Israel’s 70th birthday

Fredy Winkler

Israel’s 70th birthday was a cause for celebrating the accomplishments and successes of the past seventy years. Articles that looked back on the historical milestones were published in some newspapers, while others focused on the prospects for the future. Questions asked included, “How will things look in another hundred years, or even in thirty years, when the country is one hundred years old?”

One article reported on two Israelis who have occupied themselves with this question for a long time, since they visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in their youth. They were inspired by a statement made by David Ben-Gurion in 1954. At the time, Ben-Gurion wrote to a young nation, “If 1,000 youth will rise up to do good works, and if they are prepared to take more responsibility upon themselves than their nation requires, then light will vanquish the darkness.”

That statement became their guiding principle, causing them to found an organization called “Or,” which means “light” in Hebrew.

One of their chief concerns is the large class distinction between the rich and the poor. If this tendency continues, in thirty years—when they believe that Israel’s population will have doubled—Israel will look like a thirdworld country, with one of the densest populations in the world. With almost 60% desert, Israel must put all its effort into developing its unimproved regions, like the Negev and Galilee. In order to further this objective, they are using all the resources of their organization to influence the relevant decisions of the government.

It’s good to see that young Israelis are concerned about the future of their country. It was notable, however, that in all the various articles about “Israel at 70,” there were essentially no references to the Bible or its prophecies. For Israelis, in the short history of their nation, it isn’t always easy to see the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy; especially when the discussion centers
on the founding of their country in the wake of the Holocaust.

Even for us, as believers of God’s Word and the revelations it provides, it isn’t easy to understand how things are going to continue. One thing is clear: there won’t be any manmade paradise. Some might believe this, when they hear of the enormous natural gas fields that have been discovered in Israel and throughout the Middle East. However, these fields themselves could be reason enough for Israel’s enemies to attack. Israel has signed contracts worth billions of dollars to deliver gas to Jordan and Egypt. That led to better and closer relations with those nations, while the relationship with Turkey has grown colder. The Turks have declared their right to the Mediterranean gas supplies, because they consider northern Cyprus to be their conquered territory. As of the present time, however, they have not found any gas there. That could cause jealousy and covetousness toward Israel, since they discovered their gas in the Mediterranean.

There are reasons that Israel has procured a new submarine, and has plans to acquire more. The most important reason is obviously to protect and, if necessary, defend their drilling rigs in the Mediterranean Sea.

Anyone who has visited Israel recently could ascertain that the progress of their development is nearly unbelievable. Streets, railroads and sea ports are being built, and houses are going up in almost every community. Among other things, this has become possible thanks to the increased income from the natural gas and the ever more promising future of the country. The concern remains, however, as to whether the population at large will benefit from this wealth, or just a certain upper class of citizens.

When tourists visit the country, they can see the ruins of the great structures built by Herod and the Romans. In some ways, those times were like the present. On the one hand, they held great promise, but on the other, they were also a time of God’s judgment. For those of us who believe in the Word of God, it’s clear that the plans of mankind will not be carried out, but rather the plan that God has, to build his eternal kingdom.

News from Israel - 06/2018

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety