I am back from my trip to Israel and I can tell you that it was more that worth the trip. I am looking forward to going again. Perhaps, in the future, Fortress of Faith will be able to organize a trip over there. I know that it would be a benefit to our readers and listeners. If God allows us to do this we will let you know and maybe some of you can join us.
Today I want to play an interview is with Helil. He has a PhD and his field is Archaeology. He also is a dealer in Biblical Antiquities. He was our tour director and guide on this visit to Israel. He is a Jew and has been leading tours here since 1970.
In this article I am only going to hit the highlights. To hear the interview please listen to the broadcast by clicking on the player above.
Helil says there are about 1.5 million Arabs living with in the 1967 borders of Israel. They are divided into Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs, and Dreze Arabs. About 80% of them are Muslims. The Christian community is on the decline. It has gone from about 40% of the Arab population in 1900 to about 10% today.
When Helil began as a tour guide Bethlehem was almost entirely Christian. There were about 100,000 Christians in Bethlehem then and there are only about 20,000 there now.
You don’t see the same persecution of Christians in Israel as you see in the rest of the Middle East. Helil says that while there is not much physical persecution there is a lot of psychological pressure on Christians in the area.
Helil talks about the history of Israel becoming a nation and the three major wars that were fought to keep the nation alive. The conflict really started before the founding of the nation. These battles fought between the Jews and the Arabs before the founding of Israel as a nation were fought without any help from outside.
Although America was one of the first countries to recognize Israel as a state, we didn’t do much to help them in their fight against the Arabs. The help came from Russia. Helil explains the reasons for this. It had a lot to do with the socialistic mentality of the early Jewish leaders. About 40% of the leaders in the Communist Party in Russia were Jewish.
Stalin thought Israel was going to be part of Communism. He was greatly disappointed when it became a democracy.
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