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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hamas, Israel and the Anatomy of a Cease Fire!

     The current Gaza conflict Tzuk Eitan meaning "strong cliff" also know as "Operation Protective Edge" was officially started on July 8, 2014 between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It is the deadliest conflict between Israel and its enemies in the region since the second Intifada "uprising" that took place between 2000 and 2005. The death toll is now over 2,200 and growing, and much of Gaza has been leveled leaving over 100,000 people without homes.
     During this almost two-month long conflict, many attempts have been made to bring it to an end. Various officials such as US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Egyptian government and others have entered the Middle East arena and tried to initiate several cease-fires between Hamas and Israel. Many would agree that the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap for Peace are dead and that a peace process in the Middle East isn't even on the table at the current time.
     There are different levels of international agreements between countries that have been at war with each other either temporary or permanent, unilateral or bilateral. The most fragile, yet most common temporary agreement between two entities at war is the "cease-fire".
     There has been eleven cease-fires since the start of the Gaza War, all broken by Hamas, and several within minutes of being brokered. This makes one wonder about the real motives behind Hamas' acceptance of these numerous truces? A simple yet sobering message about the cease-fires  has been traveling the endless byways of the social networks, and it states: "Israel: ceases, Hamas: fires!". Sadly, it would appear to be the case.
     So the question remains:"What makes this latest cease-fire any different and will it hold?". I am afraid that the current open-ended cease-fire might just be a short respite, not to rebuild the destroyed civilian infrastructures in Gaza, but simply to reorganize and rearm as Hamas prepares for the next round in their attempt at fulfilling their unaltered destructive agenda. Iran and Qatar have been the main financial backing to supply Hamas with their arsenal and will continue do so.
     Even if Hamas is found rebuilding civilian facilities, there is a very good chance that they are doing it to refurbish their missile launching areas with buildings that can be packed with civilians used as human shields. It has been said that "ignorance is bliss", but in the case of Hamas using their own people as human shields, the willful ignorance of pro-Palestinians and pro-Hamas people turns them into accomplices.
     Hamas agreed to this latest cease-fire with Israel, yet both sides have a very different set of expectations. That shouldn't really be a surprise since there is no moral equivalence between the two parties.
     From Hamas' perspective it appears to be a victory, at least from the public displays of celebration witnessed on the streets of Gaza and even beyond, in Ramallah. Even though Hamas has been severely crippled by the loss of several key leaders in the process, the message from Khaled Mashaal is still clear as he recently said:" this is not the end. This is just a milestone to reaching our objective, we know that Israel is strong and is aided by the international community. We will not restrict our dreams or make compromises to our demands."
     It is an unequivocal fact taken straight from their charter, that Hamas only desires the destruction of Israel. As a matter of fact, ideologically, Hamas lines up with Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIS. Their goals are identical even if some of their methods have various degrees of radicalism.
     From Israel's perspective, it has been a very costly war so far. The death toll is not nearly as high as the Palestinian death toll, but that doesn't make it right, as common sense and decency will dictate that even one lost life is too many. Prime Minister Netanyahu is receiving a fair amount of criticism from other parts of his government for what appears to be a war that was neither lost nor won, but nevertheless very costly. His ratings are down, yet most in Israel know deep down that this current cease-fire is unstable at best and that it is still under Netanyahu's leadership that they might soon have to finish the job that was started in July.
     Some have suggested that the Gaza War was becoming another war of attrition like the one involving Israel and Egypt between 1967 and 1970. The problem with that concept is that you don't really deal with terrorists the same way that you deal with a militarized and somewhat "civilized" power. You cannot really deter terrorists; you must defeat them by disarming them and destroying their infrastructure. Period!
     At this point, there is not a whole lot that Israel can do to garner support from those who have already pledged their allegiance to the other side. Additionally, the Palestinian authority is conveniently finding itself a few weeks away from their yearly UN visit in September where they plan to demand an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and a huge part of Jerusalem.
     As I see it, the current cease-fire might last until the end of September simply because it would serve its purpose into further painting the Palestinians as complying victims seeking a peaceful solution. In the meantime, of course, Hamas will regroup and rearm, making itself ready for the next round of their jihad.
     Rabbi Moses Maimonides said in the twelfth of his thirteen articles of Jewish faith: "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry nonetheless, I wait everyday for his coming."
     I would have to join Maimonides in his yearning for the Messiah and the messianic age for the simple reason that only under the banner of Mashiach Sar Shalom will we all see real peace. It will be a peace that includes the absence of war but also goes way beyond that concept to incorporate peace between men and between mankind and Hashem. Isaiah spoke of that redeemer in several places but especially in chapters 52:13-53:12 where Mashiach is described in a powerful and graphic way as having to come for his people once to atone for their sins (Mashiach ben Yosef) and once again to establish His kingdom on earth (Mashiach ben David).
     So, in spite of all the cease-fires broken or respected, I declare that I wholeheartedly believe with perfect faith in the coming back of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry nonetheless, I wait everyday for his coming."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

From Zionism to Palestinianism: The Great Christian Betrayal!

