth Avenue as they waved Israeli flags and called on the international community to work to secure the immediate release of the hostages.

In late May, Israel entered the central part of Rafah in southern Gaza to conduct “intelligence-based” and “precise” operations to destroy Hamas weapons, terrorists, and tunnels and to hopefully rescue hostages held there. Israel has also taken control of the Egypt-Gaza border. Those operations continue.

We will update this section weekly, but to keep tabs on the latest daily news, check out All Israel News.

How did U.S. Colleges Become the Center of Anti-Israel Protests?

While Israel and Hamas have been fighting a hot war in Gaza, a second propaganda battle is waging throughout the rest of the world. Since Hamas’s initial attack, protests have erupted across the globe, most of them anti-Israel and replete with antisemitic rhetoric and images. Cities around America, in particular, have seen pro-Hamas protests that range from marches and sit-ins to building takeovers and blockades of roads, bridges, and tunnels.

However, it is on U.S. college campuses where most protests are taking place.

From small city universities to elite Ivy League schools, campuses have been flooded with protesters, who demand not just to end the conflict but to “end the occupation.” These protesters see Israel as an “oppressor” of Palestine and a colonial power running an apartheid, genocidal system, and they are demanding a global intifada to ensure that Palestinians take over all of the Israelis’ land “from the river to the sea.” 

The protests on college campuses largely began with a letter from 34 Harvard University student groups referring to the land given to Palestinians by Israel as “an open-air prison” and claiming Israel to be an “apartheid regime” that “is the only one to blame” for the October 7 attacks.

The protests quickly devolved into occupations of university buildings, encampments, and violent antisemitic rhetoric.

Some pro-Palestinians tore down posters of the hostages taken by Hamas.

At Cornell University, a student was arrested after making violent threats against Jews.

At Columbia, students in encampments shouted, “Kill all the Zionists, long live Hamas!” Columbia became so dangerous for Jews that the university deactivated Jewish professor Shai Daviadi’s access and barred him from parts of campus.

Protesters have targeted university administration demanding that the universities divest from Israel.

At George Washington University protesters held mock tribunals and “sentenced” university administrators to be executed.

Meanwhile, universities have proven powerless or unwilling to deal with the protests often choosing to capitulate and cancel classes or even graduation ceremonies.

The anti-Israel protests track with polling that shows those under 30 favor the Palestinian people over Israel. A Pew Research study found that 60 percent of those under 30 view the Palestinian people favorably, compared to only 46 percent who view Israelis favorably.

A Harvard/Harris poll found that 51 percent of those aged 18-24 believe that Hamas was in the right to launch the October 7 attacks on civilians.

It’s important to remember that these protests are far from organic. College campuses being overrun, roads blocked, and more indicate a coordinated movement. The protests are an effort not only to sway public opinion but to influence American foreign policy, something it has already succeeded at in getting the Biden administration to back off its support for Israel, one of the U.S.’s most important allies.

Groups such as Within Our Lifetime, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, Jewish Voices for Peace, and IfNotNow all organize and fund protests. These groups receive funding from even larger progressive groups such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Foundation.

Some have reasoned that much of the funding may be coming from foreign governments, particularly Qatar, which has sent billions of dollars to American universities and is openly anti-Israel.

These groups claim that by supporting Israel, the United States is supporting the genocide of the Palestinian people by Israel. These groups have not been satisfied with the Biden administration’s rebukes of Israel, its ceasing to send munitions, or its funding of humanitarian aid to Gaza, aid which predictably was seized by Hamas.

They are seeking a full rejection of Israel by the United States.

How Should Christians Respond?

As horrifying as these events are to read about and watch, Christians must stay attuned to the latest news on this story. It is very tempting to ignore something so distressing and depressing, but for Christians that isn’t an option.

Christians are called to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn (Rom 12:15). Furthermore, we must recognize God’s promise and calling for Israel is not over. While Christ has already come, we are looking forward to the day when the Jewish people turn to Christ for salvation (Rom 11:25-33). The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Rom 11:29).

Additionally, this is human suffering on a level that is not normally seen. It is important to note that the death toll in a nation as small as Israel would be the equivalent of 25,000 in the United States, more than 9/11. This is no small attack; this is, as President Franklin Roosevelt said when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, a day which will live in infamy.

And so, as Christians, we must pray for Israel. Pray for the hostages to be set free and for humane treatment of them. Pray for their families and that peace be granted to them. Pray for military and political leaders around the globe. And pray for peace and that the world recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

A Christian’s Prayer Guide for Israel

The greatest thing Christians can do to help Israel is to pray. The Bible specifically instructs us to pray for Israel.

