September 30, 2020

Open Mic: How Should We View Israel?

As we get ready for the third installment of the iMonk book club (Paul Copan’s Is God A Moral Monster? You have read it, haven’t you?), I wanted to start us off with a question. A question that touches the deadly third rail for many evangelicals.

I was taught from the beginning of my Christian faith that the nation of Israel was, and still is to this day, the chosen people of God. That Jews have special favor with God. And that those who support Israel will be blessed by God. Inherent in this belief was the idea that Israel can do no wrong, and any nation that opposes Israel is at peril of being destroyed by God’s wrath. Today, many evangelical churches participate in “Support Israel” services, where speakers come and talk about how the tiny Middle Eastern David is being targeted by Middle Eastern Goliaths intent on taking over the land and eliminating all of the Jews. John Hagee, for example, has made a career of carrying the Israeli torch in the United States.

Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank. Many evangelicals have called for Israel to completely wipe out the Palestinians and retake their land. I’m sure this was the topic of sermons over the weekend in many churches.

So my question for you today is this. Should Christians offer a blanket support of Israel? Is that what God requires of his people? And I suppose a deeper question is, Is Israel as it stands today still God’s chosen nation?

I think as we will see in our discussion of Copan’s book, God does not operate in our ways or ideals. How do you think the Lord wants us to think, act and pray regarding the nation of Israel today?

Ok, iMonks, your thoughts?


  1. Aside from biblical considerations, what nation could accept around 1000 missile attacks since the first of the year without taking some military action? Sure, the missiles are unguided and their efficacy is abetted by chance, but it is still an attack on a sovereign nation. How else are they to respond? Talk? The Oslo Accords did nothing to change the situation so could more talk be an improvement?

    It was Western European acceptance (France and Britain) that helped create the situation in the first place, but it was ancient prejudices and hatreds that spun everything out of control. This does not appear to be a divine act of restoration but, none the less, it is what we have to deal with today. Is Israel legitimate? Are the Palestinian Arabs the rightful inhabitants of the area? The questions are all moot in the face of existing realities.

    • +1

    • Pakistan.

    • Right, support for Israel should have nothing to do with Biblical considerations, because Christianity is the continuation and fulfillment of the Old Testament. The Jewish people are no more or less our neighbors than anybody else.

      But Israel does deserve our support because it is a free western society, that came to exist as an independent nation by working peaceably through international law to obtain recognition, and has sustained repeated and unjustifiable attacks by its neighbors.

      • Ditto.

      • Like.

      • “it is a free western society, that came to exist as an independent nation by working peaceably through international law to obtain recognition”

        Weeeell, not exactly…When the territory on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea was divided up after WW I as the remains of the Ottoman Empire there were some radical Zionists who had already settled in the area. AS France and Britain began restricting Jewish immigration to the area because of Arab resistance, these Zionists DID engage in armed actions against the controlling authorities.

        The history is not one sided and it is NOT simple, either. But this does not, in any way, speak against Israel’s nationhood or right to self defense. Once a nation is formed and confirmed there is no going back OR wishing that it were not so, such as the Arab Palestinians are wont to do. I’m glad I live in the USA!

        • Yes, this is extraordinarily complicated. But remember the context: This was in the 1930s and the British were attempting to drastically slow and limit Jewish immigration. I admit the holocaust biases me in favor of the Jews’ cause against the British attempts to keep the Jews in Europe when Hitler was in power. Also, many of the Arabs immigrated to Israel as well to take advantage of the improved economic conditions there; they were not all there to start with, if that matters.

  2. I was discussing this with someone recently. I read Paul’s words in Galatians 3 where he quotes Genesis 12:3 (the oft quoted verse about God’s blessing on those who bless Israel and curse on those who curse Israel). Paul ascribes the blessings of Abraham to those who are in Christ. In other words the blessings (or lack thereof) of Abraham come to the Gentiles not through a modern political nation on the Mediterranean Sea, but through Jesus Christ.

    That being said, whether or not we should support Israel (the current political nation founded in 1948) should be determined the same way we determine whether we should support other nations. I for one am Pro-Israel, but my reasons have nothing to do with the dispensational nonsense we often here from people like Hagee.

    • I completely agree with what you wrote.

    • That interpretation of Galatians 3 sounds like Replacement Theology. Paul wasn’t saying that the Church replaced Israel but rather that we gentiles were grafted into Israel. His discussion in Romans 10-11 (especially 11) seems pretty clear that God still has plans for physical Israel. God didn’t change His mind regarding what He told Abraham.

      But if their (physical Israel) transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their (physical Israel) full inclusion bring!
      -Romans 11:12

      • As noted in a post below, the term ‘Replacement Theology’ is a label (usually pejorative) applied by Dispensationalists to those who believe the NT teaches that the Old Covenant (and its people – Israel) were a ‘dispensation’ in God’s unfolding plan of redemption (pretty much all mainstream evangelical/conservative New Testament scholarship outside of a handful of seminaries where Dispensationalism still prevails).

        As the writer of Hebrews makes clear in ch. 8, God has instituted a New Covenant that has made the Old one obsolete (i.e. completed, superceded, no longer active/necessary). Why? Because ‘faith has come’ (Gal. 3:25-29) and now all come to God on the same basis – faith in Jesus. Paul is quite clear in Gal 3 – saying it 5 times – that the true heirs to the promises to Abraham NOW are not those physically descended from him but those who have faith in Jesus – 3:7, 9, 14, 22, 29. Paul’s argument in Galatians is not about soteriology (how one is saved – works vs grace); it is eschatological – God’s plan has moved beyond the ‘Israel’ stage (the first set of promises to Abraham in Gen 12) to the ‘all nations’ stage (the second set of promises to Abraham in Gen 12). The Law is part of the Israel stage; the Spirit (usually working through the Word) is the basis for living in community in the ‘kingdom’ stage.