by Olivier J. Melnick

     It was in 1894, when Hungarian Jewish reporter Theodor Herzl followed the Dreyfus Affair in Paris, it took him no time to realize that anti-Semitism was alive and well. Herzl was shocked to hear "Death to the Jews" on the streets of Paris. Napoleon might have been friendly to the Jews of his time, yet the "Jewish Enlightenment", also known as the Haskalah, was mostly a failure.      
     Convinced that the Jewish people needed a state of their own, Herzl published his booklet Der Judestaat (The Jewish State) in 1896. In that small but visionary piece of work, he envisioned Eretz Yisrael and though he received a lot of criticism for it, was convinced that even though hardships and obstacles populated the journey,  "Palestine" was the destination. Theodore Herzl, while not the originator or of the concept of Zionism, was definitely the visionary, catalyst, and leader of political Zionism. Ernst Pawel, in The Labyrinth of Exile: A life of Theodor Herzl, explained: "he brought to it leadership, organization and a unique blend of fantasy and practical realism, but his most important contribution by far was the messianic image of himself, his stature in the eyes of the Jews and in the eyes of the world 1".
     And so it was, in 1897 and not without struggle that Herzl organized the First Zionist Congress. As President, he convened six more until 1902. It was in Vienna, in 1897, that he said almost prophetically: At Basle I created the Jewish State. In five years, perhaps, and certainly in fifty, everyone will see it 2". Add 50 to 1897 and you get 1947...the rest is history!
     He also quickly realized that Zionism was a purely political movement in search of sustainability. A morphing into a more practical Zionism was becoming necessary. It eventually led to the birth of "Cultural Zionism", appealing to a wider spectrum within the Jewish community of that time. Two key players were Ahad Ha'am 3 (Hebrew for "one of the people") whose vision as the father of cultural Zionism was: "A Jewish state and not merely a State of Jews" and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who had emigrated to Israel in 1881 and dedicated the rest of his life–not without hardship–to the rebirth of Hebrew as a modern tongue 4.
     But as political, practical or even cultural as it might have become, it could be argued that Zionism was, before anything else, a biblical concept. In a sense, we can also say that God was the first Zionist. He created the Jewish people to whom He gave the Torah (Exodus 20) and the Land "from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates" (Genesis 15). It was only a matter of time before Bible believing followers of the Messiah would support and pray for Eretz Yisrael, becoming a group within Christianity, known as "Christian Zionists".
    While the biblical concept of supporting the existence of Israel and the Jewish people goes back much further, It was again, Theodor Herzl who might have used the term "Christian Zionist" for the first time in 1896. It is also believed, according to Edward Flannery amongst others that the re-birth of Israel in 1948 as well as its growth, had quite a bit to do with Christian Zionists. He stated that "without Christian Zionism, it is highly unlikely that the present State of Israel would have come into being so rapidly as it did 5".
     Christian Zionists have always varied theologically, yet they all maintain a common ground when it comes to certain essentials about Israel and the Jewish people. They all have a vested interest in Eschatology (the biblical study of the last days). They see a clear biblical distinction between Israel and the Church, they believe in the physical return of the Jewish people to Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple and Israel coming to faith in Messiah, amongst other things.
     For at least the last 100 years, Christian Zionists have been the one arm of the Evangelical church that maintained a very friendly, positive attitude towards Israel and the Jewish people. Most Israeli Prime Ministers since 1948, have recognized the friends they had within Christian Zionist circles.
     Unfortunately, the tide is changing. Christian Zionism appears to be dying worldwide. To be sure, Israel hasn't lost all of its friends within the Evangelical ranks. Additionally, Messianic Jewish believers, regardless of their acceptance or lack of by the Jewish community at large, do support Israel unconditionally. I am one of them.
     This changing tide is known as "Christian Palestinianism" and will turn into a tsunami if nothing gets done. It has already swept a large number of Evangelicals into questioning, disliking AND rejecting any kind of Zionism. Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti-Zionism, and as such it must be confronted.
     In her book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis released in 2006Jewish author and activist Bat Ye’or almost prophetically calls it “Palestinian Marcionism”:"The Christian policy that would eliminate the Jewish source of Christianity by suppressing the link between the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels represents an old and lingering trend, always opposed by the Church. It was first formulated by Marcion, a second-century Byzantine priest of pagan background who was strongly influenced by Gnoticism. Today, Palestinian Marcionism (Palestinianism) paves the way for the Islamization of the Church as it prepares mentalities for an Islamic replacement theology...and encompasses the whole paraphernalia of traditional antisemitism"6.
     While Bat Ye'or would claim that Christian Palestinianism is quite ancient –and to an extent she is correct–others such as British scholar Paul Wilkinson see the modern movement as being about 20 years old. He would posit that the modern founder of Christian Palestinianism is Naïm Ateek who started the movement in 1994 when he founded the Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center known as SABEEL.
     Some of the major proponents of Christian Palestinianism today are leaders such as Naïm Ateek or Elias Chacour. But more importantly, the torch of anti-Zionism is being passed down to people who used to be Zionists or at the very least not anti-Israel. These include British vicar Stephen Sizer who describes Zionism as a "devious heresy", Professor Gary Burge of Wheaton College in Illinois, or even Liz Hybels (wife of Chicago area Willow Creek mega church senior pastor Bill Hybels). There are many more names I could add to this list.
     A tragic example of this destructive ideology is the movie Little Town of Bethlehem (2010) painting the portrait of three men who wanted peace and reconciliation in the region: an Arab Muslim, an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Christian. They promoted their views of reconciliation against all odds. Really, who would disagree with that?
     The issue does not lie in the validity of such an aspiration but in how the different sides were being portrayed. Palestinians were being compared to African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement following the leadership of Martin Luther King and fighting the National Guard for their freedom, while Israelis were being painted as the oppressors and invaders of "Palestine". It is a shame to see that many Evangelical are buying into the lies of Christian Palestinianism.
     The same can be said for a more vocally Christian project known as With God on Our Sidedirected by Porter Speakman Jr. and endorsed by Tony Campolo and Vice President of World Vision, Steve Haas. It has also received rave reviews from Christianity Today 
     Christian Palestinianism is Replacement Theology on steroids! With any vestige of the Jewish roots of Christianity eradicated, Israel and the Jewish people will become irrelevant and this is a risk we cannot afford to take! Evangelicals who moved from Christian Zionism to Christian Palestinianism are putting Israel and the Jewish people at risk. Are they no longer reading their Bibles to believe in such lies as Yeshua being the first Palestinian? How can they biblically validate Palestine? 
     Christian Palestinianism is Christian anti-Zionism which is Christian anti-Semitism in disguise. This shift from Israel to Palestine in the Christian psyche really is a slap in the God's face and a grave altering of His Word. This is indeed the "Great Christian Betrayal" and I tremble at the idea that these people will one day answer to God and have absolutely no logical explanation for how they treated the "Apple of His Eye".
     What we can AND must do, is support Israel's right to exist and right to the land. Israel is the only ray of hope in the Middle East as the only true democracy. The number of Israel's true friends within Evangelical circles is dwindling down. We are becoming a minority, yet one of our members is God Himself, and that, I can live with!
     Being pro-Israel doesn't mean that one is anti-Palestinian, sadly, the opposite is seldom true!    

1. Pawel, Ernst: The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, New York, NY, 1989) Page 3.
2. Eban, Abba: My People: The Story of the Jews (Random House, New York, New York, 1968) Pages 335-337.
3. Ahad Ha'am, The Jewish State and Jewish Problem, trans. from the Hebrew by Leon Simon 1912, Jewish Publication Society of America, Essential Texts of Zionism.
4. St. John, Robert: Tongue of the Prophets (Wilshire Book Company, N. Hollywood, California,1952) page 266.
5. Wilkinson, Paul: For Zion's Sake (Paternoster UK, 2007) page 14
6. Bat Ye’or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2006), p. 213.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Was the Gaza War a Media Campaign?

