A listener of mine, Sue Rivello, from SoCal wrote me recently that she moved to an obscure place called Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It sits just off the Colorado river and is so isolated, that - in her words: "a big day out is to go to KMart."
The Colorado river and Lake Havasu City (located in lower right corner of photo)
From Sue's back yard, you can see the strangest sight. It was so strange, that Sue photographed it, and then sent me the picture. It was a photograph of an Israeli flag flying high and proud in this remote desert city. How is it that in this 'middle of nowhere town', there's an Israeli flag flying in it? I asked Sue to report on it, and what a job she did! Read and enjoy, and I'd like to send a big, 'Shalom from Israel!' to Mr. & Mrs. Persson.
"Redneck Jew of Havasu"
October 5th, 2013
By Susan L. Rivello
Terry Persson does something that may not seem like a big deal to most people, while others, may perceive it as offensive particularly, in light of the rise of anti-Semitism in America and throughout the world.
Terry and wife Billie proudly fly the Israeli Flag with the American Flag in front of their home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Israeli flag flying in Havasu
Havasu is not exactly the hub of Jewish life in the United States and although thousands of miles away from Israel, this act of flying the Israeli flag is his way of showing the tiny state and her people that he is united in heart with their God given right to the covenant land promised to the Jewish people through the Abrahamic covenant of Genesis 3:1-3.
His father a gentile and mother a Jew, he grew up celebrating the traditions and holidays of both the Christians and Jews. He and his wife are Christians, but Terry adamantly and affectionately refers to himself as “A Redneck Jew.”
Terry served as an Air Force Pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down twice in his military career, the second time suffering injuries causing permanent disability.
After receiving his disabling injuries, this battle scared military pilot regrouped. He returned to school and became an Engineer, giving Boeing Aircraft Co. 37 years before retiring six years ago to the desert community of Lake Havasu City, Az. from the state of Washington.
I asked this battle scared, Redneck Jew, if he was initially afraid to fly the Israeli Flag and without the least hesitation said, “Hell No”. He flew the Israeli flag regularly when he lived in Washington but hadn’t since he moved to Lake Havasu.
That changed however about six months ago when he was driving through one of the main streets of this small isolated desert town and saw an Egyptian Revolution Flag (1953-1958) flying in front of a house, minus the American Flag. He said he immediately drove to the Flag store and bought the Israeli Flag and let her beauty wave.
Egyptian Revolution Flag (1953 -1)
This Redneck Jew then decided he should have a friendly discussion with the owner of the Egyptian Revolution Flag. Terry’s advice to the owner was, “NOT IN THIS TOWN ARE YOU GOING TO FLY THAT FLAG”. As expected, his words weren’t well received. The door was quickly shut in his face. But victory was achieved and the Egyptian Revolution Flag FLYS NO MORE.
Flags have been flown throughout time immemorial and for many reasons. They have been flown as symbols of patriotism, revolution, rebellion, love, pride, support and advertising. They can and do stir deep emotions, both good and bad.
The reaction the Persson’s have received from neighbors and friends for flying the Israeli flag has been positive and supportive of Israel. To date only one couple in their neighborhood has voiced opposition saying, “The flag is out of place.” Oddly enough the person voicing the displeasure was a fellow Jew.
We read from the Torah in Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Whether the people and Nations of the world like it, this is God’s official written policy to mankind.
The America that exists now is not the America most of us grew up in and fondly remember. We are witnessing the encroachment of the religion of Islam in American and European society. The Jewish and Christian faiths are systematically being devalued and marginalized by the political leaders of these nations, in favor of Islam.
With the turmoil and violence embroiling Egypt, Syria and the other Islamic states of the Middle East, it’s comforting to know there are still some men willing to take a politically incorrect stand to defend the values of America and the God given land of the people of Israel.
Terry and Billie have yet to visit the Holy Land of Israel but have chosen to bless her in other ways through charity donations and let’s not forget, flying her flag over their home town.
This is beautiful Lake Havasu City, Arizona home of the London Bridge and now the Israeli Flag.
Even though flying the Israeli Flag as stated before may be unimportant to some, it does take courage to fly it in a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise. We live in a world of violence, confusion and contradiction. A world that is upside down, where right is wrong and wrong is right. But this Redneck Jew of Havasu isn’t afraid to stand his moral ground for what he believes in the defense of Israel. How about you? Do you or would you fly the Israeli Flag outside the land of Israel to bless her?
Terry and Billie Persson