|“I saw mothers and fathers searching for their children, children buried under the rubble from this horrible earthquake. As a father, as an Israeli, as a Jew I wanted to help.”
These were the words of Prime Minister Netanyahu this week in a video address following the huge earthquake that struck the Iran-Iraq border killing hundreds. Netanyahu’s compassionate message followed the rejection by Iran and Iraq for humanitarian aid, which Israel had planned to channel through the Red Cross.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu had a clear message for Iran:
“Israel has no quarrel with the people of Iran. We never have. Our only quarrel is with the cruel Iranian regime, a regime that holds its people hostage, a regime that threatens our people with annihilation.”
Describing the many parts of the world Israel has helped, Netanyahu continued:
“We do it all this for one reason, we do it because it is the right thing to do. Too many times in my people’s history, the world failed to act when it could, the world failed to do the right thing. So we have a special sensitivity to help those in need. Today Israeli technology and medicine is saving lives around the world”
“We will continue to offer sympathy and support to victims, no matter where they are from, even if their regime and their governments do not care for them as much as they care to hate us. We care. This is is Israel, compassionate, caring, kind”
Netanyahu’s words perhaps came as a surprise to some. Maybe even to the Iranian regime. But the Israeli Prime Minister brought clarity to the fact that Israel’s qualm is with the Iranian regime, which threaten’s Israel’s destruction, and not with innocent Iranian civilians. What’s more, he demonstrated a biblical command of ‘loving thy neighbour’, a lesson we can all be inspired by.
When it comes to prayer, Jesus taught his followers to “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” The book of Romans says, ““If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Let us pray this week for Israel’s enemies and thank the Lord that Israel is a leading example of light to its neighbours. Whilst we know Israel will continue to have enemies, let us pray that hearts of individual people in these countries will turn from hating Israel and ultimately turn to loving God.