     After nearly a month of fighting between the IDF and Hamas and several failed cease fire attempts, a truce was reached. As Israel continues to withdraw its troops over the next few days, the high cost of the Gaza War will be assessed. Palestinian officials released a death toll of 1,830 while Israeli officials announced the death of 64 people. From any perspective, that is 1,894 lives too many!
     Netanyahu is willing to meet under the Egyptian leadership but he has made it clear that for the time being,  IDF troops will remain stationed by the Gaza border, ready for immediate action if Hamas breaks the truce. Unfortunately, based on Hamas' track record of nine broken ceasefires in three weeks, this newly reached respite is fragile at best.
     The destruction by the IDF of the many tunnels built in the Gaza strip, as well as the many sites used for rocket launching from civilian areas was at least a short-term success. But I fear that its longevity might be more of a dream than a reality as we know that countries like Iran and Qatar are eager to rearm Hamas.
     While over 3,000 rockets were fired by Hamas, the 2014 Gaza War was NEVER much of a military campaign but rather a media one. To be sure, Hamas' desire remains the complete annihilation of Israel through jihad as clearly delineated in their 1988 Charter. They have figured out that they can enroll the help of a biased media that has become so efficient at indoctrinating the clueless masses and corrupt governments against Israel and the Jews. So the result becomes a smorgasbord of unfounded statements that serve only one purpose: the demonization of Israel. Truth is no longer sought!
     While the current truce might be short lived, there is little doubt as to the military success of Israel in Gaza. The media war on the other hand– while not the massive success expected by Hamas and its cohorts – ended up being very damaging to Israelis and diaspora Jews. The bias is so obvious that it is nauseating.
     Western Media outlets have now become co-conspirators in the criminal campaign led by Hamas. A myriad of photographs are being published all over the press, depicting children's agony, blood and death all over Gaza. All of it putting the United Nations in an uproar and sending a message of Israel's crimes against humanity. Yet the vast majority of the photos are either staged or recycled from the Syrian civil war and even Iraq.
     The strategic placing of rocket launchers in schools, hospitals, mosques and other areas of Gaza densely populated by innocent civilians has been exposed. It is now clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that like Netanyahu stated so well:" We are using missile defense to protect our civilians and they [Hamas] are using their civilians to protect their missiles." The premise often used by the rest of the world (mostly liberals) is that Gaza is such a small densely populated area that a high number of civilian casualties is to be expected. Not only does Hamas use civilian areas, but they force civilians to remain in those areas instead of helping them to take shelter.  A recently ceased Hamas combat manual revealed that human shields were encouraged if not forced upon people.
     The funding received by Hamas could have been used in the building of hospitals, schools and other facilities to serve the Palestinian people. Instead, much of it was re-directed towards the building of a network of tunnels, most of them destroyed by the IDF. In the meantime, the US empowers Secretary of State John Kerry to pledge $47 million to Hamas to help rebuild Gaza. What makes them think for a minute that this time Hamas would actually use the funds ethically? All the while former president Jimmy Carter claimed that Hamas must be recognized as a legitimate political partner in the Middle East. Had he lived in the 1930s and 40s, he would have probably tried to promote the Nazi agenda as a humanitarian effort!
     So here we go again on the merry-go-round of disinformation. Postmodernism has rendered truth irrelevant or maybe just relevant in the eye of the beholder.
• If truth still mattered, Israel would receive a Nobel Peace Prize for its handling of the Palestinian civilians in the Gaza War. Instead they are getting scolded for defending themselves.
• If truth still mattered, Hamas would be guilty of double war crimes: against Israel AND their own people. Instead they are being lauded as victims.
• If truth still mattered, a lot of people from the media would loose their job for their nauseating bias.
     There is no doubt in my mind that as the "scapegoat of humanity",  from a human standpoint, Israel cannot win. But there is also no doubt in my mind that as "the apple of God's eye" (Zechariah 2:8),  Israel will prevail. The truth must be told and if our voices remain all that we have, let us use them as much as we can!
     In closing, consider the reputation of the evil man I am quoting as well as the ramifications of his statement followed by the history we know today.

     "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
     Joseph Goebbels - Hitler's Propaganda Minister

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can Kristallnacht 2.0 Be Averted?

   On November 7, 1938, teenage Jewish boy Herschel Grynszpan, while in Paris heard of his family's expulsion. He decided to assassinate the German Ambassador to France, but not able to locate him, settled for another official by the name of Ernst Vom Rath who died two days later on the 9th of November. While I never am one to condone revenge of any kind, I empathize with Gryszpan sense of desperation.
     Grynszpan provided Joseph Goebbels with the perfect excuse to launch a series of pogroms that became known as Kristallnacht or "the Night of Broken Glass".
     These pogroms (organized riots) took place during the night of November 9-10, 1938 throughout parts of Germany and Austria. They were solely against Jewish property and Jewish people. 91 Jewish people were killed, 30,000 were arrested and sent to camps, 1,000 synagogues set on fire and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed. Kristallnacht was a combination of pogrom and boycott.
     In her superb work on the Holocaust titled "The War Against the Jews: 1933-1935"  Lucy Dawidowicz writes:
     On Kristallnacht, the Jewish community of Germany went up in flames.... All Jewish institutions were burned down or banned by order of the Gestapo. The Jewish press was suppressed... Tasks of emigration, welfare and education assigned by the Gestapo. Its real function  was to preside over the final liquidation of German Jewry1.
     Lucy Dawidowicz and the vast majority of Holocaust scholars see Kristallnacht as the starting point of the implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". The question that we need to ask ourselves now is: "Is another Kristallnacht on the way and can it be averted?"
     In the last few days I posited that the Third Intifada could be global and happening now in from of our very eyes. I still believe it,  but we might be seeing something bigger on the horizon, like another Kristallnacht. Kristallnacht 2.0 so to speak!
     The main difference between and intifada (uprising) and another Kristallnacht, is the fact that the first one is mostly reactive and somewhat disorganized, while the later is pro-active AND very organized. These are some of the signs that indicate that things are heating-up towards Kristallnacht 2.0 in Europe. Events like these all took place in the last few weeks and they are just a few out of many and the escalation of violence is unprecedented, at least since the Holocaust:

Saint-Nicolas, Belgium: A café owner displayed a sign in his window saying: " Dogs are welcome inside but Zionists are not!"

• Antwerp, Belgium: About 500 people demonstrated on the streets, screaming: "slaughter the Jews"

• London, England: During a street protest, people were brandishing signs saying :" Hitler you were right" or even "f*** the Zionists". A Jewish boy on his bicycle was hit by a rock thrown at him by a woman wearing a niqab.

Spain: A letter signed by 100 Spanish celebrities such as Penelope Cruz called Israel to "stop the Genocide".

The Hague, Holland: an ISIS ( the new self proclaimed Caliphate of the Islamic State) street gathering has been calling for the killing of "dirty Jews from the sewers".

• Berlin, Germany: Street protesters are calling for Jews to be gassed.

• Paris, France: 4,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators defy a ban on the streets of Paris as they burn the Israeli flag, many of them shouting "Allah Akbar"

• French Facebook site: For a short time, the French Facebook site hosted a page from Young French Revolutionaries that displayed photos and names of 32 Jewish people for the sole purpose of finding them and physically assaulting them. They found one of them at his home and descended on him violently. The site has since been closed by Facebook under pressure. Incidentally, a new site came up that Facebook titled "Death to Israel and Zionists" and according to Facebook it also doesn't violate their community standards! They must be reported.

