Monthly Archives: November 2020

Thanksgiving: The Gateway to Joy in Difficult Times

I have thought a lot about what I would like to share with you as we approach the holiday season.

I am sure we all know someone or have even had a dear friend contract COVID-19, and maybe some of us have even lost friends and relatives due to complications from the virus.

I could tell you about all the churches the Chosen People Ministries staff did not visit in the last nine months or the evangelistic campaigns we never held. I could share about people we were unable to visit in person and Bible studies and services either never held or held online.

I could complain about how hard it was for me to stay home and not fly the usual 100,000-plus miles I have traveled annually for the last twenty years!

But this time has also been a blessing in disguise!

I really have enjoyed spending more time with my wife, and I have been able to write articles, study more, and spend time with our beloved staff on Zoom—maybe more than ever before! We have had thousands—and I mean thousands—of Jewish people engage with us online throughout this period, and we have had some great opportunities to share the gospel. Our services and Bible studies have all grown, and we served more than 20,000 people through our online high holiday services. I am amazed at His power and faithfulness.

We have also seen a new openness among very religious Jewish people, and we are regularly speaking with a number of these very devoted sons and daughters of Abraham about Jesus.

I am sure we have all done our best to find godly ways to get through this season. We have also probably asked the question, “Why, oh Lord?” a number of times. There is nothing wrong with asking! In fact, the Bible even gives us answers and sound advice for moving through difficult seasons. Yet, in our heart of hearts, we know we should trust God and look for biblical answers to our hearts’ deepest questions.

Throughout Scripture, we see many others who endured hardship and found a way not only to survive but thrive. My favorite place to look for help in tough times is in the Psalms. Today, I want to reflect upon one of my favorites, Psalm 118, and see if we can discover some truths that will help us along the way.

So, let us take a quick look at Psalm 118, which is best known for the great Messianic prophecy in verses 22–23: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”

This passage is quoted four times in the New Testament (Acts 4:11; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:7, Matthew 21:42) and in one way or another, applied to Jesus, who is the chief cornerstone of our life and faith. But there is a lot more to this great psalm.

Psalm 118 is one of the psalms the Lord has used to guide me through the dark days of the pandemic.

The Hallel Psalms

It is identified as one of the thanksgiving psalms and is the last of the Passover or Egyptian Hallel Psalms (113–118), which eventually wound their way into the fabric of the Haggadah (which in Hebrew means “the telling”), the prayer and guidebook used by Jewish people for the last 2,000 years in celebrating the Passover Seder.

The psalm is also customarily recited during the other two pilgrimage festivals, Pentecost and Tabernacles, and also during Hanukkah and the new moon.

It is suggested that Psalms 113–118 were recited while the Israelites were marching towards the Temple to offer the great Paschal sacrifice. A celebration filled with pomp, circumstance, and enthusiasm of faith, Jesus would have viewed this parade many times, until the day came when He Himself became the sacrifice—the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The Hebrew word hallel means “praise,” from which we get the word hallelujah. Psalm 118, like the others in the group, may be viewed as loud shouts of joy to the God who delivers His people from bondage! Psalm 118 begins with a passionate statement of thanksgiving and concludes twenty-eight verses later with the same explosion of praise.

Offering Thanksgiving

Read the first few verses of the psalm and you will see what I mean.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, ‘His lovingkindness is everlasting’” (Psalm 118:1–2).

There is a lot to learn about our relationship to God, especially in tough times, even from this one verse.

The psalmist used the word hodu, which is related to the word todah, which simply means “thank you.” Todah is also the name for the voluntary thanksgiving offering mentioned by Moses in Leviticus 7:12. The thanksgiving offering was often added to one of the mandatory offerings, such as the guilt or peace offerings.

“If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil” (Leviticus 7:12).

The thanksgiving offering reflects an extra step of devotion by the worshipper and demonstrates a greater degree of love filling the heart of the one making this “extra” and voluntary offering.

You will notice immediately that the focus of the psalmist’s thanksgiving is not on the parting of the Red Sea, protection from Egyptian armies, or on any of the other great miracles God performed in delivering the Jewish people from Egypt. Instead, the focus of the psalmist is upon the person and promises of God.

The first lesson we learn about praise, prayer, and thanksgiving is that, like the psalmist, we should first give thanks to God for who He is before we show our gratitude for what He has done!

For His Goodness

If you look again at the text, you will see that, in part, the psalmist identifies the motivation for his thanksgiving in the phrase, for He is good(Psalm 118:1).

The Hebrew word for “good” is tov. One of the ways this word is used in Scripture is in reference to an internal quality of integrity, or ethical or moral goodness. With respect to God’s character, when we declare that He is good, we are referring to the goodness of His nature. He is always acting in goodness toward us, even in the midst of a pandemic. We might not understand the why, but we do know that He is still good even in the midst of personal and global tragedy. His nature is unchanging.

Throughout the difficulties of the exodus from Egypt, the forty years in the wilderness, and all of the challenges and threats faced by the psalmist, he still understood that God is good. We should not lose sight of this wonderful truth about the nature of the holy and eternal One: despite our suffering, He is still good.

Keith Green, a Jewish believer who passed away in a plane crash in the mid 1970s, wrote the following words in one of my favorite worship songs:

“Oh Lord, you’re beautiful, your face is all I seek, for when your eye is on this child, your grace abounds to me.”[1]

Imagine walking into the Holy of Holies and coming face to face with the Shekinah glory. If you were able to say anything, you might have cried out, “Oh Lord, you are beautiful. Your person is spectacular, magnificent. Neither my eyes nor yours have seen anything more beautiful than the person of our God.”

Do you remember what God said at the conclusion of creation?

“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).

The phrase is a familiar one to those of us who are Jewish—tov m’od, which means “very good.” God saw His handiwork, especially the creation of man, and proclaimed that it was “very good.”

His creation reflects His beauty. I recall standing in front of the Grand Canyon, speechless at sunset, and all I could really say was, “It is beautiful!” Staring into the face of great beauty stops us in our tracks and leaves us without words to describe what we see. This is only elevated when we speak about the eternal character of God.

Moses may have been the only person in the Old Testament who ever came face to face with God’s goodness.

The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:17–23)

When this event actually transpired, Moses added,

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 34:6–7).

What makes God beautiful is His character. We are thankful for who He is, and He is indeed beautiful. When I recognize His beauty, my heart and lips are filled with His praise.

Perhaps the clearest window into the beauty of His character occurred during the Incarnation. The beauty of His character was revealed most clearly in the person of Yeshua who the Apostle Paul described as follows, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).

Similarly, the writer of the book of Hebrews wrote, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).

We offer praise and thanksgiving to God because He is good. We are thankful for His person, and our offering of praise raises our souls above the circumstances of life; Everything He gives or delivers us from, or provides fades in comparison to the beauty of His person.

We are grateful because He is good and beautiful.

For His Everlasting Loyalty

The second reason the psalmist offers thanksgiving to God is that he recognizes that the Lord’s lovingkindness is everlasting. Lovingkindness is a loaded term in the Hebrew language. The word chesed may be translated as “loyalty,” and particularly “covenant loyalty.” The psalmist praises God because He is loyal to His covenants and promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In Genesis 12:1–3, the God of our forefathers made a fourfold covenantal promise assuring Abram and his children that they would persevere as a nation, possess a land, fulfill a mission (to bless the world), and enjoy a unique relationship with their God. These covenantal promises would be eternally guarded by the very character of the One making the promises.

By His nature, God is loyal. He never breaks His word. He always keeps His promises. It would be against His eternal nature to break a commitment.

The psalmist offered a sacrifice of praise as he honored the One who fulfilled every promise He ever made. God’s faithfulness does not mean we will not experience distress in this life! It also does not mean the Lord will keep His promises according to our schedule or in the ways we expect!

Pandemics are painful, and from our viewpoint, this has been a dark and difficult season. In verses 17–18, the psalmist seems to be able to balance both hope and despair. He exclaimed, “I will not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death” (Psalm 118:17–18).

We struggle with the same dilemma, especially now! In our own way, each of us has suffered during the pandemic. Those of us still alive are able to praise Him here. Some of our brothers and sisters have passed into His presence and are now able to praise Him before His heavenly throne.

We might feel like asking the question, “Has God failed to protect us?” or “How could a good God let the circumstances of the last nine months fall upon us?” The answer is always going to be the same. God has not failed us! He has not broken His promises. He is incapable of doing so!

His timing is merely different than ours. His purposes, ways, and thoughts are higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8–9). He uses the darkness to shape our character and prepare us for living in His eternal light. Rabbi Paul penned the well-known passage in Romans 8, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We may not understand why He allows us to experience difficulty, but we know that He is eternally good and faithful to His promises. He just has a different plan than we expected. It may be hard for us to comprehend, which is why we walk by faith, trusting in His unchanging character, and in the face of extraordinary hardship, we can continue to say, “Thank you, Lord!”

Thankful for Him

Like the psalmist, our thanksgiving is founded on His unchanging character and not on what He gives us. Yet, we often reverse this order. When asked to list what we are thankful for, we usually begin with what He has done for us. We list all the good things God has given to us, His protection, our family, our daily bread, and so much more. We know the list!

Yet, we really should begin with thanking God for His character because we know He always keeps His promises and that the future is bright.

We must grab a hold of God’s person and promises amid suffering and loss, persecution, and even during the dark days of a pandemic.

We cry out with Job, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him” (Job 13:15).

You see, in the end of it all, all we need is Him!

The Rest of the Psalm

Recognizing that His person and promises form the bedrock for our praise, you can see that there is no human circumstance that can or should keep us from being thankful and praising him. The following promises flow from the character of God:

“The Lord is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).

“The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation” (Psalm 118:14).

“I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21).

“You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You” (Psalm 118:28).

What stunning sentiments of worship, praise and thanksgiving.

And finally, the psalmist concluded the way he started:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Psalm 118:29).

Thankful for Him!

In light of who He is, how can we not be thankful? I am grateful for the magnificence of His character. I am also thankful for all that He has done. But, if He did nothing for me, I would hopefully be just as thankful because my thanksgiving is focused on the beauty of His person.

The remainder of the psalm speaks about all He is and what that means to the psalmist and to us.

He is beautiful, loyal, everlasting, and true to His promises. We do not need to fear. He is our refuge, strength, song, and salvation. He is our God, and the chief cornerstone is our Messiah and Lord of all. We can say at all times, “This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). If you feel overcome with COVID-19 anxiety or fear, try praising God and thanking Him for who He is and see if you are not able to push through the difficulties. I believe you will experience the joy of the Lord!

I am thankful for you, too—for your loving the Lord, supporting our common ministry, praying for the global work of Chosen People Ministries, and for allowing us to be part of your life.

Happy Thanksgiving! May the holy, awesome, and glorious Lord of glory fill your soul with praise, and may He bring healing, restoration, and joy to you and your family.

[1] Keith Green, “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful,” track 9 on So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt, Sparrow Records, 1980.

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Interview with Joel C. Rosenberg

Shalom, dear friends.

We are living in sensational days! Along with our concerns about COVID-19, the economy, political division, social unrest, the aftermath (hopefully) of wildfires, hurricanes, and more, we also see the unfolding of a new day for Israel and her relationships with her neighbors in the Middle East.

Perhaps this is a reminder that God’s plan for our world marches on in the midst of it all! It reminds me of the verse I latched onto as my guide during these last eight months. The writer of Proverbs says to each of us, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Therefore, we always have hope, and no matter what happens, we know the Lord will fulfill His promises in Scripture. Those of us who know Him as our Savior and Messiah can count on His leading and caring for us throughout this life (Romans 8:28)! I take great comfort in knowing that He never loses control and that His Spirit is never locked down!

We can tangibly know this truth because tiny Israel remains at the very center of God’s prophetic plan. The events in the Middle East are unfolding quickly, and Israel is becoming even more established. I see this as the next phase of the fulfillment of end-times prophecies.

With everything else going on, I would not want us to miss the significant realignment of nations in the Middle East regarding Israel.

There is no one better to give us the backstory of these recent landmark events than our friend, Joel C. Rosenberg. Joel lives in Jerusalem, and we have partnered with him on more conferences than I can count. Joel agreed to let me interview him, so we dedicate the rest of this newsletter to the interview.

Joel is a best-selling author and founder of The Joshua Fund and the brand-new media outlet, Near East Media. I asked him to enlighten us on the importance of the recent Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.

So, strap in, and off we go!

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Joel, thank you for taking the time to tell us part of the backstory behind the recent peace agreements signed by Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on September 15, 2020.

First of all, can you clarify the different terminology used to describe the nature of the agreements recently signed?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

In effect, the Abraham Accords are peace treaties and full normalization treaties between the State of Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain, with the United States as the broker and witness to the agreements. Those who criticize the accords, saying that these are not “real peace treaties,” are mistaken. It is narrow-minded to think, after a century of hostility in the Middle East, that two Arab states making real, warm peace treaties with Israel—the first two Arab countries to make peace with Israel in more than a quarter of a century—is somehow illegitimate or not serious. If you think about it, it is an offensive thought. I think it reflects more of the partisan nature of what is going on in Washington right now than the reality. Regardless of how one feels about President Trump, he deserves enormous credit for brokering these deals.

The most important element is that these agreements will lead to far warmer and far fuller peace relationships with Israel and these two Arab states than with the two previous peace treaty signers, Egypt and Jordan.

The one key difference is that Egypt and Jordan were in direct military conflict with Israel, and those peace treaties ended that. The 1979 and 1994 treaties kept those borders quiet for decades. While the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain never actually entered a military conflict, they were at war with Israel. They participated in the economic sanctions and embargoes against Israel. They constantly voted against Israel with the rest of the Arab world at the United Nations. They fully participated in the isolation and de-legitimization campaign against Israel for many years, though not recently. There has been real warming of those relationships in recent years, but they have decided to go public and make it formal. It is very exciting.

The flags of the United States, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Bahrain flutter along a road in Netanya, Israel, September 14, 2020. REUTERS / Alamy Stock Phot

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

What practical differences do you think the treaties will make economically, politically, and even to tourism between the Gulf states and Israel?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

Well, if you notice, the first set of memorandums of understanding and other legal documents signed in the days leading up to and following the signing of the Abraham Accords were very practical. They indicate how much benefit both sides will get—or all sides are going to get—from these agreements. There are agreements on civil aviation. For instance, there will be direct flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and between Israel and Bahrain. Those are, by the way, going to go through Saudi airspace. The Saudis are not yet ready to make peace with Israel, but they have agreed to let Israeli, Emirati, Bahraini, and other planes fly through their airspace. This concession is a huge step forward.

The other agreements are regarding banking, private property rights, and setting up small business agreements. The United Arab Emirates has now required every hotel in the country to have kosher meals. That has not happened in Egypt; it has not happened in Jordan. We are talking about major financial deals already in motion.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Do you think that Oman and some of the other Gulf states are going to follow suit?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

Yes, I think there is a list of countries that are actively considering this. Oman would certainly be near or at the top of the list. The Sultan of Oman invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to visit two years ago, and then publicized that trip with photos and video. That was very dramatic. That sultan has since passed away. There is a new sultan in power, but there is no reason to think that he disagrees with his predecessor. But, does he feel like he has solidified his leadership and is ready to make such a big decision? That is a good question. I do not have an answer for that yet; we will see.

If Sudan were now to make peace with Israel, that would be exciting. It would be dramatic, but I would note that Sudan also figures prominently in a prophecy of a future war against Israel—the conflict known in Ezekiel 38 and 39 as the War of Gog and Magog. I would not hold your breath for a full normalization, but maybe that prophetic war is many, many years off. No one knows for sure, of course.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

We do not know when these prophetic events will take place, right? So, we should take peace when we can get it!

Joel C. Rosenberg:


Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Have the UAE, Bahrain, or even some of the other countries you have mentioned considered Israel a place where they can invest funds? Such an investment would boost the Israeli economy.

Joel C. Rosenberg:

Yes. In talking to officials from both countries over the last few weeks since the signing of the Abraham Accords, I know that there are numerous business deals and venture capital deals in the works. Again, this is the most significant transformation in Arab-Israeli relations, I think, in the history of the modern State of Israel. These treaties will surpass the peace deals of Egypt and Jordan in the sense that the Abraham Accords are going to set the new model of what peace and normalization can be and what they should be.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Joel, I was privileged to follow your travels at times, as your friend, and was even invited to be part of one of those trips to visit some of the Middle Eastern countries. You brought several key evangelicals to visit, get to know, and extend goodwill to those countries. You were able to see the backstory unfolding in a lot of these nations. Can you tell us a little about what you have discovered?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

I would be happy to. It is extraordinary that evangelicals have had a front-row seat to what has been developing over the last several years. The Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, commonly known by his initials, MBZ, invited me to bring a delegation of evangelical leaders to visit him in the capital of Abu Dhabi in the fall of 2018. I took a group of about ten evangelical leaders with me. Among other meetings that we had in the country, we spent two hours in the palace in an off-the-record meeting with MBZ. There are many things, unfortunately, that I cannot share, but I can share this now:  We communicated to the crown prince that, when it came to the issue of peacemaking and Israel, there were three things we, as evangelicals, wanted him to know.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the United Arab Emirates Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, acknowledge applause and wave to the crowd after delivering remarks at the Abraham Accords signing, September 15, 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House, Washington, D.C. Geopix / Alamy Stock Photo

Number one, we love Israel, and we love the Jewish people, and, for evangelicals, this is a theological position, not a political position. He needed to know that we are deeply committed to Israel’s security, freedom, prosperity, and sovereignty. We wanted him to know that. Number two, Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. We did not want him to think that, because we love Israel, we hate the Palestinians, or Arabs, or Muslims more broadly. Some evangelicals have struggled with language or even positions that are not reflective of Jesus’ command. We wanted to communicate to him that we are commanded to love our neighbors. We do not always know how. We find our way, but we wanted him to know that we do not see it as either/or, that we love both. And while we believe that Israel has a special and unique place in God’s plan and purpose in the region, we want there to be peace today, and we want to build better relations with the Arab and Muslim world.

The third point we made to him was that we are commanded in the Scriptures to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Sixty million evangelicals in the United States alone are praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and we are looking at who will be the next Arab leader to make peace with Israel. As the leader of the delegation, I was the one that made these three points and stressed a little on the third one, “We would love it to be you.” He shocked us by saying, “Joel, I’m ready. I am ready to make peace with Israel, and I believe that the time is coming very soon.” That shocked us because—and I am not saying that we would say these three things in some pro forma way—we did not expect anyone to say back to us what MBZ said. We have said this to numerous Arab leaders in the region; he was the first to say that he was ready.

The question we began to discuss with him is, “How did you get to that point, and where do you go from here?” In these last two years, I have stayed in very close communication with the inner circle around the crown prince. Even up through the summer, I was in direct communications with them because I am writing a non-fiction book that will come out in the fall of 2021, timed with the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Twenty years after 9/11, the book looks at who the bad guys were, who the good guys were, and how our fight with radical Islam is going. It also looks at which Arab countries are fighting radical Islam very actively, and which countries want a much closer relationship with the United States and are even trending toward peace with Israel. The third section will address, “What is the state of the Church and religious freedom in the Middle East?”

I have been working on this book with a lot of exclusive material from these six delegations that I have led. All that to say, it became clear in July, when I was here in Washington meeting with the UAE ambassador, that they were ready, that they had actually put an offer on the table for Netanyahu, through the White House, and that those negotiations were in motion. I said to myself, “You have got to be kidding me.” I knew they were heading in that direction, but it was dramatic.

I will say that I was surprised by how quickly things accelerated this summer, especially when the big topic in Israel was whether Netanyahu would annex or apply Israeli sovereign law over large swaths of Judea and Samaria, which the world commonly knows as the West Bank. That was Netanyahu’s objective all summer, and that seemed to preclude any possibility of peace with the Arab states.

I was making the argument that, while I support the expansion of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria—the biblical heartland—over time, I believed that a peace treaty with one of the Gulf states was a higher objective for Israel in the near term. And I was making that case publicly and in quite a lonely fashion. It is in part because I knew it was possible, but it still stunned me. It is like when you have been praying, as Christians, as Messianic Jews, for decades for the peace of Jerusalem. It is a little like praying for Peter to be released from prison, then he knocked on your front door, and you cannot even believe that he is standing there.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

You are a bit stunned by it all.

Joel C. Rosenberg:

Yeah. We know that God can answer these prayers, but we do not always expect the answer to come so quickly! This summer was a game-changing moment.

The flags of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the United States light up the Old City Walls of Jerusalem to celebrate the signing of the historic peace treaties in Washington, D.C. Nir Alon / Alamy Stock Photo

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

How are the Palestinians reacting to all of this? Then, if you could also tell us, how is the person-on-the-street, the average Israeli, responding to these new events?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

I have not seen any polling yet. Remember, and actually, it is hard to remember at times, that the Palestinian territories are not free societies. They really do not have the freedom to say whatever they want. It does not mean that you will not find Palestinians who tell you, but there, in Gaza, Hamas—the terrorist organization—is in charge. It is very hard to get somebody’s real, direct opinion. In the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, this is tyranny. Mahmoud Abbas is now serving, I think, the fifteenth year of his four-year elected term. There is no freedom there.

I think we are beginning to see fissures inside Palestinian society. And so, we need to pray, as Christians and as Messianic Jews, for the Palestinian people.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Could you take one minute and tell us all about All Arab News and All Israel News, and your role as President and CEO of Near East Media?

Joel C. Rosenberg:

Yes, I am continuing my work to advance the Joshua Fund, which is essentially a mutual fund to invest in the growth and the strength of the Church and the Messianic body in Israel and throughout five neighboring Arab countries, as well as the Palestinian territories. We also believe that the media bias against Israel, against peace, against the values that we hold dear—anti-Christian media—is so bad that I decided to launch two new websites. One is called All Israel News, and the other is All Arab News. All Israel News is, and the Arab news is

We will provide links to all the really good and credible coverage in the Israeli press, Arab press, and American and other media. There is good reporting out there, but most Christians and Messianic Jews do not have the time to go sifting through dozens of websites to figure out what is real, what is important, what is credible. These sites will become what I call one-stop shopping. We link to all the most important stories in the region. We are also providing original reporting, exclusive interviews, and analysis: what is happening, why is it important, and how do we fit it into the larger picture as evangelicals. We are very distinctly and specifically focused on communicating to the world’s 600 million evangelicals what is happening in Israel and the region and why it matters.

Dr. Mitch Glaser:

Joel, thank you so much. I appreciate it, and we pray God’s blessings on All Israel News and All Arab News, and we thank you for your time, so shalom and blessings.

I am grateful for the time you were willing to speak with me. I know that those who read The Chosen People newsletter will appreciate this insightful information and pray for Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East, and you.

Joel C. Rosenberg:

My pleasure.

I hope you enjoyed the interview! I hope it will help you continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. And please remember to pray for our staff who are bringing the gospel to Jewish people worldwide, including Israel.

We are so grateful for you!

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch Glaser

P.S. There is much more to this conversation! To hear the full interview, visit

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