Israel Is Different

Arno Froese

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).

While realizing that this law is about 3,500 years old, the issue with strangers, foreigners, immigrants, and illegal aliens is nothing new today. The UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) states that there are 68.5 million persons forcibly displaced globally, of which 40 million are internally displaced, 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million asylum seekers. Yet compared to the world’s seven billion people, it’s less than one percent.

When one looks at the American continent (North and South), 35 sovereign nations have been established by refugees, with the United States being most prominent. It is of interest that the United States’ success is primarily based on immigrants, particularly from Europe. Today, immigrants in the Americas play a lesser role, and the overwhelming majority have become nationals of their respective countries, with a combined population of 1.16 billion people. Spanish is the most widely spoken language, with English a close second; further down in third place is Portuguese.

Israel Is Different
The land of Israel and its people are incomparable to any other nation on planet earth throughout human history. That’s a Biblical fact.

Israel’s Law of Return passed on 5 July 1950, giving every Jew the right to come to Israel and gain Israeli citizenship. In 1970, the right of entry and settlement was extended to people with one Jewish grandparent, or a person who is married to a Jew.

Majority of 2018 Immigrants Not Jewish
The Jerusalem Post of 3 January 2019 reports:

More than half of all immigrants to Israel in 2018 under the Law of Return were not Jewish, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics have shown.

According to the CBS, there were 30,300 immigrants who came to Israel under the Law of Return, of whom 12,600 were Jewish and 17,700 were not.

The Law of Return allows for any person who has one Jewish grandparent to immigrate to Israel and gain citizenship. Jewish law stipulates, however, that a person is Jewish only if their mother was Jewish.

There are approximately 400,000 Israelis, mostly from the former Soviet Union, who immigrated to Israel under the Law of Return but who are not Jewish, and this number is growing every year, due to both natural growth and continued immigration.

Moshe Nissim, a former justice minister who authored proposals last year to change Israel’s conversion authority in light of the challenge of the growing number of such citizens, said when publishing his recommendations that this population could grow to 500,000 in another 12 years.

“These people are part of the body of the Jewish people around the world, and the Jewish people have a responsibility to provide them with a homeland for historical reasons; this is part of the justification for the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Seth Farber.

“Instead of trying to tamper with moral, historical and political realities, we should spend time trying to encourage conversion and not eliminate it,” he added.

Prophetic Scripture
In the introductory Scripture, Israel is instructed: “thou shalt love him (the stranger) as thyself.” Thus, the overwhelming majority of these immigrants who are not legally Jewish will become Jews and citizens of the State of Israel.

Yet there is more to come. While being Jewish in many parts of the world today is a disadvantage, that will change, for the prophet Zechariah concludes: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23).

Midnight Call - 03/2019

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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