        Paul does seem to foresee some future redemption involving Jews in Romans 11. However, Paul has just spent 3 chapters (9-11) arguing that ‘all who are descended from Abraham are not “really” Israel; only those who have faith like Abraham’. He says in 9:27 that God’s promise (from Is. 10:22) was ALWAYS that only a believing remnant will be saved, and that on the basis of repentence – that is, it is not on the basis of ethnicity (Is. 10:21-22, where ‘return’ is the same Hebrew word as ‘repent’ – a pun: those who ‘repent’ are those who ‘return’). Paul, in Rom 9-10 says in effect, ‘That is happening, and I’m proof of it’. God has not been unfaithful to his promises – when a Jew repents and believes, he gets saved, just like Isaiah said! (Rom 10:11 – ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’). Whatever Paul has in mind in Rom. 11:25-26, it is quite unlikely that he sees a blanket salvation for ‘all Israel’ since that would undo what he has spent 3 chapters arguing (not to mention the rest of Romans, and Galatians).

        Gentiles were/are ‘grafted in’ to the tree – the people of God, which first consisted of Israel. Byt he didn’t create a new entity alongside Israel – the church. He created, as Paul says in Eph. 2, ‘one new man’. As he says in Eph 2-3, God has now brought Gentiles into that people on an equal basis and they all (those who make up this ‘new man’) are full heirs to the promises God made to Abraham, some (but not all) of which apply by extension to Israel (Eph. 3:6).

        Rather than seeing Romans 9-11 as a promise that God is not through with national/ethnic Israel and that someday all Israel will be saved, it is much more likely that Paul is arguing, as N.T. Wright suggests, that Gentiles shouldn’t get too proud because there is nothing PREVENTING Israel (or individual Jews) from being saved except for unbelief. In other words (as Wright puts it) Paul is arguing that God has not permenantly hardened Israel’s heart so they CAN’T be saved – they can be saved on the same basis as Gentiles – through faith in Jesus, and Gentiles shouldn’t assume they (Jews) are beyond redemption.

        • I agree with most everything you said right up until your last paragraph. The language in Romans 11:25-32 is stronger than you imply. Paul seems to clearly refer to a large scale move of God among the physical descendants of Israel. I do not think their story has yet been fully told.

      • TPD, you’ll notice I never said the church replaced Israel.

        I said the blessings of Abraham come to the gentiles through Jesus Christ, not through a political nation. Had I said the blessings of Abraham come to the gentile through the church instead of through Israel then your argument might have some validity.

        As to Romans 11, nothing at all is said in that chapter about political Israel. As to whether or not in the future all the Jews will be saved is a possible way of interpreting that text, but even if that is the correct interpretation it in no way requires that there be a political entity called Israel. When Paul refers to Israel in these verses he is referring to the physical descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not a political entity because there was no such entity at that time.

    • +1

    • Well said and theologically correct! (at least IMNSHO)

  3. “Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank.”

    What would you call the hundreds of rockets and mortar shells lobbed into Israeli cities?

    The phrasing of your sentence is offensive.

    • Really, Rob? In what way does a statement of fact offend you? I wrote that in as objective a way as I could so that I would not lead anyone in their response. Just because this sentence does not immediately support your view should not make it offensive.

      Now, why don’t you answer the question(s) I laid out …

      • Jeff:

        By qualifying the rocket attacks as “what the Israeli government says are…”

        Is there any dispute that militants in Gaza have launched repeated rocket attacks?

        Its not that the sentence doesn’t support “my view.”

        It is that the sentence is pejorative in its construction and dismissive of one set of facts.

        We can certainly debate whether the Israeli response is wise, or justified, or proportional.

        But the construction of your sentence implies that there is some doubt as to whether the rocket attacks are actually occurring.

        Do you think the Israeli government is falsifying the attacks?

        • Rob, my sentence states what the Israeli government gives as the reason for their retaliatory strikes against Hamas. I am only stating what Israel is giving as a reason for attacking Hamas at this time.

          This is not the purpose of my post, however. And you are have yet to answer the question posted. Let’s stick to that, ok?

          • I reacted to your sentence the very same way Rob Shearer did. The phrase “what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks” implies that perhaps there have not been repeated attacks and the Israelis themselves are the aggressors. That matches the Palestinian point of view perfectly. I think you are being disingenuous if you cannot bring yourself to see or acknowledge that. Of course, that is just my opinion, and you may not have meant it pejoratively at all. The fact that it clearly comes across as pejoratively seems to have put you on the defensive.

            On a different note, just about every military action against Israel or by Israel during my entire adult life has been said to be in retaliation for something else that occurred the previous week.

          • “Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank.”

            There are two ways this could have been phrased as to be truly unbiased.

            “Over the weekend, Hamas said Israel attacked it in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank.”


            “Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank.”

            You really can’t see the objection, Jeff?

          • Jeff, I also think the comments on your phrasing are justified. They may not reflect an actual bias on your part, but they can be construed that way.

      • I think if you’d said ‘retaliated’ instead of ‘attacked’ it would have appeared more factual/neutral

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      What would you call the hundreds of rockets and mortar shells lobbed into Israeli cities?

      Tribal blood feud with Cold War weaponry. And after a couple generations, the hatred has hardened.

      During the Diaspora, the Jews became more cosmopolitan and “Westernized” (though that’s not the right term, I can’t think of one right now) in Europe, ground zero for the Industrial Revolution, the Enlightenment, and technological civilization. The Arabs in the area remained more at a tribal level for various reasons — Islam was optmized for Arab tribal culture and tended to lock it in, and the Mongol incursion and a few centuries under the Turkish Empire didn’t help.

  4. Given that God didn’t show blanket support for Israel (Babylonian exile), not sure if we are required to.
    As for what God requires:
    He has showed you, O man, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
    To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

  5. Juan Cole gives some crucial background on this:

    For example, in Gaza the Israelis have been deliberately withholding just enough food to keep the Palestinians malnourished, but alive (so as to avoid international sanctions).

    A number of Arabs are Christians, by the way.

    • Since Gaza is independent, under self-rule, and shares a border with Egypt, how is it possible that the Israeli’s are able to deny them food or exports?

      Are the Egyptians conspiring with the Israeli’s?

      • Gaza’s “self-rule” is subject to Israeli controls over everything that goes in and out. In this respect, it is more like a giant concentration camp than a country. Yes, Egypt does cooperate with Israel.