Paris, France: A synagogue and several Jewish stores were firebombed in Paris and suburb.

• Nice, France: In the south of France, people on the streets were shouting "we are all Mohammed Merahs", comparing themselves to the 2012 Toulouse Muslim murder of a rabbi, three Jewish school children and three soldiers.

     For some reason–and it might be related to the fact that the largest community of European Muslim lives in France– the temperature is the hottest there. This only helps us to measure the gravity of the situation and plan ahead for other areas to be hit.
     Some call it urban guerrilla warfare, some call it street protest and some –like I did last week– even call it an French Intifada. I think we are well beyond that and that at the very least, we are witnessing the birth of a new Kristallnacht, no longer localized but soon to be global. With the help of the social networks and the media, the "global Jews" is responsible for everything in Israel, Gaza and anywhere else they look for a scapegoat. People are not attacked because they are vocal Zionists showing bold support for Israel. All Jews are at risk even as they go about their day saying nothing, simply for being Jewish, and this my friends is anti-Semitism at its worst!
     I think that the very fact that many of the perpetrators show some signs of being better organized is very ominous. Jews are scared to go outside now. Forget going outside wearing a star of David necklace or a yarmulke, they are just afraid to go out. Applications for Aliyah are multiplying. The attacks are coming from all fronts: Schools, streets, social networks, publications, radio, Internet and to an extent also some levels of government.
     So really, Can Kristallnacht 2.0 Be Averted? I am not certain that it can, especially if the current French government continues to watch as if their hands were tied–maybe they are tied by fear of reprisals and terrorism on their own soil, or worse...by choice! But anytime in history that abuse, destruction of property and killings were minimized if not stopped, was when people who cared for people did something.
     Albert Einstein already knew that in the 1940s when he said: The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
     The sad part about France that might also be a reflection on the vast majority of the Western world, is that many are thinking that they are not anti-Semites, yet they are happy to see the "Jews" leave. "Good riddance" they probably think, "let them move to Israel". They are missing an important aspect of this crisis, and that is the fact that those going after my people have a much larger agenda. For the most part, the animosity is between Muslims and the Jewish community for now, and the Muslim perpetrators (yet it is important to note that not all perpetrators are Muslim) are not fearful of the authorities. They are defiant, appearing as if they were in a judeophobic trance. But their jihad is anti-West not just anti-Jew.
     Kristallnacht was the spark that started the Holocaust. Excuses were made, momentum was picked-up and blood... a lot of blood, was shed. So is there no hope for the Jews of France and the rest of Europe? What will happen if we allow Kristallnacht 2.0 to take place in Europe?
     Call me naive or mistaken but I think that I might have the solution to this mess. I found my answer 31 years ago in the person of Sar Shalom (Isaiah 9:6-7), Maschiah ben David (2 Samuel 7:12-13). Some will agree with me and some will fight me for my beliefs in a Mashiach who came to die as a kippur for His people (Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Psalm 22). I also believe that this Mashiach who first cams as Maschiah ben Yoseph is about to return on the Mount of Olives soon as Maschiah ben David.
     If you disagree with me, and before you accuse me of "not being Jewish anymore" I would ask you to consider that even if I am wrong–and I don't believe I am– in siding with those that follow Yeshua the Messiah, I am making every effort to let them know that THEY have NO CHOICE BUT TO LOVE ISRAEL AND THE JEWSIH PEOPLE (Psalm 83:5).
     Israel and the Diaspora Jews have the assurance that true disciples of Yeshua have their back. It doesn't matter if you embrace me or reject me, Israel. I have your back as well. Kristallnacht 2.0 might not be fully averted but you will not fight alone!

1. Dawidowicz, Lucy S. : The War Against the Jews: 1933-1935" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, NY, 1975) page 196.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Will the Third Intifada be Global?

By Olivier J. Melnick

     We are now entering the third week of the Gaza War. Israel's IDF death toll is 25 40 and Gaza is over 1000. The vast majority of the Gaza casualties are men between 18 and 35, due to the precise and intelligent targeting by IDF. War is always tragic and devastating because one human life lost is always one too many, regardless of the side. The ground incursion–please don't allow anyone to call it an "invasion"– started on July17 after Prime minister Netanyahu made a statement explaining the reason for such a move. Israel is officially at war and it could last weeks if not months.
     Hamas has rejected several offers for cease-fire and continues to fire rockets on Israel. One is to wonder why Hamas hasn't built bomb shelters like Israel? The answer is simple: the bomb shelters are created by their own people whom Hamas sees simply as a valuable yet disposable commodity in their war against Israel. They protect their weapons with human lives while Israel protects human lives with their weapons. But by now we understand that Hamas isn't interested in a military victory but rather in a media victory, proclaimed by a global media that has lost its moral compass years ago. The result, even though Hamas isn't garnering the support they expected, is that the whole world is up in arms in support of "demon Israel" against "angel victimized Palestine". And this is exactly what is becoming a great danger globally, well beyond the current tragedy of the Gaza War.
      We are seeing a recrudescence of destructive gatherings all over the world with Europe leading the pack in acts of anti-Semitism. To be sure, anti-Israel demonstrations are not a new thing and are part of people's right to exercise their freedom of speech–within reason of course–and I believe that reason is long gone! The result is what we have seen around the world in the last 10 days so far.
     This convergence of anti-Semitic riots all over the world could very well be the "Third Intifada"! But wait, I thought that Intifada was a word meaning "uprising" in the Middle East and mostly by Palestinians against the Israeli "oppressor"? Well, it certainly was, but under the new anti-Semitism, the global Jew has become guilty by proxy. When a group of pro-Hamas protesters in Paris two Sundays ago decided to converge onto the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue, rue de la Roquette and attack it in "Pogrom" style putting close to 200 Jewish worshippers at risk, they showed us something very clear. The Paris protesters were NOT PALESTINIANS and the synagogue worshippers were NOT ISRAELIS. The riots were purely anti-Semitic and the Gaza War was only used as an alibi for unspeakable hatred. Chants of "Death to the Jews" or "Hitler was right" are being heard across Europe and other countries worldwide. As a result, various Jewish communities are terrified for their own and are starting to make serious plan for Aliyah to Israel. Consider the current global temperature as we look at a few areas where Jews are targeted.
• France: One of the hotbed of anti-Semitism has seen an unprecedented rise in violence in the Greater Paris region, Lyon, Marseilles and of course the Jewish suburb of Sarcelles also known as "Little Jerusalem" where cars were lit on fire and public furniture was ripped and thrown at Jewish stores, very much in a "Kristallnacht" style of aggression.
• United Kingdom: A very active and usually extremely abrasive Muslim community is present in the United Kingdom. They are of course helped by the liberal left in their anti-Semitic endeavors. The last few weeks have seen a surge of anti-Semitism in Greater Manchester, Glasgow and London. We have seen people march on the streets shouting "Heil Hitler" or "F#@*g kill the Jews".
  Germany: If there is one place where anti-Semitism shouldn't resurface, it is Germany. Nevertheless, last Thursday you could see protesters on the streets of Berlin screaming "Jews, Jews, cowardly pigs, come out and fight!" This was followed by an unauthorized march of about 1,000 on Saturday that turned violent.
• Belgium: A few days ago in Antwerp, a street rally of pro-Palestinian activists had people shouting "slaughter the Jews".
• Austria: 1000s of people marched in Vienna (organized by a Turkish delegation) chanting "Israel Terror".
• United-States: In Boston, an anti-Israel "die-in" demonstration took place where the protesters fell to the ground in support for the Gaza victims and then read the names of the Palestinians who had died in that war (no reading of the names of the Israeli victims of course!). Slogans such as "Jews back to Birkenau" were heard. In Los Angeles a federal officer fired shots at a pro-Palestinian protester last Sunday.
     Similar protests, marches and riots took place around the world in India, Turkey, Indonesia, China, Tunisia, Greece, Korea, South Africa to only name a few countries. What must not be missed is the fact that many of those countries ARE NOT MUSLIM COUNTRIES, so what is their real motive for all the venom they spew? Additionally the reprimands given by most authorities had little or no effect and much of the "cancelled by the authorities" protests went on anyway, and continue to go on. These uprisings are only going to intensify in the coming weeks. This is a very good time for Christians around the world to show their support of Israel and their love for Jewish people.
     If this is indeed the onset of the "Third Intifada", I am afraid that we haven't seen the worst of it yet. There seems to be a concerted effort to go after the Jews, especially in Europe. While there is no sign yet of any clear organized campaign by the protesters against global Jewry, we can agree that the media is helping to promote anti-Semitism. They are way beyond drinking the Koolaid. As a matter of fact, they are themselves mixing a new batch to serve to a bigoted world.
     This global protest HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GAZA WAR AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISM. Jew haters are using the Gaza War as an excuse, and for now it seems to be working. This is one more proof that we are now experiencing what I call eschatological anti-Semitism or the final battle against the Jews. For those of us who read our bibles and believe it to be the inspired, unchanging and living Word of God, we know that this battle is real and comes directly from Satan. We also know that God will not allow the enemy to win. While God cares for all human beings and doesn't wish for any to perish, GOD WAS THE FIRST ZIONIST and I am on His side! (Zechariah 12, Jeremiah 31:35-37)
     Some Jews will leave, some will stay and some will even fight back. But all Christians should know better, speak up and get involved because the one thing Christians cannot afford to do is to become the new by-standers of this generation. Wake-up, the rubber has met the road!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On, It's Just a French Pogrom!

