Shevet Sunday - What Israelis long for

Dear coworkers,

Tonight four more Kurdish Iraqi children with healed hearts flew back to their families from Ben Gurion airport:

four fly out

From left to right--AwyarVareenBriyar and Taim--should be arriving to a joyous reception in their hometowns just about now. As I've been telling friends across the UK this week, these families bring home with them the message that our Muslim neighbors in the Middle East are longing to hear: Your children are as valuable as anyone else's. God doesn't discriminate between peoples. Abraham and his seed were blessed by God in order to be a blessing to all the families of the earth.

The Israeli prime minister was also here in the UK this week, and today our host Pastor Nick tipped me off to a remarkable interview with the BBC in which Mr. Netanyahu described many of the same things we've been seeing:
netanyahu bbc
There's a massive change that is taking place today in the relations between Arabs and Israelis....
I would never believe in my lifetime that we would have the kind of friendly relations and cooperation between Israel and the Arab states, and here's the most promisng thing, that's beginning to affect public opinion in some of the Arab countries, they begin to think of Israel differently, and I'll tell you something this is what Israelis long for...
I've opened up a field hospital for wounded Syrian civilians--women, children, horrible things, burns, lost limbs, and we take care of them on our side of the border...I visited them, and they say we're in shock, we've been told all these years that you're the devil, and the first time we were humanely treated is by these doctors who are by the way both Jewish Israelis, Arab Israelis, and they saw the prime minister of Israel and they were absolutely in shock....I think that the fact that we have this newfound relationship with the Arab world and they see what we're really like, we really want a solution, we just want a solution that doesn't kill us, that we can live with, and they can live with. I think that's hope, real hope.
Friends, there are so many things happening in this world that we may never have expected to see in our lifetimes. And political reconciliation between Israel and his Muslim neighbors may only be our Father's hand setting the stage for the spiritual reconciliation between many Muslims and the Jewish people which I believe the prophets teach us will follow, in passages such as Isaiah 19:23-25.

It is so humbling and inspiring to realize that not only are we allowed to see these days, but also called to participate in them. With what seriousness, with what zeal we ought to order our lives, search the scriptures, and embrace the works for which the Father has placed us in this generation. Would you join me tonight in asking him to show us what he would have us to do?

Jonathan for Shevet Achim

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity" (Psalm 133).