        • With the $75 million just in monthly international aid that the Palestinian Authority receives, if the Palestinian people are starving, I don’t think Israel is the problem.

        • Yet the Gazans have resources to lob rockets at Israel?

          And your concentration camp reference causes me to invoke Godwin.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            There actually IS a legit Godwin’s Law involvement in the history.

            During WW2, most of the Middle East was either British or French colonial possessions (from the Versailles Treaty fire sale), or under occupation by the British. The Germans tried to cultivate the Arabs there as allies against the British, up to and including providing air support for German-incited uprisings in Iraq and Syria (which failed due to disorganization on the rebels’ part). And part of this cultivation was Nazi political philosophy and race cult. (The Baath Party — originally the Baath Arab National Socialist Party — also originated around this time. Yes, it began as the Arab branch of the Nazi Party. With the fall of Saddam, this makes Assad of Syria the last of the original Fascist regimes which can trace their ancestry back to original 1930s Fascism. 1930s GERMAN Fascism.)

            The Germans especially cultivated a major Islamic religious figure in the region, the Mufti of Jerusalem. And the Mufti became a major fan of The Final Solution to the Jew Problem. Nazi race propaganda against The Jew — originally to stir up the pot on the Brits — spread among the Arabs and developed a life of its own — to this day, Protocols of the Elders of Zion ans similar anti-Jewish hate literature (including some Nazi-era stuff) is required reading in the school systems of many Arab nations.

            And after the war, when Arab nations in the area started getting their independence from the Europeans, many SS types went mercenary and hired out to them as military and secret police advisers, further reinforcing the anti-Jewish hatred. As that Saddam regime official said to get him the bum’s rush out of Germany, “We went to you Germans because you have experience in gassing Jews.”

            Just like the Vietnam war decades ago, we’re seeing the fallout and aftershocks of World Wars One & Two.

        • Yes, those poor, poor Gazans and those big, bad, rich Israelis:

        • Yasser Arafat wound up a billionaire. Palestine has a problem with obesity. In fact, Palestine ranked as the twelfth most obese nation in 2010:

          They are not by any means malnourished.

          • …to clarify, my point about Arafat is that Palestine hads been given billions in aid yet this ‘humanitarian crisis’ is supposedly unremitting. Where has the money gone? Palestine’s greatest enemy is not Israel but its own leaders.

      • I agree with some of the sentiments here. This smells of anit-Israeli rhetoric.

  6. petrushka1611 says

    Galatians 3:7 says, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” That would seem to indicate that God’s future redemptive plan will be enacted through his ecclesia, those called to him by faith, not through a nation consisting of mostly non-Christians.

    Speaking in generalities, those who make up the church on earth are God’s chosen people. But in Romans 11, Paul indicates that all of Israel will be saved at some point in the future. Will that happen because the Israelites wipe out the Palestinians? I doubt it. Christ said his kingdom is not of this world–it’s a kingdom where God’s law is written on hearts of flesh, not tables of stone, and certainly not in ink and paper, interpreted by a parliament.

    How do we treat Israel? Well, which “we” are we talking about? As a libertarian, I don’t believe it’s morally right to take taxpayer dollars and give them to another country; doing so goes against my beliefs on how any country should be “treated”. My definition of proper treatment runs counter to that of many, so in one sense, there is no “we”.

    I don’t think the US government has an obligation to stand behind every decision Israel makes, and, anyway, it is not the voice of God. Even if it “supports” Israel, it may be wrong. If the Israeli government massacred an unarmed population, that would be evil, and supporting evil would be a detriment to Israel.

    On the other hand, should the US just stand by if Israel were to be wiped out? That would be evil, too, but wiser people than I have warned against going about searching for monsters to destroy.

    A former director of the Mossad wrote, “But history tells a different story. Indeed, whenever the United States has put serious, sustained pressure on Israel’s leaders — from the 1950s on — it has come from Republican presidents, not Democratic ones. This was particularly true under Mr. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.”


    Therefore, if we listen to what a credible Israeli thinks his country should have, we should be electing Democrats. But then homosexuals would run rampant and God would punish us for THAT. We’re screwed either way.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Does God do anything other than Punish Us these days?

      Does God do anything other than Punish Punish Punish?

  7. The main casualty here is truth. I find it impossible to find an ‘impartial’, historical account of what is going on in this region. Each side seems to cherry-pick the ‘facts’ and spin them in their own direction. I really should invest the time to learn about the last 100 years of history in the region – I believe that is far more important than the somewhat dubious theological claims based on various deterministic interpretations of chosen portions of scripture.

    Until recently (Egypt), Israel was the only democracy in the region. Which (briefly) even had an Arab president.

    The other nations in the region seem to have no qualms ‘using’ the Palestinians as a proxy. And Israel is a convenient ‘enemy’ to draw their population’s attentions away from the failings of their own leaders. Enmity to Israel also helps sustain the illusion of Muslim unity in the region.

    Confusingly, there are Palestinians who are pro-Israel, and Israelis who are anti-Israel. And everything in between.

    The thing is, if you take seriously the view that God’s special covenant with the Jews remains in force, the conclusions can become pretty scary.

  8. In my church yesterday morning someone asked for prayer for Israel, and there was some murmur of agreement, and there was mention of Israel being God’s chosen nation.

    Nobody, including myself, asked for prayer for those in Gaza who are being bombarded. If that’s a trend in churches I’d like to see it reversed, and it may have to start with me.

  9. Matt Purdum says

    The nation-state that calls itself Israel is simply another nation state. You and I are God’s chosen people. And as NT Wright has put it, since the first Easter, the entire cosmos is the Promised Land. Jesus represents God’s Israel, completed by His Crucifixion. Yes, I believe the US should support the nation called Israel, but for political not religious reasons.

  10. typical, anti Israel slant… of course we should support Israel’s right to defend themselves

    • petrushka1611 says

      No one said a country can’t defend itself….

    • Anti Israel? Hardly. The US doesn’t just support “Israel’s right to defend itself, it supports everything they do including building walls that separate people from their own land, and endless settlements on Palestinian land against international law. Israel is even allowed to keep nuclear weapons (Oh, no, I forgot, they don’t really exist, and Israeli physicists who admit they do are in big trouble!)
      Why does Israel get the pass on obeying international law? And why can Israel fight to steal land but Arabs can’t fight to take their own land back?

  11. And I suppose a deeper question is, Is Israel as it stands today still God’s chosen nation?

    Yes. God’s word is eternal and over and over in the Old Testament Israel acted unfaithfully but again and again God drew her back and demonstrated His love and faithfulness toward her. Romans 11 states that in God’s time all Israel will be saved and that His gifts and calling are irrevocable. Sadly Scripture also states that one day ALL NATIONS will gather against Israel to attack her. I never could imagine that my nation, the U.S., would do so until recently and now I see unfolding.

    Perhaps the more serious attack and war against Israel is not the military action going on right now but Replacement Theology which teaches that Israel was so unfaithful that God finally “gave up on them” and replaced them with the Church. In my opinion, and I know I will get slammed for this, that teaching is heresy. If that were accurate then God will have to give up on us too. God is faithful no matter our behavior. Isn’t grace stressed on this website?

    • In Romans 11 it is obvious that Paul is not only saying all Israel is not Israel but he warns believers not to be arrogant. “True Israel is those who are spiritual descendants of Abraham not ethnic”. Unbelievers are warned that they can be cut off. I do not agree with dispensational theology that separated the Church and Israel…that said God in his mercy can certainly save a large remnant of unbeliveing members of the nation of Israel.

    • “Replacement Theology” is a term that gets thrown around, but it’s a term that people seem to use to label their opponents rather than a term that people take on themselves. Theologians like N.T. Wright are not “replacement theologians” even if they get labeled as such. Wright, for instance, would never say that the Church replaced Israel. Rather, he would say that the Church is founded on God’s faithfulness to His original covenant with Israel. If anyone “replaced” Israel, its Jesus, but that’s not really an appropriate metaphor either. Jesus stood in for Israel by offering perfect obedience and faithfulness where they failed again and again. Because Israel was unable to fulfill its side of the covenant, Jesus did it for them. In doing so, He fulfilled Israel’s original calling to be a blessing to the entire world.

      • Good point. I don’t know about Wright but many, including myself, would go so far as to say that the church has always been the Isreal of God and the Isreal of God has always been the church, i.e. the called out assembly. Because I believe this does not make me anti-semetic, I just hold to a different view of redemptive history and I agree with an earlier commenter that Isreal today is a political nation, I don’t think it has the great spiritual signicficance so many assign to it.

      • +1

      • Excellent point….Gods covenants build on one another not replace one another. Dispensational theology claims the Church and Israel are separate Covenant Theology say’s the Church is Israel the spiritual decendants of Abraham. This still doesn’t mean that God can’t bring about mass conversions from the biological decendants of Abraham. I don’t think christians should offer blanket support for Israel just because they have the name Israel. We should support them just like any other legitimate nation.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      That is a ridiculous interpretation of that epistle to the Romans. Think about it: why would a man with both Jewish and Gentile ancestry, commissioned by God to spread the gospel to the extent of the Roman Empire, and well-known for contending with fellow apostles over the favored status of Israel and the need for circumcision, write a letter to the church of Rome that says, “Anyone can freely accept the gift of salvation, but the Jews have favored status with God?” Sorry, but there is only one word for that kind of proof-texting: ridiculous.

      True, Israel was designated by God to serve as a model for the other nations for how a righteous people can live under a holy God. However, one of the main goals of Jesus’ ministry was to expand that model to include other nations and cultures. God never rejected Israel, or replaced them with the Christian church (or the United States–sorry, Christian fundamentalists); the model changed because the concept of a nation serving as a model for the rest of the world was insufficient for a gospel intended to reach the ends of the earth. Gentiles and Palestinians have just as much access to the favor and grace of God as someone from Israel, and the suggestions that a) God “‘gave up on them’ and replaced them with the Church,” or that b) God has a favored “people” are both completely heretical and have nothing to do with the gospel of Christ.

      I appreciate the nation of Israel on some political angles, but this literal interpretation of Scripture disregards the importance of metaphor and symbolism. Once we can recognize metaphor and symbol and interpret them literately instead of literally, then we can generate an interpretation that comes much closer to the actual truth which God wants us to understand.

  12. IndianaMike says

    “Over the weekend, Israel attacked Hamas in the Gaza strip in retaliation for what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group operating in the West Bank. Many evangelicals have called for Israel to completely wipe out the Palestinians and retake their land. I’m sure this was the topic of sermons over the weekend in many churches.”

    Jeff, I did take a different meaning away from that first sentence than I did from your later explanation. Thanks for clarifying.

    I am very thankful that either evangelicalism is large enough or my world small enough that I have never run into any of the evangelicals who say some of the things quoted in the article.

    In answer to your questions “No”, “No”, and “No”. But there also seem to me to be too many passages of Scripture very clear that God is not done with the Jews as a race and still has plans to bring many of them into his kingdom.

  13. There is nothing inherent in the connection to being chosen as a people by God &, therefore, doing no wrong. That is not only my view but the Jewish scholars I’ve read would not recognize that as being part of their faith either. That idea is an evangelical interpretation of what it means to be chosen by God.
    I read an article this weekend in the NY Times by a Jewish woman living in Israel who was critical of leadership (Netanyahu) for not working harder for a peaceful alternative. I’m stating her position simplistically, but it was very well thought out & articulated. She acknowledged that Jews are fighting for their survival but at the same time may be doing things (pushing for development in the West Bank) which incite Palestinians to respond in kind &, therefore, not supporting a peaceful solution.
    There are no easy answers. But Jesus repeatedly turned away from the power of the world when it was offered to him: in the desert, when the woman caught in adultery was brought before him, when he faced the cross. That’s our model.

  14. I think we of European descent would have had the same problem with the native Americans had our invasion of their land began in the 1940’s and they were able to secure weaponry that was comparable to the invaders.

    Though I’m a Christian I’m still a big supporter of the underdog Palestinians. My Sunday school teacher and I had a discussion about Israel’s takeover of Palestine and I asked her, “If I showed up on your front porch with a book in my hand and told you to give me your house because I could show you in the book where it said your house was mine, how would you react?” She told me she wouldn’t give me her house.

