Please note: This will be my last report for a couple of weeks as I take a summer vacation. The next report will be out on 23rd July 2015
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands… and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You… You have kept what You promised… You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day… Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You… when their [Israel’s] enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men), that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers. (Taken from 2 Chronicles 6:12-31)
Pointers for prayer: Please continue to pray that the Church world-wide would recognise the spiritual and eternal significance of the nation of Israel, and pray regarding those who oppose Israel and the Jewish people.
Give thanks that the upcoming rally against the Jewish people at Golders Green in London by neo-Nazi supporters has been stopped from happening in the Jewish community of Golders Green, however, as the neo-Nazi protesters planned at their rally to demonise the Jews which included plans to burn the Israeli flag, should the British government still be allowing this to go ahead in central London? Please keep praying that this evil anti-Semitic rally would be banned completely.
Shall We Now Remain Silent (Part Two)?
Following on from last week’s report, I felt led to continue the theme from the title of the talk I gave at the CFI 30th anniversary conference in Jerusalem recently. Last week I wrote on two ‘words’ that have kept ‘dropping into my spirit’ – the first being ‘indifference’ and the second ‘indignation’. I looked at the meanings of these words with ‘indifference’ meaning “a lack of interest or concern, and unimportance (This is a word that we could apply to some areas of the church regarding God’s relation and covenantal promises to Israel). The word ‘indignation’ however means ‘anger or annoyance provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment’ – this is how I see the world, the media and sadly even parts of the church in how they behave against Israel. As I mentioned last week, I had been asked to speak on “Christian Anti-Semitism: Shall We Now Remain Silent?” I then went on to write in my report about the upcoming demonstration/ rally against the Jewish people at Golders Green in London by neo-Nazi supporters which was due to happen on Saturday 4th July 2015.
Earlier on this week I was informed from sources that the Golders Green event has now been cancelled – which we can indeed thank the Lord for! However, the Police have moved the event to Whitehall in central London. Thousands of people from all different faiths, including Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders, had been planning on going to Golders Green to show solidarity against the rally. The group ‘Campaign against Anti-Semitism’ said its representatives spent the last months in meetings with Barnet council and the police in an attempt to stop it from taking place. The group’s statement read, “The neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green has been cancelled following our discussions with the police and prospect of us countering in our thousands. We are therefore calling off our counter-protest… This decision is a victory for British values and we applaud their firm defence of our community.” This is of course true and it is good to know that many faith groups were determined to stand against this evil. There was certainly no ‘indifference’ here – just solid determination to see this event banned. Anti-Semitism is a societal disease and zero tolerance needs to be applied. However, as the neo-Nazi protesters planned to demonise the Jewish people which included plans to burn the Israeli flag, should the British government still be allowing this to go ahead in central London? Please keep praying that this evil anti-Semitic rally will be banned completely and that any roots of neo-Nazism would wither and die.
However, we must also pray regarding the various forms of ‘apathy’ and ‘indifference’ found in many areas of today’s church. As I’ve mentioned before, many Christians will openly and rightly express horror at what happened in Nazi Europe during the Holocaust. They will see the attempted annihilation of 11 million Jews, and the eventual murder of 6 million Jews as being an evil act on humanity. Yet many of these same Christians will either turn a blind eye to events happening in Israel today, or worse, will speak out against the Jewish State and demand justice for the Palestinian Arabs without bothering to first understand the situation or even obtain the facts. Is this not hypocrisy?
Two areas relating to this in connection with Israel have really troubled me this week. First is the issue that we are now 10 years on from Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza – which was a ‘land for peace’ deal which has been disastrous. Does anyone outside of those who stand with Israel really care regarding Gush Katif – 10 years on? I was in Gaza when Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went back on his word and pulled every Jew out of Gush Katif – all in the name of peace! Gush Katif was an area of 21 Israeli towns in the southern Gaza strip. In August 2005, the Israeli army carried out the Cabinet’s decision and forcibly removed the 8,600 residents of Gush Katif from their homes. When I think of Gush Katif I am filled with such painful memories of very young Israeli soldiers struggling to fulfil their orders in forcefully removing every Jew from their homes in this area.
