Standing in the gap for Israel report 01/22

Please note, there will be no report for the next two weeks.

 HebrewScripturesThe Word:   With the hand of Adonai upon me, Adonai carried me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley, and it was full of bones. He had me pass by all around them — there were so many bones lying in the valley, and they were so dry! He asked me, “Human being, can these bones live?” I answered, “Adonai Elohim! Only you know that!” (Ezekiel 37: 1-3)

“Hear my prayer, O LORD… For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers. My heart is blighted and withered like grass… I am reduced to skin and bones. …All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse. For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears because of Your great wrath, for You have taken me up and thrown me aside. My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass. But You, O LORD, sit enthroned for ever; Your renown endures through all generations.  You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favour to her; the appointed time has come. For her stones are dear to Your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. The nations will fear the name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere Your glory.  For the LORD will rebuild Zion and appear in His glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD… ” (Psalm 102:1-18)

  • Pointers for prayer: The above Scripture states, “You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favour to her.” May we continue to have compassion and sincere love for the Jewish people as we fervently stand in the gap for Israel.  Please do continue to uphold in prayer the Jewish people as we once again remember the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
  • Please pray for the Holocaust Memorial events throughout the UK, that we would have a huge impact on the Christian Church, the world of the Media, along with the youth within the educational system.
  • This time of the year with Holocaust Memorial events help us to remember what went on during those dark days. But may we also “look up” and remember not only the struggles, the pain, and the horror, but also the promises of God. Praise God that even in the darkest night, His light can shine. As Dutch Holocaust Survivor Corrie Ten Boom once said, “There is no pit too deep that He is not deeper still“. Remember too, the many Survivors still alive today.  May they, even now, find comfort, strength, and the LORD’s blessing on their lives.
  • From the ashes of the Shoah (Holocaust), the nation of Israel was re-birthed. Continue to pray that the LORD would bring shalom to Jerusalem. Let peace reign within her walls and within all the borders of the land. ‘For you have sworn that your steadfast love shall not depart from Israel, nor your covenant of peace be removed from her.  You are a compassionate and covenant keeping God. (Psalm 122:6; 147:14; Isaiah 54:10).  Pray that Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria & the Golan Heights would remain under Jewish sovereignty, now and until the Messiah returns.

At least 14 stabbed on Tel Aviv bus in terrorist attack

(Photo (right) taken by Israeli Police)

HT_ISRAEL_ATTACK_150121_DG_4x3_992As I am writing this report, news is breaking of another horrific terrorist attack in Israel.   One report stated that 17 had been injured, four in serious condition. A Palestinian suspect was shot in the leg and detained by police.  In a statement by the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday morning (Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser) he stated, “The terrorist attack in Tel Aviv is the direct result of the poisonous incitement being disseminated by the Palestinian Authority against the Jews and their state. This same terrorism is trying to attack us in Paris, Brussels and everywhere.  It is Hamas – Abu Mazen’s partners in a unity government – that hastened to commend this attack. This is the same Hamas that announced it will [attempt to] sue Israel at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Abu Mazen (otherwise known Mahmoud Abbas – D.S.) is responsible for both the incitement and the dangerous move at the ICC in the Hague.  I just spoke with the head of the Israel Prison Service Nahshon unit, Menashe Ganish, and I praised the determined action by the unit’s fighters, who saved many lives and prevented a worse attack.  We will continue to take strong action against the terrorism that has been trying to attack us since the founding of the state, and we will see to it that it does not achieve its goal.”

A Palestinian Arab stabbed commuters at about 7:30 a.m. on the No. 40 bus heading north through the city of Tel Aviv from Bat Yam on a bus during rush hour on Wednesday morning, injuring some 17 people, several seriously, police said.  Four of the victims were hospitalized in serious condition, another five were left in a moderate condition, and the remaining were lightly injured according to media reports.  The attacker was identified as a Palestinian man from the ‘West Bank’ city of Tulkarem, 23.  He was shot in the leg after a short chase and taken into police custody.