    In my view all the conflict has nothing to do with the Bible. It’s all territorial and if Israel, the usurper in this case, did not have the support of the U.S. it would fall quickly.

  15. “Many evangelicals have called for Israel to completely wipe out the Palestinians and retake their land.” That’s a provocative statement. i would like to know specifically which evangelicals have called for Israel to “completely wipe out the Palestinians.” It’s true, evangelicals support Israel being restored to its original territory, but I’ve never heard anyone call for the Palestinians to be ‘wiped out.”

    • The opposite has been said, even by heads of neighbouring states, and nobody seems to take it seriously…

    • Jeff — this is an invitation for you to substantiate your comment. Who are these evangelicals calling for Israel to wipe out the Palestinian people?

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    A more accurate term for “Christian Zionism” is “Anti-Semitic Zionism”. i.e. “Israel is in The Land; this fulfills End Time Prophecy (tick tick tick tick tick) and is God’s Will (tick tick tick tick tick) so Israel Can Do No Wrong — but they’re still all going to Hell for rejecting Christ.”

    You see, the Israelis are nothing more than pieces to move around on the End Time Prophecy gameboard. And will presumably be destroyed for rejecting Christ at the Second Coming. However, Christians have to support them 1000% on pain of Hell so they can trigger Armageddon. (Which Christians will wait out as a spectator sport from their catered box seats in Heaven — a Cosmic Galt’s Gulch?)

    And the Arabs have it even worse. They’re nothing more than the Orc hordes of the Antichrist du Jour. And you know what happens to Orc hordes in the big battles. Especially the Palestinian Christians who have been there for centuries and are being attacked from both sides — the Israelis because they’re Palestinian Arabs, the Muslim Palestinians because they’re Christian.

    But then, all they are — Israelis, Arabs, you, me, everybody — are pawns in the End Time Prophecy game. (tick tick tick tick tick)

    Don’t Be Left Behind(TM)!

    • HUG, you are such a gift! 🙂

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I got my head messed up by an end-of-the-world cult (in all but name) back in the Seventies. (Remember Hal Lindsay and Late Great Planet Earth?)

        And it shows.

    • Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

      To be fair, most Christian Zionists would read Romans 9-11 to indicate a massive, if not universal, conversion of the Jewish people just prior to the 2nd Coming, so they wouldn’t end up in Hell. There are also some Christian Zionists (like the afore-mentioned John Hagee) who seem to be presenting a dual-covenant point of view where the Jews get in based on their covenant (i.e. Moses), and the Christians get in based on theirs (Christ).

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Actually, the dual-covenant POV makes more sense to me. Though some have told me the Mosaic Covenant was rendered null and void by Christ (either by Christ’s birth or Resurrection when the veil in the Temple was ripped), I really don’t see any direct confirmation of this in the NT.

        • The fact that the Temple has been destroyed for the past two thousand years and there is no way to perform the temple sacrifice would seem to suggest that option’s not available anymore.

          It’s not so much that the Mosaic covenant was rendered void by Christ, it’s more like Jesus fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic covenant (by upholding the law and serving as the perfect sacrifice.)

        • Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

          The other problem with the dual-covenant picture is that all of the first generation of Christians were Jews and Christ came to the Jewish people. If the prior covenants could hack it, why did he need to come? Or at least why did he come to the Jewish people?

  17. Would to God that the American ‘religious right’ cared a fig for the welfare of indigenous Christians in the Middle East.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Remember, they’re nothing more that pieces to move around the End Time Prophecy gameboard. Just like the Israelis, just like the Muslims, just like you and me. (tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick….)

    • +1

  18. You know what troubles me… Israel is in the Middle East and the center of a lot of conflct. From the Gaza strip to Iran. And yet what bothers me is that there are fundagelicals just licking their lips and chomping their gums ever enthustiastic for some type of conflict with Israel to start. Why? It will fulfill some kind of “prophecy”, usher in the rapture, etc…

    Who else would look at war and all the pain and suffering that comes along with it with such glee? Some of the fundagelicals I rubbed shoulders with. That’s why…I view discussion of End Times Prophecis and Isarel’s role as kind of a spiritual masturbation.

    • Funny! I laughed out loud.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I lost ten to fifteen years of my life to Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist and the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay. So did my main writing partner. (“It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…”) 1973 Yom Kippur War Rapture Scare, 1974 Comet Kohoutek Rapture Scare, 1975 Rosh Hashanah Rapture Scare, 1981 Jupiter Effect Rapture Scare, 1980-whatever Libyan Raid Rapture Scare… I didn’t stop having flashbacks until around 1988. (“It’s Prophesied, It’s Prophesied…”)

      Who will restore the years the End Time Prophecy Locusts have eaten?

  19. It’s the only real Democracy in the neighborhood.

    Muslims have far more rights in Israel than they do anywhere else in the region.

    If the Muslims laid down their arms, there would be peace.

    If the Jews laid down their arms, they would be wiped out.

    That tells me everything about the two sides.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble Steve, but the Gaza Strip is also a democracy, albeit they chose to elect an extremist political party. People seem to forget that Hamas was elected into power. Don’t forget that Egypt is also now a democracy.

      What do you mean by “real democracy” anyway? Just because the people voted against U.S. interests doesn’t mean they aren’t a democracy.

      As for Muslims laying down there arms, ummmm, I think you haven’t been following the news. Even before the current conflict, Jewish settlers were aggressively encroaching on Palestinian land, with the implicit backing of the Israeli government. As you should know, the current PM of Israel is in power because of the coalition he has formed with ultra-orthodox Jews in his country, almost of all of whom want a single Jewish state in the region.

      • Give me a break. The Muslims have continually violated the peace treaties and continually threaten the total extinction of Israel.

        Muslims who live in Israel have FAR more rights than in any Arab country or area.

        The Jews could have wiped out and moved into just about any area that they want to. They don’t want to. The areas that they have taken over or controlled were for their own protection. A buffer zone.

        The Jews want peace. The Muslims want blood and to push Israel into the sea. They even brainwash their children with anti-Jewish cartoons. Despicable.

