You have surely heard about the events that took place recently in Israel. I am not referring to the rockets which Hamas was shooting into Israel, but rather to our Arab neighbors (mainly from Muslim backgrounds) who suddenly took to rioting in usually quiet Israeli towns and neighborhoods. Those involved in the riots and violent demonstrations were mostly Arab Israelis who had decided to participate in the jihad fight against the Jews who, in their eyes, were the ones who took the land which belongs to them. Jihad is a holy war in which Muslims are commanded to kill enemy infidels, even at the cost of sacrificing their life.
There are several ways in which a jihad can be carried out. One is through the media where a call goes out to join the “holy” fight. This is how the Arab youth in the mixed Israeli cities and surrounding areas were incited to go out into the streets. Also, there is a jihad against the economy via a boycott against purchasing goods manufactured in lands defined as being occupied by the “enemy” (e.g., BDS). This also includes agricultural products grown in that land.
Even if a practicing Muslim is disabled and cannot join physically, he can contribute to jihad if his prayers are directed against the enemy. Even women who give birth to children who will eventually join in the jihad to defend Islam, are considered jihadists.
I was born and raised in the city of Akko, which is home to both Jews and Arabs. In mixed Jewish/Arab Israeli cities like mine, we have been living a life of pluralism – honoring one another, along with our differences and beliefs. Therefore, we were in shock to see what happened on our doorstep, as neighbor turned against neighbor, betraying trust. To be fair, there were also a few incidents of Jewish violence towards Arabs, although they paled in comparison to the Muslim violence.
Israel’s enemies noticed how, in the last two years, we have had four elections, no unity and an unstable government. They saw this as an opportune time to aim for Israel’s soft spot. What our enemy didn’t realize is that you cannot overcome Israel and her people with this tactic because it’s in the hard times when we rise up above our differences and join together in the fight.
Unfortunately, a lack of trust surfaced between Jewish and Arab neighbors after these riots. We, the leadership of the believing community, are the priests who stand before God representing the people. Please join us in praying for the leadership of the believing community, here in the land, to be attentive to God’s heart for His people, and a lot less focused on our differences. Instability in the land is connected to division among the leadership of the Messianic Body in Israel. Please join us in praying that the leaders will put differences aside and come in humility to wash one another’s feet so we can see change.
As for the mixed cities, those spiritual leaders who serve Yeshua, both Arab and Jew, must come together and stand in the gap for our communities. We must be in a place where the blood and body of our Lord is ever before us; in the place where His blood continually cleanses all iniquity.
“For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:17)