Dear Friend of Israel,
The other day I was in the local police station, meeting with the chief. While there, a number of policemen walked into the office and reported to their boss about the various criminal activities they were investigating. One was a theft that occurred just outside the community of Einav. That got my attention so I turned to one of the policemen and asked him if they were using Einav’s surveillance cameras to help solve the crime. He said yes and I then explained that CFOIC Heartland had donated those cameras. He wanted to know more.
I explained that CFOIC Heartland connects with Christians all over the world on behalf of the people of Judea and Samaria. I explained about our mutual belief in the Hebrew Scriptures and how important Christian support is to our area of Israel and to the entire country as a whole. And I told all those in the room how generous our Christian friends have been and how many surveillance camera systems, as well as other vital needs, have been provided by them to communities all over Judea and Samaria. They were impressed.
And then the policeman told me that he was a Christian from Nazareth. His family originated in Iraq, in the Aramaic speaking Christian communities that were native to that area of the Middle East. They had come to Israel a few hundred years ago and settled in the Galilee, where they were forced to speak Arabic and lose their native language. He told me of relatives who had converted to Islam to avoid persecution during Ottoman rule. And then he told me how proud he was to be a policeman in service of the State of Israel. Then the two other policemen chimed in and told stories of how they or their relatives had prevented terrorist attacks against Jews during their service in the IDF or in the police force. One of those policemen was a Druze, the other a Muslim.
It was an amazing encounter. The Christian policeman had no idea that his fellow brothers in faith were so supportive of Israel and especially of Judea and Samaria. He was excited to learn of the relationships we were building across the world. And the other policemen were breaking stereotypes on a daily basis. They were not only proud Muslims and Druze, they were proud to be Israeli and dedicated to protecting the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria!
When you read the hateful propaganda against Israel and the accusations of apartheid, just remember this encounter in a police station in Karnei Shomron. And pray for growing understanding and connections between peoples of all faith in the Land of Israel, in support of G-d’s plan for the Land of Israel.
Sondra Oster Baras
Director, Israel Office