        • Can you really say that about EVERY Muslim?
          Also, let’s be clear that a person being a Muslim and being Palestinian are not one and the same. Most Muslims aren’t Palestinian (there are far more Indonesian Muslims in the world than Palestinian), and many Palestinians are Christian or Jewish.

      • One election once then murder your opponents does not a democracy make.

  20. The question is not whether or not evangelicals should support Israel’s right to defend its sovereignty. The question is “Should Christians offer a blanket support of Israel?” As with every emphatic statement, the answer should be “no”.

    It is difficult responding to a current event without considering the past events leading to this point. Genocide against the Jews did not begin with Hitler. Sadly, it runs through the history of the church – including church leadership approving the abduction of Jewish property, mass deportations, and mass murders. Look up Saint John Chrysostom’s opinions on the Jews – if you dare. Look up Saint Cyril and what he did to the Jewry in Alexandria. Secular rulers before and after Constantine were in many ways far more sympathetic toward the Jews than the Christian rulers of the time. Even during Vatican II, the Catholic church struggled to remove references to Jewish Deicide from its official teachings. It’s difficult to address apparent excessive support for the Secular Israel state when the former antisemitism still seems so fresh in church history.

    But the apparent zealous support for the secular Israel state by the dispensationalists needs more scrutiny. It seems far less out of love for the Jewish people and more out of selfish motivations, that Israel is just a pawn in the grand end times scheme. If they loved Israel, they would chastise her for ill treatment of the Palestinians – Muslim and Christian alike. Jewish zealots recently sprayed graffiti on Christian sites in Israel. – without even a ho-hum from the dispies. One of the graffiti messages was “Jesus the Monkey”.

    On either side, the church has not learned how to love Israel. It can’t seem to rise above the hate of the past or the guilt of the present.

    • I guess I should have said the answer to MOST emphatic statements should be “no”.

    • + 1000

      I doubt many American evangelicals (outside of a couple of major cities) know many Jewish people, as friends, colleagues, business associates… which makes all of the evangelical/fundy “pro-Israel” stuff even more noxious.

  21. 1) Israel’s status or not as “God’s chosen nation” is irrelevant. If they are wrong, they are wrong. As a comparative analogy, no one would suggest that a Christian who commits murder should be shown special concessions just because they go to church on Sunday.

    2) War of any kind is the result of sin in this world. As believers, we hate the destructive forces of sin, and the death that it brings to all mankind, regardless of national origin.

    3) The death being dealt is a tragedy, and we should pray for our brothers and sisters on both sides of the conflict while actively working towards peaceful solutions.

  22. Back to the question. No, Christians shouldn’t offer a blanket support for anyone but Jesus. People sin. Israel sins. And when Israel sins, I can love them, but I can’t support them.

    Not saying they’re sinning now. Like any nation, they have every right to defend themselves when attacked. But, having known some Palestinian Christians who were on the other side of the retaining wall when the Israelis decided the easiest thing was to segregate all Arabs respective of affiliation, sometimes they do sin. Like the prophets, we need to call them on it when they do. It is not anti-Semitic to rebuke wrongdoing. It is anti-Semitic to let them tumble, unchecked, into hell.

  23. Cedric Klein says

    I consider myself a Christian Zionist more based on The Abrahamic Covenant & our debt to the Jews both as our spiritual forefathers & our unbelieving kindred whom The Church has treated horribly for about 1600 years (300s-1900s). Is the present political State of Israel the prophesied Ultimate Restoration? Probably not, but it is an unprecedented Act of Providence that such a scattered people retained their identity & restored their homeland after almost two millenia of exile & attempts to assimilate or annihilate them.

    Does that mean they have a blank check? No. But the Palestinians would be a lot more free, stable, & prosperous if they didn’t keep short-circuiting every chance at some peace accord.

    • Pretty close to my own views, Cedric, though I still don’t embrace the CZ term myself.

    • Cedric, you may be correct in that last sentence. But on the other hand, the Palestinians would also be a lot more free, stable, & prosperous if the Israelis would quit monopolizing the water from the Jordan and from the Sea of Galilee to irrigate their agribusiness, and if the Israelis would quit bulldozing Palestinian villages to make way for upscale Israeli settlements.

      “A long dispute means that both parties are wrong.”

  24. Here are what I believe to be two simple “truths”:

    1) If the Arab world laid down its weapons tomorrow and said, “Let there be peace,” there would be peace between Israel and the Arab world.

    2) If Israel laid down its weapons tomorrow and said, “Let there be peace,” Israel would be wiped off the face of the earth.

    The Arab/Muslim world has made it no secret that they see the Jew as vile and needing of extermination. They boldly declare such in their media sources, openly wear clothes that declare such thoughts. We need to rally around in defense of a country the size of New Jersey that all the Arab world seeks to destroy. Add the “God” element into the mix, and I would say that makes our defense of Israel even more necessary.

    • Rick,

      I guess its how you define peace. If you’ve ever been incarcerated in your own home and continually harrassed by the “police,” read occupiers, it probably doesn’t feel like peace.

      Just a note of fact: Palestinians owned their land prior to 1948 by land deeds. Israel can only claim biblical promises from a Bible the vast majority of them don’t believe in.

      • “Israel can only claim biblical promises from a Bible the vast majority of them don’t believe in.”

        Ouch! But yes.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “Cause it’s a Great Big Stupid World…”
          — opening bumper of the old Internet Monk podcasts

    • “The Arab/Muslim world has made it no secret that they see the Jew as vile and needing of extermination. ”

      Rick Ro, with all respect, your rhetoric makes me question what your own views on extermination are.

  25. I hope this article – “How should we view Israel?” – will be followed up with a companion piece, “How should we view Palestinians?” or “How should we view Hamas?” or “How should we view the Arab world?”

  26. Jeff,

    IMO as to your specific questions:
    “Should Christians offer a blanket support of Israel? Is that what God requires of his people?”

    No. It would be ridiculous to offer “blanket support” to anybody.

    “And I suppose a deeper question is, Is Israel as it stands today still God’s chosen nation?”