Pray for Peace

Psalm 122:6-8 (ESV) states,

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
  May they be secure who love you!
Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!
For my brothers and companions’ sake
    I will say, ‘Peace be within you!’”

For decades, Israeli citizens have experienced violence from their neighbors in the region. In recent years, the frequency of stabbings, bombings, and other terrorist attacks has increased. Iran has also attacked Israel, and nearly every country in the world has either waivered in its support or fully turned against Israel as it seeks to defend itself.

It is hard for Americans to comprehend living under constant threat of attacks from around the corner or from the air. Sadly, that is the world of an Israeli citizen.

Christians should pray that the Jewish people would be able to have peace and that their children would be able to grow up without fear of attacks from those who hate them.

Pray for Justice

Prayers for justice are something Christians can be hesitant about. Yet the Old Testament contains many examples of people praying for God to thwart the plans of those who harm the innocent.

In Genesis 12:2-3, God promised Abram that He would curse those who cursed Abram and his descendants.

It is not wrong to pray that God would bring justice to those who have attacked Israel.

Psalm 83:1-5 states,

“O God, do not keep silence;
    do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
For behold, your enemies make an uproar;
    those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
    they consult together against your treasured ones.
They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
    let the name of Israel be remembered no more!’
For they conspire with one accord;
    against you they make a covenant.”

Christians should pray for justice for the Israeli people.

Pray for the Hostages

Some hostages have been returned, others have already been murdered, and some are still captive. Try to imagine what life must be like for them and their families. Are they being fed or given water? Are they being tortured? Who is caring for their families?

Christians should pray that the hostages will be returned home safely and that God will turn their mourning to dancing.

Pray for Salvation

In Romans 11, Paul wrote that he hoped for the salvation of the people of Israel. The Bible teaches that God will call many Jewish people to salvation in Christ at some time. Christians should pray that the Jewish people, whom we love and cherish, would experience salvation through the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Though we respect and love the Jewish law as given by God, the only path to salvation is through Jesus Christ. As we read in John 14:6,

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Christians should pray that the nation of Israel would recognize Christ as Savior and put their trust in Him.

The Response of Christian Aid Groups

With all the atrocities happening in the war and the global resistance to Israel, many are rightfully asking themselves what they can do to help. Here are some organizations providing humanitarian support for Israel. If you feel so led, consider donating to these wonderful organizations.

Joshua Fund

The Joshua Fund was established to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.”

The organization engages in numerous evangelistic and educational initiatives to spread the Gospel to those in Israel, the West Bank, and around the Middle East.

The Joshua Fund also provides food and medical care to many in the area who are in need.

The Joshua Fund was founded by Joel and Lynn Rosenberg. Joel Rosenberg is a columnist and the editor-in-chief of All Israel News and All Arab News. He also serves as the president and CEO of Near East Media.

The organization has invested more than $100 million in Israel and the Middle East through its various humanitarian activities.

Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham, is one of the premier aid groups in the world, and it is committed to spreading the message of Christ. In its response to disasters around the globe, Samaritan’s Purse acts as the hands and feet of Christ. This situation is no different.

Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with local churches and Christian organizations in Israel to help supply food boxes for those in need. The organization also provides medical supplies and trauma kits for first responders.

Moreover, Samaritan’s Purse has given thousands of gift boxes to children traumatized by the attack.

Samaritan’s Purse has also partnered with local churches in Gaza and provided armored ambulances to first responders in Israel.

Resources for Christians

For analysis and interviews about the impact of the Israel-Hamas War on U.S. foreign policy and culture, check out Standing for Freedom Executive Director Ryan Helfenbein’s regular podcasts: Give Me Liberty and Here’s the Point.

Recent topics have included:

“Has the U.S. Turned Its Back on Israel?”

“Iran Attacked Israel for the First Time in History….Are We Closer to WWIII?

“Are Pro-Hamas Protesters Running College Campuses?”

“Confronting Anarchy and Antisemitism on America’s Campuses”

For a detailed explainer on the October 7 attacks, read our article from October 8, 2023:

“Israel Under Attack: A Lot of Questions, No Good Answers.”

For an analysis of how elite universities have turned into hotbeds of antisemitism, check out just some of our recent analysis:

“You can thank cultural Marxism for college students’ support for Hamas and its horrors”

“Of Words, Mobs, and Guillotines”

“Qatar is pushing anti-Israel views on U.S. students with money and ‘cultural programs’”