     Last Sunday afternoon, if you were in Paris France, you most likely were watching the 2014 World Cup Finals, the Tour de France or simply relaxing during your three-day Week-end for France's Independence Day. Unless of course you were marching towards the "Place de la Bastille" with the rest of the 10 to 20,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators. But to be fair, this was not the first time that pro-Palestinian and Hamas supporters took the streets of the capital, and as scary as it always is, it happens regularly. This time it was to protest the on-going Gaza War, and of course, by proxy, all French Jews are responsible.
     This last Sunday though was very different. For starters, it was the first time that such a huge crowd was gathered. 10,000-20,000 people will not go unnoticed on the streets of Paris, especially when they are heard shouting "Death to the Jews", "F*# the Jews", "Hitler was right", "We will burn you" or "Jihad, Jihad, Jihad". When some of the demonstrators called for prayer, several thousand started to shout Allahu Akbar, removing all doubt as to the ethnic/religious fabric of the angry mob. Freedom of speech and Freedom of religion are still in effect in France, but when such events take place, I question it all. The pro-Palestinian cause was really a cause worth fighting for, in the heart of some at least. Today it has simply morphed into an alibi for anti-Semitism.
     Shop and restaurant owners stood still. Were they in shock or simply re-enacting the cowardliness displayed by the French during the 30s and 40s? It is probably a little bit of both, but I fear that the "virus of the by-stander" has once again infected France. What can one or two do against a crowd, right? This is exactly what went through the minds of the many watching behind their shutters when the Gestapo came to take my maternal grandfather in his home in Paris and shoved him into a cattle car to Auschwitz!
     During these heinous demonstrations, Jewish people usually stay away from the area and/or stay inside their homes. So far it has proven to be the safest move from a very concerned Jewish community. But last Sunday was not the norm, and when a group of demonstrators started to walk towards the Rue de la Roquette Synagogue, everything took a turn for the worst.
     There were between 150 and 200 people inside the synagogue for a special service to remember the three Israeli victims of the recent kidnappings/murders. All of a sudden the angry mob decided to throw café chairs (some of them lit on fire) at the building and continue to scream "Death to the Jews". The police was there but appeared overwhelmed. If it was not for the self-organized Jewish community security brigades, this could have quickly turned into a blood bath. Only three Jewish people were wounded as well as four members of the French police.
     Last time the Jews were chased down and brought to their death was during the Nazi era, and the French Vichy government was very instrumental. The French police was pathetically unresponsive last Sunday, making me think of the days of the Russian pogroms.
     My great-grandmother Rachel Schimkowitz escaped the pogroms and moved to France. Pogroms were government sponsored riots against the Jews mostly in Russia from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. They were responsible for the death of thousands of Jews as well as the departure of many more to America or Eretz Yisrael.
     Last Sunday could very well be the first of the new pogroms in France. Be it by commission or by omission, the French police was implicated and responded very poorly. Not to mention the almost complete lack of coverage from the French media. Ah, the convenience of a World Cup Final! French president François Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls both denounced the acts of violence, but to the French Jews who have been living in fear for quite a while, these were just words.
     Today, Bastille Day is behind us, the Soccer frenzy has died off and the Tour de France is nowhere near Paris. So we need to ask ourselves the question:"What would have happened if the crowd had succeeded in entering the synagogue and reached the Jewish people inside?" Frankly, we all know the answer to that – there would have been a blood bath!
     By God's grace, a pogrom was averted last Sunday. It is no longer sufficient for anti-Semites to denigrate the Jews with thoughts, words and even destructive acts against their property, now they want the people too. My people are caught in a tightening vise of Jew hatred, between the growing extreme right of Le Pen and the virulent Muslim community.
     The sad part to me is that the two sides of the vise are being tightened by the apathetic French by-standers. A by-stander who does nothing only facilitates the work of a perpetrator. Sometimes your boldest move is made by your lack of action.
     This was the first thwarted French pogrom and it was mostly a reaction from the angry mob. Can you imagine if they get more organized? Of course you can and so can I. So I say get out and make aliyah to Yisrael. At least there you will be protected!