    It is fairly clear from Romans 11:11-32 that the Jews are still God’s chosen into whom we have been grafted. Even though some have been cut off, He still seems to have future plans for them as a group. But I would also say that the Jews as a people can’t be directly equated to Israel as a modern nation. Still, it seems more than coincidence that God said they would return to the land and, surprise, they have. That is like the Canarsie Indians reemerging as a unified people and regaining possession of Manhattan 1700 years from now. Figure the odds.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      It is also fairly clear from Revelation 12 that a literal dragon was cast out of heaven. That dragon literally chased a woman, who recently gave birth and grew wings, to a safe haven in a wilderness. Then a serpent literally spit a wave of water after the woman, then the earth literally took pity on the woman and created a pit to swallow up the water…and I literally believe that the first and most responsible thing to do with any passage of Scripture is to interpret it literally.

  27. From CNN, certainly no friend of right-wing politicians or Evangelicals:

  28. There have been multiple attempts to wipe Israel out of existence in living memory. Israel was created, in part, out of the guilt of Europe over the holocaust. This, I believe has created a bunker mentality that has harmed Israel in recent years. There is a fear of a Palestinian state because back when Israel had a country next to it, there was a border to attack across. (Of course, if you rewind the clock further, the creation of the state of Israel is mixed with violence on both sides, both military and terrorist.)

    At the same time, there are now 4 million people who are effectively stateless, they do not have a country. Israel has actively opposed allowing them to become a country. They face restrictions that mirror, in many way, the restrictions that Black people encountered under apartheid (restriction of movement, group punishments, confiscation of land without payment, etc.). They have no way to relieve these issues. This leads them to think that violent retaliation is the only means by which they can be heard. This in turn leads to more violence, crackdowns on the Palestinians, more mortars fired at Israel and more dead children on both sides.

    Do we own Israel unconditional support? No. Even if they are God’s chosen, their current approach will not work. However, they are a historical ally of the United States and at least diplomatically, we should seek to help them. This does not mean continuing to supply them with tremendous amounts of military hardware, but perhaps acting as their advocate in peace negotiations.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is that Israel, as a country, has a right to exist. We should support that right. However, they are shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly. I have trouble completely condemning the retaliatory attacks for the rocket barrage, however, I am reminded of the Onion article “New Bomb Capable of Creating 1,500 Terrorists in a Single Blast.”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Israel was created, in part, out of the guilt of Europe over the holocaust. This, I believe has created a bunker mentality that has harmed Israel in recent years.

      I’ve often thought the same thing. Let entropy have its way, and “Never Again” can all too easily slip into “Because we’ll do it to them before they can do it to us.” (Like how bureaucracy can slip from Lawful Neutral through Lawful Stupid into Lawful Evil.) I am NOT saying this HAS happened to the Israelis, just that it IS a danger given their past.

      And Dispensationalism does open Christians up for manipulation by Israeli politicians. All Israel needs to do is hint about assembling materials to rebuild the Temple or breeding a pure red heifer and all the End Time Prophecy alarms go off and Christian Zionism is re-energized to Support Israel. Again, not saying the Israelis HAVE done this, just it is a potential opening for them to cultivate fanatical support from America.

      You know, I wouldn’t mind seeing both of these addressed in fiction.
      * The first could be case in an SF setting to provide a better backstory for something like the S.M.Stirling/David Drake SF novel The Chosen, with the warning on how easy it is for a people who are victims of genocidal abuse to become genocidal abusers themselves. (Just because you’ve been stomped on in the past doesn’t mean you’re not capable of stomping on somebody else; this was a pattern with the several waves of immigration in US history.)
      * The second could be a twist on the End Time Prophecy genre, where all the signs of “This Is It!!!” turn out to be a mistake or misinterpretation. “Just because you saw it on TV doesn’t mean it’s real!” — media hoaxer Joey Skaggs

  29. I lived in the Middle East for 8 years. I found that there are 2 sides to the issue here.

    Palestinians have legitimate points and problems. The difficulty is that they seem to be masters at shooting themselves in the foot.

    I remember seeing an international news brief. The Israelis had a representative who spoke US English and could eloquently state his case. The Palestinians had someone in full Arab garb who spoke English poorly and spit out the typical angry rhetoric.

    Guess who won the day?

    There is no way we should give blanket support to Israel, but we should support them. Perhaps we could use influence to moderate them.

  30. Jewish orientalist Morris Jastrow argued in Zionism and the Future of Palestine: The Fallacies and Dangers of Political Zionism (1919) – you should be able to find it free online to read – why the Jews should NOT take over Palestine – i.e., there were already people there who would have to be displaced – but should continue with their successful assimilation into the European countries and societies in which they were currently and successfully living.

    The Russian pogroms and especially the Holocaust put the kibosh on that possibility and/or dashed the hopes of many that Jews could consider any country other than their own as safe. Hence, the State of Israel.

  31. ‘what the Israeli government says are repeated attacks from the militant Islamic group’
    These are not WMD’s in Iraq. The rockets are real, they are many, and they are intended to kill Israelis. These are the facts, attested to by reporters on the ground. Whether or not you agree with Israel’s response, please do not suggest that the attacks are government propaganda.

  32. A more important question is how should Christians view their own governments involvement in the continued state of war maintained by the Israeli state. Israel would not and could not do this withour US approval, funds and weapons.

    Let us pray for both the peace of Jerusalem (I think the NT makes that clear that’s its now the church) and all her members, e.g. Palestinians.

  33. Aside from theological arguments, to get a good understanding of the dynamics of the situation (and why, for example, Jordan forced Palestinian refugees to live in camps on the West Bank from 1948 to 1967 rather than let them integrate into Jordanian society) I would suggest George Friedman’s best-seller ‘The Next Decade’. Friedman is (IMHO) a strategic genius and he brings a historical perpective to the Middle East that you won’t find in the headlines, and certainly not in books by Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

  34. In the city of Hebron, the Arab population are ‘subjected to systematic and ferocious harassment by settlers, who stone them, throw rubbish and excrement at their houses, invade and destroy their homes, and attack their children when they return from school, to the absolute indifference of Israeli soldiers who witness these atrocities’ (Mario Vargas Llosa)

  35. The very last question Jesus was asked on this earth: “Lord, will thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel?” His answer was to simply transcend this wholly reasonable question of men living under Roman oppression by instead laying out the Great Commission — “but ye shall be my witnesses…to the uttermost parts of the world.”

