Editors note: Below, Frontpage’s Associate Editor Christine Douglass-Williams recounts her recent visit to Israel and the impressions it had on her.
Reprinted From World Net Daily.
With the aim of improving accuracy in reporting about Israel, the Israeli government press office hosted Christian Media Summit 2019 from Nov. 3-6. It kicked off at the Friends of Zion Museum, featuring speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.
As a Summit delegate, I represented the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem-Canada. Most striking to me amid the pomp-and-ceremony, impressive lectures and historic sites was Israel’s embrace of life, which was evident in the fabric of its culture.
Israel is like a world unto itself and the epitome of diversity, despite the tainting of the word “diversity” by progressives. Israel’s Aliyah process of the return of Jews from the four corners of the earth, including Africa, China and India, makes its diversity obvious. One can also observe in a single day the catering to both devout Christian evangelicals and gay party seekers, the latter of whom must hide for their own safety in surrounding Islamic lands.
From Old Testament stories to the Crusades to the Ottoman Empire, and ongoing efforts to obliterate it, Israel has seen it all and has bloomed in adversity. But beneath Israel’s overt intrigue is her soul, which shines from her love of life, her appreciation of human worth and nurturing of it, contrary to the grim public image foisted upon her during decades of wrangling with a “peace process” through which her enemies have sought her delegitimization and dissolution. From the day Israel was born on May 14, 1948, she has fought for her life. Her first breath was already frail as she emerged from a Holocaust. Yet nothing has impeded her pursuits of life and liberty.
Even her “iceberg relationships” – a term used in a speech by Reuven Azar, Israel’s deputy national security adviser for foreign policy – with certain non-democratic countries in the region reflects her abilities to seek out common interests despite historic political and religious differences.
For example, the Saudis greatly benefit from Israel’s technology at a time of its own stagnant growth due to plummeting oil prices and its proxy war in Yemen. It is no secret that Saudi Arabia and Iran are in a fierce competition for influence in the Persian Gulf and, more broadly, in the Middle East.
Conversely, despite the Saudi kingdom’s guardianship of Islam’s two holiest places – Mecca and Medina – an alliance of mutual interest between Israel and the Saudis will help Israel to maintain the status quo in the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
Political strategy is but one part of Israel’s character. Known as the medical technology hub of the world, Israel serves her own citizens, injured jihadists who have attacked her and thousands of Palestinian children, and is on the frontlines of international humanitarian aid and emergency relief missions.
On my visit to Israel, I visited the Golan Heights, Mount of Beatitudes, Beresheet fruit factory, Valley of Tears, Katzrin Talmudic Village and President Reuven Rivlin’s residence.
One site stood apart: Shalva Center, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. It provides transformative care, empowers families and advocates for social inclusion. This state-of-the-art center of breathtaking architectural beauty and warmth helps 2,000 children and adults weekly.
As our delegation socialized, enjoyed food, wine and live music, we were in for the biggest surprise: a grand performance, featuring the magnificent talent of those with disabilities.
Many in the audience were moved to tears and took to the stage to join performers in dance and song near closing, a moment that inspired limitless hope.
On the last day of our summit, we visited the residence of Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, who declared amid loud applause that “we are still working for the Messiah” and that peace will never come through denying the Jewish people their right to Jerusalem — “our capital now and forever.”
Rivlin said Jerusalem was the capital 3,000 years ago and will continue despite lies from anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.” His profound statement was sealed in his words “Jerusalem is the city of truth.”Christians are also well aware that blessing Israel will yield blessings (Genesis 12:1-3).
Considering the goal of improving the accuracy of reporting about Israel, here is a question to ponder for starters: How did this young Jewish country manage to so fully develop a nation state that leads the world in technology, diversity and human development, and succeed in installing religious rights and freedoms in an oppressed region, demonstrating the value of life in the midst of daily threats, propaganda and turmoil?
Christine Douglass-Williams is Frontpage’s associate editor and public affairs and media consultant with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem-Canada. An award-winning journalist, Christine is the author of “The Challenge of Modernizing Islam” and of “Fired by The Government of Canada for Criticizing Islam” (published by the Center for Security Policy in Washington). A former external adviser to Canada’s Office of Religious Freedoms, Christine is also a regular writer for Jihad Watch and she has served on the board of governors for the Gatestone Institute.