ShowImage.ashxShortly after it ended, the Palestinian media were already praising the Tel Aviv bus stabbing by publishing sick and perverted cartoons.  According to the Jerusalem Post, the first cartoon, drawn by cartoonist Bahaa Yaseen, was posted within the first 90 minutes following the attack. It shows a smiling terrorist holding a bloody knife and praising the attack, which at the time was reported to have injured 10 people.

(Above cartoon: photo credit:PALESTINIAN MEDIA)

The figure stands in front of a sign that reads “Occupied Tel-A-rabia,” a play on the words Tel Aviv. On the bus is the number of the bus line on which the attack took place and a Jewish star. Blood pours out of the doors and onto the street (see the full report here).  This only makes the scene of Abbas marching in Paris in the anti-terrorist peace rally two weeks even more hypercritical.  It would also appear that the French are condemned for drawing cartoons of Mohammad, as it causes Muslims to go on yet another murderous spree, but it’s okay for the Palestinian Authority media to draw these sick perverted cartoons after butchering Jews in Israel.  Will there once again be a worldwide response to this terror attack with world leaders marching hand in hand through the streets? I somehow doubt it.

Remembering the Shoah

Jude star of DavidWith recent events of anti-Semitic attacks upon Jews in Europe still very fresh in our minds, I’m hoping the British public might focus on the events taking place in the UK for Holocaust Memorial Day with greater interest and a deeper awareness of the constant fight that the Jewish people have to battle with on a daily basis, specifically when it comes to lives of Israeli’s battling to hang on to their very nation.  From the very ashes of the Shoah (Holocaust), the nation of Israel was re-birthed in 1948, yet today, that nation is under constant attack both from Islam and the Political world.

As the years press on and survivors of the Holocaust become fewer, anti-Semitism is still increasing. Therefore no matter how we do it, the Holocaust (Shoah) must be remembered.  Organisations such as The Holocaust Educational Trust, Yad Vashem, Christian Friends of Yad Vashem and other groups such as Christian Friends of Israel (https://www.cfi.org.uk/) (https://cfijerusalem.org/web/)  are vital to keep the message alive, and enable the next generation to know what happened during those dark years in Nazi Europe.

In Israel, the full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah”— in Hebrew literally translated as the “Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It is marked on the 27th day in the month of Nisan — a week after the end of the Passover holiday and a week before Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers). It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.  However Britain brought in the National Holocaust Memorial Day in 2000 (a government initiative) on January 27. It marks the anniversary of the liberation – by the Soviet Union – of the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945.  The Holocaust remains the largest systematic persecution of any single race on earth. The Holocaust claimed the lives of six million Jewish men, women and children between 1933, when Hitler came to power in Germany, and 1945, when the Nazis were finally defeated.

Seventy is often seen as a significant number.  But did you know that the French do not have a word for 70, instead using “soixante-dix” (60 + 10).  And so, if you are of this age, you’re not as old as you may think, just 60 plus 10.  However, as I pondered the number 70, I realised that in Jewish tradition, there were 70 men in the Great Sanhedrin (the Supreme Court) of ancient Israel (Sanhedrin 1:4). Likewise, according to the Jewish Aggada, there are 70 perspectives (“faces”) to the Torah (Numbers Rabbah 13:15).  In the Hebrew Scriptures, seventy elders were assembled by Moses on God’s command in the desert (Numbers 11:16-30).  In the New Testament’s Gospel of Matthew 18:21-22, Yeshua (Jesus) tells Peter to forgive people seventy times seven times.  Also in the Gospel of Luke 10:1-24, Yeshua, in typical Jewish style, appoints seventy Disciples and sends them out in pairs to preach the Gospel.  The Hebrew Scriptures also allots three score and ten (70 years) for a man’s life (Psalm 90:10), and the Mishnah attributes that age to “strength” (Avot 5:32), as one who survives that age is described by the verse as “the strong”.  This year of course, it is seventy years after the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Is this 70th anniversary of some great significance?  Well I hope so, and certainly the creators of modern technology seem to think so as a new App called ‘70 Voices’ will enable Android and iOS owners to hear from ‘victims, perpetrators and bystanders’ to commemorate this special anniversary.  Yes, an Android and iOS application is aiming to provide new insights into the Holocaust for modern-day smartphone and tablet users.  70 Voices: Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders is the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust, which has made it available as a free download through Google, Amazon and Apple’s app stores.  The app will offer 70 different perspectives on the Holocaust from people who were alive at the time, at a time when the number of people able to give first-hand accounts continues to dwindle.  I’ve already downloaded this free app and am quite impressed with the content.

