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Sunday, November 25, 2012

The New WMD against Israel: Worldwide Media Distortion!

     There is a saying usually attributed to Benjamin Franklin that goes like this:“Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” To this motto we could add "war" because as long as men exist, they will always exercise their "self-attributed rights" to wage war against each other. Reasons abound for the annihilation of our neighbors, not that any of these reasons would necessarily be justifiable, at least ethically!
     Just like everything else in the world, war has morphed over the centuries and actually has dramatically evolved since the end of World War II in 1945. The obvious change in war is the use of weapons that are increasingly becoming more refined and precise. Long gone are the days of bayonets, horses and trenches. War has evolved and continues to evolve alongside technology. The most sophisticated missiles can now find a target buried underground AND hit it with breathtaking precision within a few meters. So as conflicts continue to exist, world leaders all agree that conventional warfare is a thing of the past.
     But there is another aspect of war that has also changed with the advent of the Internet, emails and social networks, and that is media coverage. We started to see the power of the media during the Vietnam War. No war before was so heavily televised and brought so many daily updates about the front lines to those at home. In looking back, even though the media was far from being only a positive addition to the conflict, it can be argued that, within reason, reporting was still bound by morality and a quest for the truth.
     Journalistic values continue to exist though in diminishing numbers, except when the topic includes Israel, then they are practically nonexistent. The demon of "double-standards" constantly lurks over the Middle East looking to report stories that are as far fetched as they are numerous.      
     Unfortunately, they don't seem so ludicrous to the masses and great damage is inflicted upon Israel in particular and the Jewish people in general. This double-standard doesn't seem to be applied to any other country or people group on the planet and I believe that this media war on Israel is possibly as dangerous as any other weapon, conventional or not. As the world has been watching the Israeli-Gaza conflict unfold as well as the announcement of a cease-fire, I can see four reasons why the new WMD or Worldwide Media Distortion is doing unrepairable damage to Israel.

• It demonizes the victims
     Being of their own volition or out of deliberate misinformation from their source, media outlets continually lambaste Israel with a stigma of culpability that runs a bit deeper each time it is presented to the world. This libelous root feeds from the world's ignorance or even worse, the desire to remain ignorant. Israel defends itself against thousands of rockets and all of a sudden Israel is the attacker. We are witnessing a constant inversion of reality.
     For instance, this ABC report (view here) brought to us by Alex Marquardt who tells George Stephanopolous that Palestinians are “simply defending themselves” or that “true peace cannot come along until Israel stops targeting people here in the Gaza Strip.”
     Additionally, CNN's interview of Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal by Christiane Amanpour is also very revealing as we watch her trying to get a straight answer from Meshaal about Israel's right to exist. Words used by Hamas' leader such as "victims " (Palestinians) , "attacker" or "aggressors" (Israelis) are never challenged as Amanpour goes along with Mr. Meshaal, who masterfully avoids any definite answer.
     Not to mention the horrendously antisemitic cartoon published by British Newspaper The Guardian,  laced with the libelous message that the Jews control the world and that Israel is attacking Gaza in anticipation for the upcoming 2013 elections. To add insult to injury, it is important to note that the cartoon actually received a lot of praise from The Guardian readership.
     What about the Vatican's position on the conflict? Not one word has been said to denounce the constant rain of rockets from Gaza onto Israel, but the moment Operation Pillar of Defense was initiated, the Holy See was quick to point the finger at Israel, in again, what appears to be a complete role reversal. They [the Jews] apparently are trying to kill the "New Jesus" symbolized by the Palestinian people,  according to Cardinal Gian Franco Ravasi