    Christian Zionism interrupts Jesus before he can respond: “As a matter of fact, yes, this is the time!” That the Great Commission is thereby obscured is only to be expected.

    Indeed, John Haggee’s recent book “Can America Survive” lists ten reasons why we’re in the last days. (You have to have top ten lists to get people to pay attention to you.) What was striking was that “this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to the ends of the earth” did NOT make the cut. Indeed, the entire book went by with nary a mention of the Great Commission.

    On the practical front, Christian Zionists here in the US have an attitude towards Israel that I can only characterize as intertial. They’re almost always conservatives yet:

    1) Prefer an aid donor-recipeint model of relations with Israel that they would find unhealthy with any other nation
    2) Still insist that Israel needs $3 billion of military aid per year, even as its GDP grows by $15 billion per annum
    3) Ignore the fact that Israel has universal healthcare,
    4) Accept the “state-sponsored unemployment scheme” whereby Ultra-Orthodox men can spend their days studying Torah instead of working,
    5) Do NOT view Israel as an investment opportunity, despite its booming economy

    My advice to Christian Zionists, who just like me, want to see Israel succeed: cut the apron strings, get out your own wallet, and invest in the country. Treat Israel as an ally, not a client state. It’ll be better for all concerned.

  36. A 5 minute video that explains the whole situation. Lots of facts, and some very good history:

    Well worth the 5 min.

  37. Another helpful article to understand what’s happening in Gaza. Let’s be informed of what’s really going on before we decide on continued support for Israel.

  38. Jeff, you opened a can of worms today.

    Thanks a bunch.

  39. Unless one is willfully blind, one can’t come away from the Old Testament without a realization that Israel can be both God’s chosen people and sometimes act utterly sinfully and wrongly and even with evil intent as a nation. Keep in mind that God’s prophets not infrequently had to hide from Israel’s kings.

    Things really haven’t changed that much.

    There is plenty of blame on both sides of this war. Israel’s occupation and oppression in Gaza and the West Bank is pretty well documented and known (though it doesn’t really get any play in the American media). And there are Palestinian extremist elements that are hardened against Israel.

    I don’t think anyone ought to get a free pass, even (especially!) God’s chosen people.

  40. As others have noted, the bias in the OP seems pretty obvious. That said, and regardless of theological arguments, it seems incredible to me that after millenia of pervasive anti-Semitism and systematic genocide, the physical descendants of Abraham, Issac and Jacob are once again sovereign in the physical land that was promised so long ago. What are the odds that a people coud maintain such a clear ethnic and cultural identity over all those years and circumstances? And why is it exactly that the Jews have been so universally hated throughout so much of human history? Not that there has ever been a shortage of human hatred, but why is it so consistantly aimed at the Jew?

    I’ll yield my remaining time to the gentleman from Minnesota:

    “Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man
    His enemies say he’s on their land
    They got him outnumbered about a million to one
    He got no place to escape to, no place to run
    He’s the neighborhood bully
    . . .
    Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
    That he’ll live by the rules that the world makes for him
    ’Cause there’s a noose at his neck and a gun at his back
    And a license to kill him is given out to every maniac
    He’s the neighborhood bully”

    Read more:

  41. Israel and Palestine have _both_ been committing atrocities against each other for long enough that assigning blame is difficult – the folks in the Gaza strip could just as easily say that the rocket attacks are a response to the way they’re being treated: the checkpoints, the destruction of their homes, etc. I don’t think either one of them is right. They’re like two kids fighting on the playground. Except that one of the kids pulled out his pocket knife. And then the other kid pulled out his handgun. I for one am angrier at the kid holding the handgun.

  42. Klasie Kraalogies says


    The same way we view Bhutan. Or Tahiti. Or Benin. Or Montenegro. Or Guyana. Or Brazil. Or Lithuania. Or Australia. Or….

    You get the point.

  43. An excellent article by an Arab in the Arab News:

    “The Arab Spring showed the world that the Palestinians are happier and in better situation than their Arab brothers who fought to liberate them from the Israelis. Now, it is time to stop the hatred and wars and start to create better living conditions for the future Arab generations.”

  44. Bob Simmons says


    The Jews are not God’s people. Jews are really Khazars, from Eastern Europe. The Bible has been changed; and now refers to God’s people as “Jews.” However, God’s people are not Jews, they are “Israelites.”

    So now the question is,”Who are the true Israelites?” We know that the Israelites were slaves. We know that they are dark skinned people that could easily hide among the African nations, whenever they came under attack. We know they are cursed with poverty, for turning away from God. We know that their woman are cursed with baldness (i.e. short-cropped hair). We know that they would be cursed wherever they go, throughout the whole world. They are a people without a national identity; a people who’s language and customs have been lost. So who are they? The true Israelites are the black slaves who were trafficed all over the world from Africa. That is why they face so much racism and discrimination throughout the whole world. Jesus, himself, is discribed as having hair like that of a sheep’s wool; and his skin is like burnished bronze (i.e. black).

    Jews, on the other hand, are of European descent. They are the richest and most powerful race on the planet. Everyone loves Jews, which is contrary to the propaganda we hear. Most of the famous musicians and actors are Jewish; and everyone idolizes them. Throughout scripture, you will find that the devil copies God’s plans by creating a counterfeit. Well, the Jews are that counterfeit; and they are the ones who are ushering in the New World Order. Christians are being deceived into following the anti-Christ, by supporting the “Jewish” state of Israel.

    Remember, the Bible warns us that the dilusions of the last days would be so strong, that if God did not shorten the days, even His elect would have been deceived. As the scriptures state, many black people are beginning to awaken to their true heritage. Many are even leaving the USA; and returning to Israel, where they are being severely persecuted by the Jews. If you want to know more about the true identity of the Israelites just search “Will the Real Jews Stand Up – The Physical Appearance of the Hebrew Israelites Part 1” on Youtube.