This year in the UK there is also a season of programmes across the BBC marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The behind-the-scenes true life story of a ground-breaking producer, Milton Fruchtman, and blacklisted TV director Leo Hurwitz who, overcoming enormous obstacles set out to capture the testimony of one of the war’s most notorious Nazis, Adolf Eichmann. He was accused of executing the ‘final solution’ and organising the murder of 6 million Jews. This extraordinary story of how the trial came to be televised and the team that made it happen was on BBC 2 on Tuesday night. And I have to confess, it was very harrowing most of the time.

The Eichmann Show is about the televising of the Eichmann trial in 1961.  Filming at his trial in Jerusalem, the production became the world’s first ever global TV documentary series, the first time the horror of the camps had been heard directly from the mouths of its victims. Edited daily and broadcast in Germany, America, Israel and 34 other countries, people fainted when they saw it on TV. Never before has there been such drama in the use of cameras, their positioning, or the revolutionary effect of operators being able to adjust frame and position to match subject and content.  As the producer of The Eichmann Show, Laurence Bowen stated, “Israel’s decision to call 111 witnesses, who between them would tell the world of the Holocaust, was very compelling from a storytelling perspective.”  It made the world realise that the Holocaust did actually happen.

Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the soil surrounding the Nazi death camp remains so polluted by the ashes of those who were murdered and burned there that little will grow in it. They say that birds don’t even sing in that place ~ even today. The memory of the Holocaust is never erased by those Survivors who went through it. Nor should it ever be forgotten by you and me.  As we read Psalm 102 (above), did the writer have a vision of what was to come?  The Hebrew, and nearly all the versions of the Bible, gives the following title to this Psalm: ‘A prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and pours out his sighing before the Lord.’ This could have been a prayer of the captives in Babylon, when, toward the end of the captivity, they were almost worn out with oppression, cruelty, and distress. The Psalm has often been attributed to Daniel, or Jeremiah, and even Nehemiah, or to some of the other prophets who flourished during the time of the captivity.  However, when we read “For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers“, could this not speak of the gas chambers and ovens of the Holocaust? We read, “All day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse“, and of course we know that the Nazi’s taunted the Jewish people and demanded that the Jews wore their name on a yellow star as a curse.  As those in the camps watched their families and friends burn in the ovens, would they not have eaten “ashes with their food and mingled their drink with tears“?  Do ponder awhile on this Psalm as you contemplate on the horrors of the Holocaust.

I find Psalm 102 such an awesome piece of scripture.  It starts out in the depths of despair, yet rises to an incredible hope.  I know not of any deeper depths than the first few verses of this Psalm that plummet to such despair.  For me, Psalm 102 speaks of a form of Hell, a place where God is nowhere to be found.  A place experienced by the millions of Jews in the Holocaust.  Yet will the world really understand what went on during the Holocaust?  Will the children who study this as part of their curriculum truly grasp these horrors?  Please make this subject a priority in your prayer closets this week.

And yet this Psalm has much hope.  It states in verses 13 and 16 that the Lord will arise and have compassion on Zion… and the LORD will rebuild Zion.  This is happening in our days.  And having compassion on Zion is part of our work too.  Through the work of Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) thousands of Holocaust Survivors in Israel are ministered to.  When any of these survivors come to CFI’s Centre in Jerusalem, they take the time to visit them, recording their stories and helping financially and with counselling.

A service to mark the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz will be held at Westminster Abbey at 6.30 pm on Sunday 1st February 2015.  For tickets click here.   To view an excellent video created by the Holocaust Educational Trust click here: http://vimeo.com/115809190

Points to Ponder

DSCF3251Coming up, I’ve included an article by Beryl Ratzer, an Israeli Tour Guide and author who writes an interesting article following the Paris attacks.  But first, and as I state above, through Holocaust Memorial Day and indeed the many other events connected to this throughout the year, we aim to ensure that the horrendous crimes, racism and the victimisation committed during the Holocaust are neither forgotten nor repeated, whether in Europe or elsewhere in the world.  And yet, as I have already covered over the past few months, anti-Semitism is very much on the increase throughout Europe.  According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, many European Jews are also afraid to identify themselves as Zionists and supporters of Israel, the leaders of several national branches of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) told The Jerusalem Post recently.

