St. Augustine locals garner support for Israel

Photo cred: Jackie KunkelPhoto cred: Jackie Kunkel

By Hannah Bleau |

As the tension between Palestine and Israel continues to stir debate among Americans, activist groups are rallying support for both sides. Recently, some St. Augustine locals demonstrated their support for Israel.

I was driving past the corner of 312 and Old Moultrie when I saw white and blue flags waving in the air. I tried to ignore it. A few months ago, an anti-Israel political rally in Denver turned me sour. Hundreds of people marched up and down 16th street shouting, “Cut U.S. aid to Israel. They’re murderers!” Sweating in their burkas, the women chanted, “Free Palestine!” They triumphantly pulled their children in wagons, wagging their fingers and calling anyone who opposed their march terrorists.

The support garnered for the state-sponsored terrorist organizations was absolutely appalling. Weeks later, a pro-Gaza rally was held in the nation’s capitol.

Needless to say, I did a double take. I was elated to see support for Israel in my humble hometown.

Some members of the congregation of Heneni Messianic Fellowship were outside garnishing their support, including Flagler College alum Kim Kunkel. She was offering her support at the rally. She said Israel remains America’s only true ally in the Middle East, and it would be better for us in the long-term to continually offer our support.

Kim Kunkel Flagler Class of 2011: Photo cred Jackie Kunkel

Kim Kunkel Flagler Class of 2011: Photo cred Jackie Kunkel

“We also have Turkey and Saudi Arabia, but they are also involved in supporting terrorist organizations like on the global scale,” Kunkel said.

Other members said as much as 75 percent of people were in support of their rally.

“We want to make a stand so both the Christian community and the community at large will at least have an idea. It will awaken some. We hope to plant the seed to support the nation. They may not know anything about the scriptures and what they should do, but that we have always stood with Israel, this nation, and we need to stand with Israel right now especially during this time of crisis,” church elder Lydia Renzulli said.

I felt such a connection with these people as they told me their stance on the media’s deceptive coverage of the Israeli-Gaza conflict. The media notoriously portrays one side more favorably than the other. Unlike the media’s narrative, the pro-Israel supporters didn’t wish harm on anyone. Members said their goal was to spread the word and pray for those in support of Hamas.

“We pray for their awakening. Look at the facts, not just listen to the liberal media. There are facts that they put their own people in danger. Life is cheap there in Gaza. They know that Israel sends letters; they send fliers to leave the area because this is going to be bombed. They know that there [are] things hidden, and they let–­ they have their people stay, and consequently all of these people have died. They have put their own people in harms way.”

It’s true. No matter what side of the aisle they sit on, Americans need to research and truly consider the true aggressors. You don’t need a college degree to realize how barbaric Hamas is. They are villains of liberty. They’ve killed hundreds of their own children by forcing them to dig tunnels to Israel; they purposely place their headquarters in civilian places like schools and hospitals. YouTube videos show them setting up rockets in heavily populated civilian areas. Islamic militants in Gaza have launched thousands of rockets into Israel, and have broken ceasefire agreements multiple times. They continually ignore Israel’s warnings, telling the civilians in Gaza to remain in strike zones use women, children and the disabled as human shields.

It’s not surprising when you know their motto:

“We love death just as much as the Jews love life.”

So how do you negotiate with people who want you off wiped off the face of the planet? You don’t.

“If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” –Benjamin Netanyahu

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