Why is the world afflicted with Israel Derangement Syndrome?

Or maybe instead we should call it Obsessive Compulsive Israel Disorder, OCID, a form of Compulsive Disorder (OCD),  as  FreeMiddleEast.Com suggests.  Whatever name we wish to give it, it is apparent that:

For a country that is thousands of miles away, has a population of just 7 million and speaks a completely different language, the world is obsessively and compulsively focused on Israel…

gaza_strip_may_2005Witness the extensive (and intensive) coverage early this year of Operation Cast Lead – a military endeavor much smaller, with far fewer casualties (on either side) than ongoing conflicts such as those in Africa (Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia) or India (Kashmir and Sri Lanka), or the Philippines, or… just go ahead and take a look at this list in Wikipedia.  Did you know that the sustained armed conflict in Colombia, South America has taken tens of thousands, or possibly hundreds of thousands of lives? Or that the drug wars (and they are wars) in Mexico have claimed over ten thousand lives in the past three years?

Yes, these matters are covered in the news – every once in a while. But we were treated to a day by day view of Operation Cast Lead, which by the way was tailored by the “mainstream” media to make it look like Big, Bad, Old Israel was so unfairly picking on poor, downtrodden Gaza.  Never mind that Gaza isn’t actually a country, just a terrorist enclave seized in a bloody takeover eighteen months prior.

Never mind also that the Israeli response followed months and months of seeing its civilian population bombarded by thousands of rocket attacks.  But that really is another topic. The perfectly valid question raised here is, why? Why is the entire world so hung up on what happens every day in such a tiny country? Seven million people live there; what other nation that size gets any attention at all, let alone as much as Israel gets?  Chicago has more people than Israel, and more people are killed there every year than we want to know, so why isn’t that in our every day news?  Why do we watch with baited breath every move Israel makes, and hang on every word spoken by Israeli officials, or by the terrorist chieftains?

Also, you’d think the free world would wholeheartedly support the most prosperous nation in the Middle East, and the only Western style democracy in the area.  So then, why does Israel have so few, if any, friends in the international community? And why has the United Nations itself condemned Israel dozens of times, while letting many blatantly oppressive regimes skate? 

The FreeMiddleEast post wound up without an answer, but I have one – a very simple one: God. Not just any old god, but the God of the Bible. The God of Israel. I had determined when I began this blog to, for the most part, keep away from discussing ‘religious’ matters, but the question of why the civilized world is so pervasively preoccupied with little ol’ Israel is not a religious question – it affects all of us. It truly appears that the way it affects us is a life-and-death matter. Right now, there is a real possibility that, if allowed to develop nuclear weapons, Iran will destroy most of the Middle East, and perhaps the rest of civilization. That’s their stated goal, anyway. And, why? Israel. That’s not just my take on it – that’s what Iran says.

So, if I may indulge myself in a little old-fashioned Book thumping, without getting completely theological over it, let’s just say that God, the God of Israel, created a nation that was to be the crucible of all nations, the place where all men’s intentions would be tried.  Love God, love Israel. Hate God, hate Israel. I saw it put rather well in a book by Sandra Teplinsky:

Why does Israel draw out the best and the worst in us? The Jewish nation is designed to test and expose the hearts of humanity. Like a threshing floor, she sifts our souls… [Israel] could be called Spiritual Testing Ground Zero…

I don’t plan from here on to go into all the chapters and verses on the subject, or even discuss with you whether you should believe in the Bible or not.  But the big question deserves a big answer.  And I thought I owed it to you just to let you know. Will I see you at Ground Zero?

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