Speaking at the organization’s annual meeting in Tel Aviv, the heads of the WIZO branches in France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden described the difficulties facing their constituents in a Europe in which Jewish nationalism is decreasingly acceptable.  The president of WIZO France, Joelle Lezmi stated, “There is a very bad atmosphere around Jewish people. People do not have the right to wear kippot; Jewish people are afraid to put on their Star of David; Jewish people have no place to say I am Jewish… If you are to say ‘I am a Zionist’ it’s quite a revolution.”  Susanne Sznajderman, Lezmi’s Swedish counterpart stated, “A similar situation exists in Sweden. People self-censor themselves. They hear anti-Semitism, but do not act, because they don’t feel safe in reacting,” she said, condemning her government’s “very weak leadership” on this issue.  She went on to state that Sweden’s recognition of a Palestinian state outside of the framework of a negotiated solution gave “courage to the Palestinians and to those who are violent and to the Muslims in our country to act. That strategy is extremely dangerous.”

book_cover-largeAnti-Semitism is indeed very much on the increase throughout Europe along with Islamic attacks on Jews and anyone who would oppose their thinking, and this only makes the scene of Abbas marching in Paris in the anti-terrorist peace rally two weeks even more hypercritical.  These double-standards really do need exposing and this is something Beryl Ratzer is trying to do through her writings, website and blogs.  Beryl Ratzer, an Israeli Tour Guide, combines her knowledge of Israeli archaeology, geography and history with her great love of the Land of Israel to enrich the tourist and the historian alike in their Holy Land adventure. Veteran Israeli Guide and author of “A Historical Tour of the Holy Land” – in English, Russian and Spanish, Beryl Ratzer’s latest ‘Points to Ponder’ is well worth a read, and with her permission is included here.

She writes, “The murderous events in France last week and the demonstrations in their wake have highlighted double-standards and bias and raised many “points to ponder”.  On the one hand we are told that Islam is a peaceful religion and Moslems as a group cannot be held responsible for the actions of the “fanatics” and must be protected.   On the other hand we are given to understand that terrorism against Jews is acceptable and understandable because of the actions, often falsely reported, attributed to Israel in her attempt to protect her citizens from the same terrorism now threatening the complacent western world.”

Writing on a similar theme to what I reported in last week’s WoZ report, Beryl Ratzer continues, “No one protested when a young Jewish boy was tortured for days and his partially burnt but still alive body was thrown on the railway tracks in France, when four Jews, including three children, were killed at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, when four Jews were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels or when four elderly Jews were butchered while at prayers in their synagogue in Jerusalem all by those same “fanatic terrorists”.   No one demonstrated when hundreds of Nigerian school girls were kidnapped, when thousands of Nigerians are butchered by Boko Haram, when innumerable Christians are persecuted and killed throughout Africa and the Middle East, to mention but a few atrocities perpetrated in the name of Allah, invariably quoting chapter and verse from the Quran, Hadith or the life of Mohammed.  Not even Moslems in the free world have demonstrated against the bloodbaths committed by Moslems against one another, all in the name of different brands of Islam, whether in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Pakistan, when tens of thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands made refugees.”

She concludes, “How long will it take the politically correct western world, unable to call a spade a spade, to use the “M” or “I” words – Moslem and Islam – and acknowledge that more than 90% of the atrocities in the world are perpetrated by Moslems in the name of Allah? The silence of a billion non-radical, peaceful Moslems merely confirms this.” Please go to www.ratzer.com  to receive “Points to Ponder” directly.

David Soakell

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24News.com & Israel National Radio

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About David Soakell

Believer in Yeshua (Jesus). In full time ministry work. Passionate about Israel, and publishes a weekly Middle East News Report.
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