• It victimizes the perpetrators
     While the victims are being vilified and turned into the "New Nazis of the Middle East" or "Perpetrators of the Real Holocaust", rockets keep being shot from Gaza onto Israel as far as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (a new development that shows the increase quality, technology and precision). In its attempt at thwarting Hamas outpouring of rockets, Israel is targeting weapons caches and military launching sites with a precision that nears the miraculous. As a matter of fact, very few civilians would be hit if it was not for Hamas using children, women and the elderly as human shields. All the while, Hamas is propagating photos and videos of children being wounded and killed by Israelis right and left (like this one) that first appeared on October 28 and was actually from the conflict in Syria that absolutely didn't involve Israel whatsoever. But don't confuse them with the facts, just dish out out more dirt on Israel, that's all they care about!
     Hamas delights in the gory propaganda using dead children to make itself appear as the poor innocent victims trying to defend themselves. This graphic image shows Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh holding a dead child in his arms. As it turns out, the child was not killed by the IDF but by a Hamas misfired rocket. Look for that retraction anywhere in the mainstream media, good luck!
     The examples abound and remain either unchecked or unchallenged by the media, further validating this overwhelming inversion of reality that could belong to a Twilight Zone episode if not so tragic.

• It reaches millions instantly
     Another aspect of the real danger posed by the media, is the instant reach that social media outlets like Facebook© or Twitter© have around the world. Take for instance, this picture of a wounded Palestinian child hit by the IDF. The opposite is actually true as this was an Israeli girl hurt by Hamas.
     But we expect the enemies of Israel to use every method available INCLUDING ANY MEDIA OUTLET. What should not happen, is the placating of lies by a myriad of unethical journalists and reporters all over the globe. Is it ignorance, hatred, stupidity or a combination of all three, I am not sure, but the results are devastating.
     BBC reporter Jon Donnison re tweeted this picture to 7,000 of his followers as a Gaza casualty. Not long after, he had to recant when it was proven that the photo was from the Syrian conflict (between Muslims I must add). Damage was done as the re-tweet was again re-sent to at least another 100 people and God knows how many more by now.
     We live in an age when it is technologically possible for anybody with a camera-equipped cellphone to send a picture or video instantly to millions of viewers as well as most media outlets at once. It is obvious that this new method of propagating the news isn't necessarily all bad and it greatly depends on the intentions of the sender. The medium utilized to send a message can either be a tool or a weapon, but I am afraid that in the case of Israel it is almost always a weapon aimed at distorting the truth. I liken this virtual gossip to the opening of a feather filled pillow in a wind storm and then trying to find all the feathers to stuff them back in, it is simply impossible.

• It deters from real issues and incites the world against the Jewish people
     While the world is busy buying lies about the conflict between Israel and Gaza, many more people are being massacred in Syria, more uranium is being refined in Iran, more weapons are being stockpiled in Lebanon and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi changed the Egyptian laws to position himself as a powerful dictator. But it's not that important because "Israel continues to kill innocents" and in an age of postmodern tolerance and submission to radical Islam, it is easier to hold hands and globally fight this "cancerous tumor" that is Israel than to seek the truth.
     As you read this, a cease-fire was brokered between Israel and Hamas by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Mohammed Morsi. This is possibly a small defeat for Israel and it is most definitely being shouted as a victory by Hamas who simply will use the time to regroup and reload for the next attack. Will it bring peace? Most certainly not!
     It is a good thing to know that even if Satan is working behind the scenes to demonize Israel and destroy all the Jews, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is on Israel's side. So even though worldwide media distortion against Israel is likely to continue and increase in the near future.  It is biblically safe and reassuring to say that God was the first Zionist. Now that's the truth for a change!

                  Psalm 121:4  Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.     

Saturday, November 17, 2012

21st Century Israel Seen through the Psalms!

     Israel has been at war, one way or another, for the last 64 years since its rebirth as a modern nation in 1948. No other country in the history of mankind has been under so much pressure from the international community for all the wrong reasons, if any reasons at all. Yet no other country in the entire world has ever survived this level of aggression from its neighbors. Something is going on in Israel that is far greater that the undeniable military might of IDF.
     For the last few days, Operation Pillar of Defense has been under way, emphasis on the word "defense". As the launching of rockets on Israel has escalated in frequency and numbers over the last month, something had to be done. This little democracy tucked in the center of the Middle East and surrounded by enemies, has no choice but to defend itself. This could possibly turn into a full blown war in the region, and considering the fragility of several of the "Arab Spring" surrounding countries, it would behoove the rest of the world to pay attention.
     This being said, I feel like this is more of a media war than a real conflict over land and/or socio-political hegemony. Hamas is funded by Iran and other enemies of the Jews, but yet, is ill prepared to take over Israel. Is it possible that the reason behind all the commotion is mostly to attract the world's attention on "the victims" – the Palestinians, and "the perpetrators" – the Israelis? This is another case of Pallywood (media manipulation)! If you don't know what I mean by that, simply watch this BBC reporting on the killing of Ahmed Jabari (Hamas head of armed forces) and notice how the same person acts as a severely wounded Palestinian civilian at the 2:14 min. marker and then quickly gets completely healed at the 2:43 min. marker. Amazing recovery wouldn't you say? 
    This is not unusual for the BBC to be so biased, but most people really don't take the time to scrutinize the footage they watch, they see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. Of course, France is not far behind as Euronews reported the event as an Israeli strike killing 3 people and wounding 25 innocent civilians as a response to Hamas wounding of 4 Israeli soldiers. No mention was ever made of the myriad of rockets sent on Israel and indiscriminately falling onto civilians. It remains to be seen what the United-States will say or do in defense of Israel. Don't hold your breath!
     On the other hand, as Israel is making a move into Gaza that will last several weeks according to Netanyahu, they have showered the area with leaflets warning civilians to take shelter and to stay away from Hamas operatives because of the upcoming conflict. What other country in the world goes out of his way to prepare civilians in enemy territories before they strike? Last time I checked, and every time I checked for that matter, civilian casualties were part of the unfortunate collateral damage found within any conflict. Is this coming from those islamists and liberal alike call the "perpetrators"?
     So, from a purely human perspective, there is little hope for peace in the Middle East and let alone for the survival of Israel. This conflict is to be taken seriously mainly because it is part of a much greater scheme of spiritual warfare lead by Israel's archenemy: Satan himself. So if we are to consider the source, let us consider the rest of the story as well.

They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” 
     In the context of Psalm 83, ten countries or people groups are listed as the enemies of Israel conspiring with one mind to eradicate the tiny sliver of land in their midst. Among them are modern day JORDAN, EGYPT, LEBANON, IRAQ, SYRIA, SAUDI ARABIA, GAZA AND SINAI PENINSULA. They are to join forces against Israel and frankly, the somewhat blurred picture of a complicated Middle East conflict of the sort is rapidly coming into focus when you consider the current events. Understanding the next verse is crucial to bible believers as it says: for they have conspired together with one mind, against You they make a covenant. Simply said, the enemies of Israel are the enemies of God. Period!

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever. 
     The promises of God regarding the preservation of Israel are unconditional and eternal. As we go to sleep at night and see the stars in the sky or wake up and see the sun rising, we are reassured that God has not forsaken Israel (Jer. 31:35-37). The mountains surrounding Jerusalem are a constant reminder that God surrounds and protects Jerusalem.

Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. 
     Not only God watches over Israel, but we also have the assurance that absolutely nothing will escape Him because He never sleeps. Israel's enemies might be motivated by hatred and antisemitism from Satan the ultimate enemy, but he needs to be reminded that even though he is roaming the world today, he has lost the battle against God and the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8).

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. 
     It is clear that God wants all the disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Now would be a good time to start if you have never done so. For many of us, it is a regular prayer that is almost second nature. We must also remember that any peace or semblance of peace prior to the return of Israel's Messiah will only be short lived. Yeshua, The Prince of Peace, will establish the only everlasting peace in the region and in the world. Yet, praying for peace is still incumbent on the believer today.

“Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! 
     Ultimately, one day all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26). It is God's desire that Israel would return to Him (Hosea 14:1). While this is never meant to mean that all Jewish people of all times will enjoy the presence of God, we know that at some point in the future, all Jewish people will turn to Yeshua (Zech. 12:10). If God aches for Israel's salvation, how much more should we ache for it?

     The fact that much about the welfare of Israel and Jerusalem could be found in the Psalm is an indication that Israel is HERE TO STAY. Much more is said about it throughout the whole counsel of God and while we ache for the many casualties (on both sides), we are reminded that the lies of the enemy will only endure for a time. The media, the liberals and the islamists have vowed destruction of Israel in the name of WORLD PEACE while the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has sent His only begotten son to die for us all and establish WORLD PEACE upon His return.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Israel's Real Friends Will Not Compromise!

     The day I returned from Paris turned out to be the day that America decided to give up on truth and morality. Last Tuesday, the country I love so much decided to give another chance to a man that has proven very little in the last four years. But America has been undergoing a huge demographic shift and along with it, an ideological face lift that has left conservatives across the board pretty much without a plan, at least for now. The result seems to be an attraction to a leader that doesn't have to prove anything except that he is always up to the next photo op or media event. America has just elected an image of a president and I fear that like most images it has no substance. Does it matter? To most it seems that it doesn't, but if you have any shred of ethics left in your being, it should!
     Our second-term president was no friend of Israel during his first four years, and that was then, when he had to make sure he wouldn't jeopardize his re-election. He never visited Israel under his first term as a president, but was always available to tour a myriad of Arab countries and bow to sheiks and emirs right and left. So now that he has absolutely nothing to prove, it makes me wonder how far he is willing to go in widening the divide between the USA and Israel? Much is at stake here with Syria, Egypt, Libya and of course the ever volatile and increasingly explosive Iran.
     Mr. Obama might very soon lead the USA outside of God's blessing as he continues to spit in the face of "the apple of God's eye". Compromising with the enemy of Israel is only going to ignite God's ire. Frankly, I think that God has possibly already started to display His discontentment with America  in the last few weeks.
     Israel's enemies are becoming emboldened by the apathy of those who once supported the tiny democracy of the Middle East. Do these enemies truly think they are bigger or stronger than God or simply that they are God? What a delusion!
     So, for those of us left with a love for God and thus a love for Israel and her people, we have no choice but to PRESS ON AND NOT COMPROMISE. If we are going to undergo persecution (and I believe it is imminent), it might as well be because of our undivided allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords and as a result, a love for His people according to the flesh: The Jews. We might even learn a thing or two from the French (I know, it is highly unusual for me to praise my country of origin considering how antisemitic they have been, both historically and recently).
     But, it so happened that during WWII in France, there was a small village known as Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, only 40 kms south of Vichy. The village comprised about 5,000 people who for the vast majority were direct descendants of French Huguenots (16th and 17th centuries French members of the Reformed Protestant Church). These people were the closest thing to genuine bible believing Christians France ever saw.
     Against all odds, in a France ruled by the hugely antisemitic government of Vichy, Le Chambon went on to take in, protect and help escape about 5,000 Jews. The small village story is one of humility, biblical love, compassion and NO COMPROMISE. But none of the villagers were heroes in their own eyes, they were simply disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) and saw their actions as normal displays of biblical behavior towards mankind.
     Their incredible story was miraculous in so many ways. It is retold in a superb documentary titled Weapons of the Spirit. (see preview of the movie here, directed by French Jew Pierre Sauvage who was born and protected in the village during WWII). As you listen to the testimonies of these simple villagers, you come to realize that their respect for the Bible, their commitment to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their love for the chosen people of God were so strong that nothing–not even Nazi Germany or the Vichy Government of Maréchal Pétain–could stop them.
     In the next four years, while we cannot stop Barack Obama from being president of the United States and while we cannot make decisions for him and his cabinet, we certainly can do a few things that will resonate with God.
     • We can pray for our president to make the right choices
     • We can pray for God's protection over those who respect Him and His Word
     • We can chose to NOT COMPROMISE when it comes to supporting Israel.
     The villagers at Le Chambon-sur-Lignon never compromised and against all odds were able to save thousands of lives. We have much to learn from a small French village of Huguenots who really put into practice the biblical adage of "loving your neighbor" (Leviticus 19:18, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8),  and as the Pierre Sauvage puts it:
     You never know who might get caught up in a conspiracy of goodness once you launch it"?