The road to Auschwitz was built by hate but paved with indifference 
Ian Kershaw, Historian

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Middle East Crisis: A Lack of Moral Equivalence!

     I am well aware that I run the risk of being accused of stating the obvious by saying that there is a crisis in the Middle East. There is nothing new in that statement, yet it bears repeating. I do not see why conservative fact finding people should stop telling the truth and let liberals indoctrinate the masses with lies. We need equal footing on that war front if we want a chance at victory.
     The Middle East crisis is a geopolitical, economic, political AND spiritual battle. Because of all its different aspects, it makes it very complicated to control, let alone resolve. Yet there is another aspect of the crisis that we must not ignore. I believe that it actually is at the core of the issue and that understanding it gives us the best chance at beating the beast. The Middle East suffers from a lack of moral equivalence. Until the West understands that dichotomy between them and us, we have no chance of making real progress.
     As I am writing this commentary, I am constantly (on purpose) interrupted by the buzzing of the Red Alert app on my smart phone. This free app alerts me in real time when a terrorist fires rockets, missiles or mortars on Israel. For each one, I stop and pray for God's protection on Eretz Yisrael and my people. It's the very least I can do in the comfort of my American abode.
     As I watch the events unfold on several fronts in the Middle East, I can hardly find words to describe my feelings about the way it is all reported. It seems that no matter what Hamas/Fatah does against Israel absolutely doesn't matter anymore. It is nauseating to see the reports. Has the Middle East become this "Bizarro World" where everything is inverted? And why do people around the world not care or even worse, take sides against Israel? I come to wonder: Is the rest of the world suffering from a lack of morality while the Middle East suffers from a lack of moral equivalence?
     For those of you interested in the truth and willing to compare facts from both sides, consider these:

• HAMAS: According to Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zhuri, Palestinian human shields are a very good method to defend their territory. They also shoot missiles and rockets from areas in the midst of large civilian communities. To Hamas and the rest of the Islamist factions in the Middle East, human life is a very disposable commodity.
• ISRAEL: The IDF go out of their way to protect civilians BOTH Israeli AND Palestinians. They often send out leaflets or messages to cell phones to alert the civilian population ahead of time, before they hit an area. The IDF will actually cease firing if they notice Palestinian human shielding on rooftops. Not to mention the many Palestinian lives saved in Israeli hospitals in the midst of their obligations to their own citizens. It was even Mahmoud Abbas in recent weeks that had his wife treated in an Israeli hospital while rockets were raining onto Israeli soil. Such hypocrisy!

• HAMAS: Hamas is glorifying the perpetrators of the kidnapping as it has also been elevating other terrorists recently released from Israeli prisons to the status of "heroes". In some cases they even name streets after them. Imagine walking the streets of Berlin today and finding yourself at the crossroads of Hitler Boulevard and Goebbels Avenue! Of course Hamas has also vowed to kidnap more Israelis. That is the Hamas that has "reconciled" with Fatah and by association is receiving funding from many western nations including the USA.
• ISRAEL: The Israeli government doesn't play games when it comes to bringing the perpetrators of crimes to justice, as was just witnessed by the kidnapping and killing of young Arab boy Mohammad Abu Khdeir. The Jewish perpetrators were apprehended and will be brought to justice as Mr. Netanyahu stated in y.net: "I wish to send my condolences to the family of the teen and promise them that we will find those behind this horrific crime and bring them to justice. There is no place for such murders in our society," 
     Israel also vowed to do everything they could to bring the murderers of the three Israeli teens to justice. Why shouldn't they, really? Additionally, the mother of Naftali, one of the 3 Jewish boys kidnapped and murdered, sent her condolences to the mother of the Arab boy. Was it reciprocated? Of course not!

• HAMAS: As reported by Palestinian Media Watch or MEMRI, continues to feed the world with false reports, lies and retouched photos in order to gain sympathy from the world, and that, they do well! They recently used the tremendous power of the social networks to post bloody photos allegedly taken in the last few days in Gaza. The postings quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of reposts and retweets. As it turned out, they were old photos taken in Iraq and Syria that had nothing to do with the current conflict between Arabs and Jews in Gaza.
     Of course if that doesn't work, you can try to accuse Israel of opening dams to flood the Palestinian territories. Blaming the weather would be more accurate since the dams in question don't even exist. But hey, who checks for facts anymore?
• ISRAEL: On the other hand, Israel reports the facts and just the facts. Of course they use caution for security reasons, but they are very straight forward. If a false report creeps in occasionally, it will be denied and corrected rather quickly. Israel is far from being the crybaby of the Middle East. They have been at war since 1948 and as such, they are very used to take care of business.

     The rest of the world has a greater appetite for distorted news stories than for the truth, so they are drawn to the "Palestinian victims" and are quick to discredit and demonize Israel. Is it due to stupidity, ignorance or anti-Semitism? The answer is YES!
     As long as the rest of the civilized world – and I use the word "civilized"very loosely – continues to side with bloodthirsty terrorists whose ideology is founded upon a false religion worshipping death, WE WILL NOT PREVAIL. It's that simple!
     The lack of moral equivalence between radical Islam and the rest of the world is the number one reason why this war is so difficult to fight, let alone win. The enemies will never adjust their ideology. On the contrary, it will only get worse as we can see with the recent push from ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In the meantime, as the IDF chief of Staff just approved a ground offensive into Gaza, Israel will only count on themselves to defend their borders.
     As the enemies are ideologically incapable of toning it down, the rest of us will be forced to flex to their way. This is known as dhimmitude and it is the end of freedom as we know it. Of course that is without counting on the intervention of Yeshua the Messiah the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7). So today more than ever, prayer is of the essence, both for Israel's safety and her enemies' repentance (Psalm 83).

Monday, June 30, 2014

PC USA's Last Claim to Shame!

