Three Gulf states seek partnership with Israel to fight coronavirus

Arno Froese

And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (2 Kings 5:13-14).

Captain Naaman was healed by following the instruction of Israel’s prophet, Elisha. His  disease was completely cured after he dipped himself in the waters of the Jordan River.

Who was this Naaman? Verse 1 answers: “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.” Syria defeated Israel; they ruled the land and the people, because God had given over to Syria the rebellious house of Israel. We carefully note the words “by him”—that means Captain Naaman—“the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria.” He was great, honorable, and mighty, yet smitten with leprosy. There was no cure for this disease in Syria; thus, he was advised by “a little maid,” who was a servant to Naaman’s wife. She knew of Elisha, and believed in God and His prophet.

After Naaman was healed, he did the right thing; he returned to prophet Elisha and offered a reward: “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant” (2 Kings 5:15). But Elisha did not accept; he was determined not to be paid by the Syrian, thus prophetically demonstrating that salvation is free.

Here we are reminded of the words of Jesus: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). That’s one of the most difficult things to proclaim, and yet so simple: salvation really is free. Paul writes: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

A recent article in the Jerusalem Post comes to mind, headlined, “Three Gulf states seek partnership with Israel to fight coronavirus.” Here some excerpts:

Three Gulf states have reached out to Israel to receive information and assistance in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19. The three make up half of the countries that are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

“I have heard leaders in the Gulf say over and over, ‘with our resources and wealth and Israeli innovation, we can create a vaccine and a cure’…They have seen this pandemic as an opportunity for cooperation between themselves and Israel,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, who has extensive ties in the Persian Gulf as president of the interfaith dialogue organization Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. “There’s an opportunity to join forces here. So many issues transcend politics in the Middle East.”

Schneier and Yoel Hareven, director of Sheba’s International Division,said that Bahrain and another Gulf state, which they declined to name, have taken an interest in telemedicine or remote medicine innovations in Israel and the ways the Jewish state has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We offered them any help they need, even if it’s connecting doctors or nurses, or sending teams to them, sharing logistical knowledge,” Hareven said. “Whatever help we can give our neighbors—we will do it happily.” Hareven called medical matters “the only non-political issue we can agree on.”

UAE Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said during a webinar hosted by the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Insider that she is unaware of any current cooperation between her country and Israel, but added: “Our perspective on science and tackling this pandemic is that it shouldn’t know borders or boundaries... I’m sure there’s a lot of scope for cooperation; I don’t think we’d be opposed to it.”, 10 May 2020

What Israel is doing will be remembered by these and other unmentioned Arab nations. Israel’s technology, particularly in medical science, will be even more decisive in the future. Arab and Islamic states will simply have to recognize the reality of Israel, and thereby the words we find in Amos 9:15: “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”

Midnight Call - 07/2020

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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