Many voices at the time were demanding that Israel “give the Arab Palestinians what they want – give them the land and they will bring peace?” First of all, very few people realise that this was not an Arab Palestinian dominated area before the Jewish people built their homes there. Most people have no idea that before the Israeli’s built their homes this area was empty sand dunes with wonderful beaches. What many Jewish hearts witnessed was a miracle of the bare sand being transformed into beautiful communities, synagogues, schools, hotels, and field after field of greenhouses that grew flowers, fruit and vegetables not only for local purchase, but that was sent world-wide. Secondly, where is the peace that those Arab leaders and pro-Palestinian campaigners stated would happen – just as they are today over Judea and Samaria (the West Bank)? I have been back many times to the border of Gaza to report on all the rocket attacks from Hamas terrorists who control Gaza. Many of the Arab Palestinians in Gaza also suffer greatly under the Islamic terrorist group – as do the few remaining Christians.
As I mentioned in my talk at the Jerusalem conference, on many occasions I have challenged the people who will stand on the streets of the UK with their ‘boycott Israeli products’ signs, and have personally asked them, “Have you ever been to Israel?” “Have you ever been to the ‘West Bank’ or Gaza? And every answer has been a sheepishly “no”. When I challenge them as to what help they have provided for the Palestinian Arabs, they can’t give me an answer. And when I tell them, “Did you know that Arab Bedouins, Arab Druze and Arab Christians volunteer to serve in the Israeli army (IDF?) – they look at me as if I have grown two heads.
Having written my news reports on many occasions from the town of Sderot – 0.6 kilometres from the Gaza Border – and heard the Red Alert or Tzeva Adom warning going off of attempted rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza, I personally know the horror of war.
And having personally ministered to Terrorist victims – men, women and children – all innocent civilians – I know the pain and suffering they go through. And it’s not just the physical loss either – I’ve never known a people suffer so much trauma as those Israeli’s who have suffered the rockets attacks from Hamas in Gaza.
And it angers me so much to see such atrocities. But perhaps what angers me even more, is the actions from the groups of people who demonise Israel yet who have never been to the Middle East let alone Israel.
Have these same people demonstrated against ISIS when massacring and slaughtering everything in their wake in Syria, Iraq and Libya with Christians being killed, extorted and ethnically cleansed? What of the atrocities in Turkey, Sudan, Somalia, North Korea, China, Burma, Pakistan, Indonesia, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, etc., etc… human rights violators all, yet accompanied by an almost deafening silence from those who demonise Israel for protecting herself against Hamas. Hamas – who knowingly and willingly use human sacrifices to protect their control centres and rocket launchers and ammunition dumps – every single action of which contravenes International Law and is categorically a war crime. And Hamas are currently re-equipping themselves and using children and teenagers to learn the art of terrorism using live ammunition. I find it unbelievable, that certain Christians – and even certain church leaders – whom I’ll not even give credit to by mentioning their names – can actually remain silent over all these deaths of Muslims and Christians and yet aggressively oppose the Nation of Israel for standing up for her God-given rights.
The second area is the news that while links between Islamic State and the man suspected of beheading his boss and trying to blow up a gas plant in south-east France have had massive media coverage, at the same time there has been six terrorist attacks in Israel in just 11 days (2 killed, 6 wounded), yet barely any coverage at all. The attack in France was indeed horrific and was rightly covered by the media, yet when events of even greater terrorist attacks happen against the Israeli’s there is little mention, why? On 30th June 2015, Malachi Rosenfeld (aged 25) died due to a terrorist attack. Rosenfeld and a group of three friends were attacked by an Arab Palestinian with a gun on the evening of June 29, 2015 in north Tel Aviv. Rosenfeld’s three friends’ sustained injuries, however Rosenfeld died from his wounds the next day. Hundreds were mourning at the funeral of Malachi Rosenfeld today (Wednesday). His father stated, “Words cannot express the pain of a heartbroken father who had his son taken away from him in such a cruel manner.” As a ‘Dad’ of a 20-year-old son, I can’t imagine what Malachi’s father is going through. Please pray for these families.
On the 19th June 2015, Danny Gonen (aged 25) was travelling in the ‘West Bank’ in his vehicle with another 25-year old friend, when he was waved down on the side of the road by an Arab Palestinian man seeming to need their assistance. The man opened fire on the vehicle, striking Gonen multiple times. Gonen was airlifted to a hospital but died of his wounds. Hamas issued a statement claiming that they “welcome this excellent and heroic attack.” Since January 2012, more than 2,530 rockets and mortars fired from Gaza have hit Israeli civilian areas – yet again – with very little media coverage.