     Just over a week ago, PC USA held its biennial 2014 General Assembly in Detroit. The result of the week long gathering of delegates, leaders and other participants is still having major ripple effects within the Christian community at large. I was already concerned when I blogged on the topic last February as well as April when I did a review of their DVD/booklet pre-general assembly package titled "Zionism Unsettled".
     Amidst several resolutions that undoubtedly will change the face of slowly dying PC USA and most likely will result in a departure from many and even a split, resolution 04-04 was the one that after several hours of a rhetorical ping pong match, resulted in a vote in favor of divestment. The margin was a very small one of only 7 votes out of over 600. The financial ramifications due to the divestment from Motorola, HP and Caterpillar are not really an issue. The motive behind the move is what really matters.
     Frankly, this "victory" for those within PC USA who support BDS isn't really the issue. The last GA of 2012 saw the same resolution fail by only two votes. It could even be argued that resolution 04-04 passed as a result of the 2012 departure of many strong evangelical supporters of Israel from PC USA  In both cases of either the defeat of 2012 or the victory of 2014, nearly 50% of the members favored BDS. That number is what should really concern us.
     PC USA joins other denominations in a bold move against Israel. Mennonites and Quakers have been very involved in anti-Zionism and divestment for years now, and they are also joined by some within the Methodist denomination. Of course it is always dangerous to paint with broad strokes, so I must clearly state that not all people within these groups are anti-Israel. But 50% of the PC USA being in favor of BDS forces me to admit that the brush used for libelous hatred just got a bit wider.
     PC USA supporters of divestment are not necessarily excited about all the praise they have been receiving from various groups around the world who clearly want to see the Jews all gone from the face of the earth. Even former KKK grand wizard David Duke congratulated PC USA on their decision.
     Why haven't we seen any PC(USA) divestment or boycott from companies like Cisco or Google who are doing business with the Palestinian authority. The same Palestinian Authority who just signed an agreement to have Hamas and Fatah co-lead in the region. Additionally, I wonder if PC(USA) proponents of BDS will refrain from using other Israeli made or invented products like cell phones, or USB thumb drives to name just a couple?
     This has been such a biased case against Israel that it is very difficult not to see the anti-Semitic thread driving the whole move.  The farce that was the 2014 PC USA general assembly was painful to watch, as no scripture was ever used to back up their pseudo-Christian move to divest. Why? Because none can be found and used with a straight face. Instead, they would rather side with the "oppressed" Palestinians against the "oppressors" from Israel. Like it or not, this latest move aligns the pro-BDS voters with Hamas.
     Talk show host and author Hugh Hewitt is right when he states: "...Look in vain for any serious question that is genuinely “frequently asked,” such as “What does the PC USA think about the Hamas charter?; “What does the PC USA think about the wave of suicide bombings that led to the construction of the security wall on the West Bank and the dramatic decline in fatalities and terrible woundings that followed?”; “Why doesn’t the PC USA condemn the genocidal rhetoric of the Iranian theocracy and the indiscriminate use of missiles and rockets by their puppet terrorist organization Hezbollah against Israeli civilians or the similar use of rockets by Hamas from Gaza?”
     The same Hamas that keeps showering Israel with rockets almost daily is most likely responsible for the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were tragically found dead today. My heartfelt prayers go to the families of the deceased as well as to Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet for wisdom in how to respond. Will this affect PC USA recent one-sidedness? Don't hold your breath!
     PC USA might very well be a dying Christian denomination but this shouldn't prevent them from leaving a legacy that would be a testimony of their love for Israel and the Jewish people. This will not be the case, I am afraid! In a day and age when Christian friends of Israel are few and far in between, I grieve the loss of yet more of our friends, but this doesn't come as a surprise. As PC USA took sides, they validated terrorism and anti-Semitism if not by direct actions, at least by association.
     They remain accountable to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for a decision that flies in the face of biblical truth. They no longer represent what it means to be a genuine follower of Yeshua the Messiah (if they ever did!)
     Their last claim to fame will be a claim to shame!    

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Curse of ISIS (not the Egyptian goddess!)

     Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are names that the civilized world has grown accustomed to hear about on the eight-o'clock News. Just when we thought that we had seen the worst of it all, we are now being faced with another group that makes Al-Qaeda look like moderates. How dangerous do they have to be for Al-Qaeda to decide to disassociate themselves from this new splinter group in February 2014? Very dangerous!

     In the last couple of weeks, most of us have been introduced to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). They used to be part of Al-Qaeda but are now detached from them and are running on their own. They are on a mission with a very clear goal that is to take over Iraq and the immediate vicinity (Part of Syria) and establish a new state as well as re-establishing the caliphate and sharia law in the region. It goes beyond the scope of this article to discuss the geopolitical aspects of such a move or to point the finger in search of the guilty country or government to blame for the ISIS invasion. What I am more interested in looking at though, is the danger of such a change in the region.

     ISIS, in its unrecognized and self-proclaimed status as an independent state would claim that they comprise Iraq and parts of Syria with potential future claims further into the Levant such as Lebanon. The state was (un)officially formed in 2013 by their current leader, somewhat of an enigmatic figure known as Abu Bakr al-Baghadi who also claims to be the state's emir (prince). In 2011, he was put on the US State Department list of most wanted terrorists with a reward of $10 million. He adheres to the sunni sect of Islam.

     While it is not my intention to diminish the danger posed by organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and many others, I think that ISIS needs to be placed in a different category all by themselves. Like all islamists and jihadists, they are extremists and very violent. Their religious affiliation might differ from other islamist groups, as Christian denominations would differ theologically or doctrinally from one another, but at the end of the day, they remain loyal to Allah and the Qur'an. In my opinion, there are three main reasons why ISIS is different from all the other terrorist groups AND a very serious threat that CANNOT be ignored.

     ISIS is very organized: While they are still described as a terrorist organization, they are also known as a militia that is well trained in guerrilla warfare. In the last couple of weeks, their methodical advance into Iraq with the invasion and take-over of many key cities has shown great organizational skills from a military standpoint. This is unusual for a group of that sort where corruption, chaos and military inadequacy is usually the norm. The Washington post reported that: what stands out is the level of cohesion and in some cases professionalism inherent to a well-trained and organized force. ISIS fighters can be seen wearing American-style body armor vests, or “plate-carriers,” with magazine pouches well organized and the gear tight to their chest, the way U.S. troops would wear it. Pistol holsters are in well-placed positions on the body, and heavy weapons look well-maintained. In some scenes, ISIS fighters are wearing helmets with night-vision goggle mounts.

     ISIS is highly weaponized: You can be as organized as you want to be, if you do not have the weapons to back it up, you will do very little damage. ISIS seems to have the weapons it needs to continue to advance in the region. Some of these weapons were acquired from countries like Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These countries–at least on the surface–are diplomatic "friends" of the United States. Of course what goes on behind closed doors is a different story. Additionally, as ISIS continues too push their way into Iraq, massive amounts of people (military AND civilians) flee ahead of the invasion, leaving much property behind, including a large amount of weapons both mobile and of the heavy kind. ISIS appears well trained to use a variety of these weapons, especially the more portable kind. They have also been seen destroying the bigger weapons such as tanks.

     ISIS has cash flow: ISIS is a relatively new organization, yet it is already worth $2 billion, making it the wealthiest terrorist organization on the planet and even wealthier that a few small countries. It recently stole over $420 million when it took over the Iraqi town of Mosul. Another source of revenue is the money drawn from the oil rigs they own in Syria (which by the way is sold all over the world regardless of the fact that we are funding terrorism, but don't get me started!). In other words, ISIS doesn't rely so much on the financial aid of other countries that might share their ideology. This make them much less dependent on other people and increases their autonomy on every level. If, or frankly, more like when they take over more critical cities or tactical areas, we can expect another increase in cash flow. Not to mention the tension created by the possible confiscation of several oil fields in Iraq  affecting up to 25% of Iraqi production.

     The curse of ISIS will not remain a Middle East crisis. It will spread to the rest of the globe unless those able to nip it in the bud act very soon. Other terrorist groups and sleeper cells in the West will get emboldened by this surge of arrogant takeover in the Middle East.  Iran might have to get involved to help their archenemy, Iraq. The US could get involved as well, but that is if we had a leadership capable of making the right decisions, something I no longer believe is possible with the current administration. But, if the US ever gets involved, there is also the risk of joining forces with groups and countries with which we share very little ideologically. Befriending our enemies with the short-term goal of stopping a greater enemy might end-up leaving the United States more vulnerable.

     Of course, ISIS might not be militating for the destruction of Israel as their primary goal but you can rest assured that after seeing what they are doing to other sects within Islam, they will have no mercy for the Jewish people. They are jihadists after all, so we must understand that part of their jihad or "struggle" is to rid the planet of the "little satan" being Israel and the "great satan" being the United States. As a matter of fact, Israel and Jordan are included in the territory of their utopian caliphate.

     ISIS is moving fast, making great progress and is intimidating the boldest regimes in the region. Israel could come and give Iraq and Syria a hand in that matter and even be quite good at it, but why should they? No matter what they do and how they do it, they will probably be blamed at the end. I suspect that they will seriously consider involvement the minute ISIS controls some of Lebanon and/or Syria. This might not be in a so distant future.

     Unfortunately. it looks like a lot more lives will be lost in Iraq and Syria in the near future.  But to most Americans, it is far enough not to be a concern until of course gas prices rise to $5 or $6 per gallon right before our summer vacation......then it's personal!
     In the meantime, the whole region is in serious need of prayer. I am reminded of the prayer of Asaph to God regarding the enemies of Israel in Psalm 83:13-18:

13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like chaff before the wind.
14 Like fire that burns the forest
And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest
And terrify them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with dishonor,
That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And let them be humiliated and perish,
18 That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,

Are the Most High over all the earth

     While Asaph is pleading with God for the destruction of Israel's enemies, he also knows God's heart for mankind and recognizes that God allows all men to seek Him and be saved, even terrorists, even anti-Semites and even ISIS members, because when God meant all men, He meant all men. It is hard to do, but in obedience to the Master of the Universe, we should pray for ISIS That they may seek Your name, O Lord. That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,

Are the Most High over all the earth. 

     You never know, God has done greater miracles in the past!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is there a link between Fatah, Hamas and the current US administration?

     Nobody should really be surprised at the latest move from the US administration. It goes along the lines of current US policy in the Middle East. Every single US president has tried his best to leave a legacy if not bring home a trophy for being a peacemaker in the Israeli/Arab conflict. The current administration chooses to sit at the table with murderers who have been committing crimes against humanity for decades. I wish we could blame the move on stupidity or ignorance but that would vindicate the culprits instead of exposing their grave mistake.
     President Obama approved a partnership with the new Palestinian Authority formed recently from Fatah and Hamas' reconciliation. The move took place while Secretary of State John Kerry was in Lebanon, reassuring the Lebanese government of US support in the region. Keep in mind that the current Lebanese government includes members of the terrorist organization Hizbollah. So I guess there is a certain consistency in the way the US is handling its partnerships in the region
     Apparently, the reasoning behind the willingness to work together with the new Palestinian government is the fact that as of now there are no key Hamas players in any position of leadership. But to think that Hamas' influence will not be introduced into the decision making of the new authority regarding Israel, is akin to hiring a KKK senior member to become part of the new leadership of the NAACP, it is simply preposterous!
     Fatah was originally founded by the late Yasir Arafat in 1965 as a more secular/leftist political party. Fatah comes from a reverse acronym from the Palestinian National Liberation Movement and means "conquering" or "victory". According to its charter, Fatah is a revolutionary movement calling its members to "sacrifice" and "struggle" for the Palestinian cause. It has always been a more secular and less religious movement, yet Arafat's bloody trail can be traced throughout its history. Frankly, as moderate as Fatah's leader Mahmoud Abbas appears to be, it is just a facade. A recent statement by a former Hamas spokesman explains it well: "When I go out [publicly] and say that the [PA]government is my [Abbas] government and it recognizes 'Israel' and so on, fine-these words are meant to trick the Americans."
     As to the goals of Hamas, they certainly are no secret, and nothing could be clearer than their official motto claiming that: Allah is its Goal / The Messenger is its Leader / The Qur’anis its Constitution / Jihad is its methodology, and / Death for the sake ofAllah is its most coveted desire.
     Further reading of the Hamas charter will leave no doubt in the reader's mind as to the evil and hatred emanating from such an organization towards Israel and the Jewish people. Especially when we read in article 13 of their charter that: Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
     Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union, Canada, China and many other civilized nations including the United States, or so I thought! The recent decision by the US administration to dialog with the new Palestinian authority including Hamas, comes out of two possible approaches. Hamas is either not considered a terrorist organization by the US anymore, or it simply doesn't matter to President Obama and John Kerry. In both cases Israel and the United States are weakened and further ridiculed in the Middle East, not to mention put at greater risk.
     So what's next America? Since we have a president with nothing to prove and nothing to lose in his second term, we could expect the worst. Additionally, I wouldn't put it past the Palestinian Authority to again try to obtain recognition at the UN this coming September. This time they might have a real chance since Hamas has shown their "willingness to reconcile" with Fatah. As a matter of fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the new PA would fly under the radar for a short while until they have a chance to gain further recognition at the United Nations.
     In the meantime, in the Middle East, Iraq has declared a "state of emergency" since the city of Mosul (biblical Nineveh) was just taken over by members of ISIS. ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham, and is a breakaway Sunni insurgent group from Al-Qaeda. How bad do they have to be for Al-Qaeda to separate themselves from ISIS? Bad, very, very bad!
     Maybe we will see our administration dialoguing with ISIS in a not so distant future? It doesn't matter if it is out of stupidity, ignorance or malice because the result is going to remain the same. It will be disastrous for the region and it will further embolden terrorists to manipulate the rest of our civilized world. Somehow, with this last move with Hamas, I question if the current United States administration  is still interested in freedom? Is it Anti-Zionism, anti-Israelism or anti-Semitism? Frankly, we are well passed the semantics argument!
     When Mr. Obama claims that Israel is one of our strongest allies in the world in one breath, yet rubs shoulders with Hamas and Hezbollah, who's going to believe him? Then again, does he really care? Is the link between Fatah, Hamas and our current administration a common hatred for Israel? It certainly appears that way.
     I fear for America more than I fear for Israel because God promised to never destroy Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37), as for America, well... no promises there except to curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:3) and corporately, we are well on our way!