As I was preparing this week’s news roundup, I saw a news item pop up on Facebook with unexpected good news. Having found corroborating reports on CBN.com, the Christian Post and ACLJ, I am happy and thankful to report that Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released. He was acquitted of the original apostasy charge, found guilty of evangelizing Muslims and sentenced to time served.
The big news Stateside was the Democratic National Convention, specifically the bumbling of God and Israel in the party platform.
MONDAY — The Republican Jewish Coalition begins tweeting differences between the 2008 and 2012 Democratic platform, including that the one reference to God had been removed as well as language affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (Times of Israel)
TUESDAY — Republican activists start telling reporters about the changes (Times of Israel). Myriad news stories from Jewish, Christian then mainstream news services flood the internet.
WEDNESDAY — Reportedly at Obama’s request, the God and Jerusalem language are returned to the platform in an embarrassing voice vote. Requiring a two-thirds majority, the vote is take three times because each time the voices sound about 50/50. Nonetheless, the amendments are passed by the chairman, which elicits boos from the half of the crowd that was ignored (Watch C-SPAN video).
Jewish Democrats say they’re not happy with the party platform, as it still differs from the 2008 document.
The reactions in Israel have been a rise in American-Israeli voter registrations, Gaza rulers Hamas calling Obama out for pandering for Jewish votes and more (see stories below).
For the record, the Republican platform also downgraded the Israel-supportive language.
So, what’s the big deal?
There is a blessing for blessing Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). It applies to individuals and nations. There is a promise of prosperity for those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122). Praying (to make an earnest petition) can be to God and and fellow men.
On the flip side, there is foretold judgement for those who would divide God’s land and mistreat the House of Israel (Joel 3:1-3, Matthew 25:31-46). When we mistreat and even curse Israel, we poke God in the eye (Zechariah 2:8-9).
Don’t get me started on denying God’s existence or denying His creatorship (Rabbi Shaul will explain it to you in Romans 1).
Paper.li works a little like a newspaper. It categorizes the news into topics and is interactive. Click a topic on the right-hand column to “flip the page” and see another set of headlines. #Church includes headlines about persecution of the brothers. #Israel has all stories about “the apple of God’s eye.”
[ED. NOTE: Once Paper.li issues are archived, previous issues cannot be embedded. So click on the screen capture to read the news from this week.]