Gush Katif – 10 years on… and what has Israel learned? I hope they have learnt much – I hope they have learnt that we can never negotiate with a terrorist state and alleged ‘political parties’ that try to hide their terrorist actions. Back on the 26th August 2005, I covered the story of the Gaza disengagement. In my report I wrote, “This past week has to be one of the saddest weeks I’ve known. My heart has grieved to the point that I have had to look away. When I have had the strength to watch the scenes within Gaza, it all seemed so unreal, like watching some bizarre fiction movie. Seeing the Jewish people standing upon their synagogues in Gush Katif, or looking over walls at their ‘enemy’, reminded me of some Bible story, or what it must have been like when the Romans attacked Masada. The trouble of course being, they weren’t looking over the walls at their enemies, for the advancing army was their own people. So many have prayed. So many people have protested. Thousands have travelled to be in or near Gush Katif. Like some scene out of the book of Joshua, thousands of Jews had marched around the Temple Mount gates, the Old City walls. We have interceded worldwide, crying and beseeching the LORD God of Israel to intervene, to stop this insanity, to end this evil. Yet it continued. Are the heavens as brass? As the final hours approached, we still cried out to the LORD, yet the heavens surely appeared as brass. Only the scorching sun beat down upon the Jews, adding to the physical misery of the residents of N’vei Dekalim and Gush Katif.”
In that report, I highlighted the above Scriptures of 2 Chronicles 6:12-31, where the Word of God states, “when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities… whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know…” When Israel’s enemies besiege them! But the disengagement of Gush Katif and Gaza was not done by Israel’s enemy – this was their own people.
At the time there were many moving stories that caused tears to stream down my face during this nightmare. One was the scene of the young boy trying to convince the soldier that the evacuation was wrong, and, starting to cry, the soldier took the boy in his arms and they cried together. Another was the story Ashirah Yosefah who stated, “I just got off the phone with Chaya, who has been in the thick of things in N’vei Dekalim for the past two weeks. Yesterday afternoon, she called me sobbing, as people around her began, in resignation, to pack up their most precious belongings. Last night, her voice was empty, hollow, drained from weeping through minchah prayers as the people of N’vei Dekalim took upon themselves the dual weight of submitting to HaShem’s sovereign will, whatever comes next, while simultaneously pouring their souls out as water, pleading for God’s intervention, hanging on to every minute thread of hope they have left after the events of the past two days…” Ashirah then cried out, “God in Heaven, why must these righteous people suffer for the sins and the rebellion of others? Why must evil and a cult of murder be allowed to continue, to increase their appetite for Jewish blood by this massive heroin-like dose of gratification being delivered to them by way of the hearts, homes and back-breaking labours of the residents of Gush Katif?”
Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel. Over 5 million Israelis are currently living under threat of rocket attacks. More than half a million Israelis have less than 60 seconds to find shelter after a rocket is launched from Gaza into Israel. Most rockets launched from Gaza into Israel are capable of reaching Israel’s biggest cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Israel pulled out of Gaza to give peace a chance. And yet the UN continues to condemn Israel for protecting themselves against the Hamas terrorist machine. Worse still, the world expects Israel to give up her Biblical and legal rights (see the San Remo agreement) of Judea and Samaria – for peace?
For more stories on Gush Katif – 10 years on, go to Israel National News here.
In related news… In Geneva, Switzerland this week, Jews and Christians from across Europe gathered at Place Des Nations across from the UN Human Rights Council building to protest the latest Gaza report. They gathered together draped in Israeli and European flags and held aloft signs reading “Israel wants peace, Hamas wants war,” and “We stand for Israel, we stand for democracy.” One of the people in the gathering was Sister Lebona, an American member of the German Order of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary. The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary has often spoken at Christian Friends of Israel UK conferences in the past and has linked in with CFI. Sister Lebona speaking outside of the UN Human Rights Council building said her ministry supports Israel “because they’re God’s chosen people from the Bible.”
Finally… Please PRAY:
This is Liron Israeli. She’s only 19 years old and she’s been protecting Israel by checking many potentially dangerous Muslims in Kever Rachel, to prevent terrorist attacks. Sadly yesterday, a 19 years old Islamic woman stabbed Liron severely in her neck with a knife. Liron managed to disable her but she’s badly injured and she’s now in a coma. Please, pray for one more if Israel’s hero. Pray for her survival and bring her family too before the Lord God of Israel.
(Middle East News Correspondent)
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio