PALESTINIANS WHO LOVE ISRAEL : BY TOM DOYLE
BELIEVERS LIVING IN THE MIDDLE EAST FEAR GOD MORE THAN TERRORIST
GROUPS LIKE THE ISLAMIC STATE. THEY STAND STRONG FOR CHRIST AND
DO NOT RUN AWAY IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING DANGER.
that I wanted to obey. If I was to follow
Jesus, I wanted to do all that He told His
disciples to do. Loving your enemy was by
far the biggest challenge for me.
FEBRUARY 2018 / THE CHOSEN PEOPLE - 4
I hadn’t been a believer long when
I was reading through the Sermon on the
Mount and the Spirit of God convicted
me. I had heaviness in my heart and it
was because of my loathing of the State of
Israel and the Jewish people. In my mind,
Israel was the reason for everything that was
negative in my life.
They certainly qualified as my enemy.
I expected Jesus to forgive me for my hatred
and to change my heart in the process.
He could do that, of course, but I thought
I might merely tolerate Jews and that would
be the end of that.
I was not prepared for the complete
fulfillment of this prayer. Jesus not only took
away my hatred for Israel and the Jews, but
He replaced it with a love for them. This was
unexpected. How could I love Jewish people
while living in the Gaza Strip? If anyone
found out about my change of heart and
told some of the radicals that lived around
me, well, this would be my death sentence.
Jesus has called Jews and Arabs in
Christ to serve Him together. This is deep
within the heart of God—and it is the real
Jerusalem Peace Plan. I used to run from
Jews. Now I run to them. God has called
me, a humble Palestinian, to reach the lost
sheep of Israel. What an honor!
Recently, I shared with an Orthodox
Jewish man on a bus. I told him that I was
from Gaza and I used to hate him and all
Jews. But then Jesus, the Jewish Messiah,
came into my life and He gave me a deep
love and respect for Jewish people.
Sami Abbasi squinted through the railing of a first-story balcony in an
abandoned building on Gaza City’s Salah al-Din Road. The IDF Jeep
approached like a dog sniffing its environment, looking for trouble. They
are dogs, and if they’re looking for trouble, I’ll give it to them, he mused. The thirteen
year-old Palestinian rolled a baseball-sized rock in his right hand, estimating
the distance to the approaching Israelis. To bolster his resolve, he counted
to three and then heaved the stone. The missile scored a direct hit, smashing
the windshield. Sami rewarded himself with a fist pump, launched his body
over the railing to the ground several feet below, and dashed toward the outdoor
market a block away. I hate those dirty Jews! I can’t wait to kill one someday.
In January 1988, Sami was well on his way to a life of violence. Prison was
virtually certain, and an early death likely, but either would be a small price to
pay for doing his part to get back Palestinian land and keep Israelis out of the
Gaza settlements for good. Sami dreamed of being a part of the solution that
would win for his countrymen the ongoing war with Israel once and for all.
They would show the world.
But then, he met Jesus.
“When I came to faith in Christ, I decided that I wanted to be a
full disciple. I could not just pick and choose the commands of Christ