|Palestinians showing their solidarity with Hizbollah terrorists who kidnapped three Israeli soldiers in northern Israel near Lebanon.
The Shalom of God from Tel Aviv.
Israel is shocked to find its existence once again in question. "All Israelis are legitimate targets," Hamas spokesman announced on Israel Radio (Oct. 12, 2000).Throughout Israel - inside Israel - Arabs in the West Bank and Israeli Arabs are rising up, claiming that Muslim Palestinians are the legitimate owners of the Holy Land, and therefore Israel must be de-stroyed, exterminated, obliterated. That means Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Tiber- ius, Beersheva and everything in between.
Israeli columnist, Naomi Ragen, wrote: "War-weary governments of war-weary peoples. . .encourage their people to climb into bed and pull the covers over their heads. And only when the bombs destroy their bedrooms, do people finally look up, surprised, wondering why they hadn't seen it coming. The people of Israel have been lulled by their leadership into a similar state. Ever since Oslo [Peace Agreement] we have been fed smooth-sounding platitudes about giving peace a chance. But Oslo's slap of thin veneer over the deep, rotting fabric of Jewish-Arab relations and insoluble religious and cultural antagonisms that have fueled the Middle Eastern conflict for centuries has disintegrated, leaving things pretty much where we started." (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 6, 2000).
Except now, instead of only rocks, it is Arafat's 40,000 man "police force." Now we are confronted by a "full-fledged armed conflict no further than a 10 minute drive from every single house in Israel. Our negotiating partners in this peace initiative "in which we have invested so much hope, and for which we have taken so many calculated risks, shocked us by transmuting in the blink of an eye from dark-suited diplomats into frothing rabble rousers." (Ibid.)
Says Ragen, "I have come to despair that our government has the ability and the will to fulfill any of their minimal obligations to those that put them into power. And that obligation is to protect and defend and maintain order and civilization." (Ibid.)
THE PEACE PROCESS DIES
Israel is scared. It is no longer a nation of macho soldiers and proud, fearless citizens. Paraphrasing one mournful D. J. who told his audience after the hourly news: "We are fearful and have lost our direction. We are a scattered and fearful herd of sheep. We have a deep sense of insecurity." Significant for Israel, some of her strongest left-wing personalities are publicly stating they have finally realized that Israel does not have a peace partner - the peace process is dead.
In an added boost for the Palestinians, the UN Security Council has greatly encouraged Arafat in his violent war against Israel by astonishingly condemning Israel (by 14-0 with the U.S. abstaining) for using excessive force with nary a word concerning Palestinian misconduct! So much for the U.S. administration's partnership with Israel if only she would take risks in the peace process.
Day by day, Israel is watching herself becoming more and more isolated. In an attempt to defend her national safety, she is being seen as the aggressor and the combatant attacker. The world press plaintively repeats over and again that only a few Israelis are being killed in comparison with Palestinians. My question is this: Does the press feel that the Israel security forces and police should be using stones to make the war "fair?" How many Israelis must be killed and wounded in order for Israel to earn the moral right to protect her besieged citizens from Muslim mobs who are, along with rock-throwing children, using live fire?
PAYING CHILDREN TO FIGHT
Meanwhile, the spirit of the terrorist group "Hamas" (meaning violence) continues to garner worldwide support for Palestinian victims whose one goal is to replace Israel on the map. Arafat's cynical use of children's lives to promote his war is paying off. A Moslem carpenter who works in our new facility lives in one of the terrorist hotspots within Israel's borders. He has been unable to come to work and so called us from his home. He told us, "Don't think that most of us older people (he is in his 20's) are interested in this violence." He revealed to us what the Israeli army had already claimed: that the Palestinian Authority had closed all schools, and was giving the neighborhood children money if they would violently demonstrate against Israeli forces.
Arafat, Hamas and various other terrorist groups are absolutely convinced that they will be able to eventually destroy Israel if they keep up their violent opposition. The pearl of great price for them is the Temple Mount, the place that God said He has chosen for His own.
For now I have chosen and sanctified this house [Temple], that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be their perpetually.
II Chron. 7:14,16
This is the very spot from which the Messiah will reign (Zech. 6:12-13). Is it any wonder that Satan himself is determined that He, not God, will dwell on the Mountain of the Lord?
“ISRAEL IS FACING ONE OF ITS DARKEST HOURS”
Thus was the opening sentence of a recent Jerusalem Post editorial which continued to
say, "At no time since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War has our country feared more for itself and its future. The belief that we had finally won an accepted and permanent place in the region has been shattered. The devastating power of this fateful revelation affects us as much in our psyches as it does in our besieged communities and riot-stricken streets. For the first time in a generation, Israelis of all stripes and from all corners can conclude nothing other than that our state is in grave danger.
“We have no choice, for the moment, at least, but to retreat into a self-image that nearly all of us thought we had escaped. Yet here we are. Exposed to ourselves and the world as a tiny embattled enclave forced to fight again for our right to live here.” (Ibid.)
Jerusalem Post writer, Daniel Pipes states, "But as every survey (plus much other evidence) shows, most Palestinians as well as their Arab and Moslem allies did not give up on the hope to destroy Israel. Instead, they put this ambition in the freezer, to be thawed out at a future date when again opportune. That thaw began surprisingly quickly. With this rejection [of Barak’s peace offers] Palestinians signaled that they had no more need to truck with the Zionist enemy; from now on, they implied, the Hizbullah method of victory through force would be their model. But Israel's leadership myopically projecting on to the Palestinians its own hopes for a harmonious resolution, ignored the reality that they were preparing for a violent offensive. More than any other single act, the desecration of Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish holy site, symbolized their triumphalist spirit.
The more modest of them spoke of liberating the Temple Mount or Jerusalem, the more ambitious saw their actions as a first step towards the destruction of Israel itself.
The enemies of Israel again feel that they are on the road to eliminating the 'Zionist Entity.'" (Ibid.)
THE SPILLOVER EFFECT
Contrary to what many believe, the complex problem of the sons of Isaac and Ishmael is not just relegated to a small piece of land in the Middle East. The hatred and inability to co-exist has had a "spillover effect" to other venues including the United States and Europe. In recent news, several Orthodox Jews were attacked in New York and even threatened with death. In another incident, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania synagogue was set fire on Yom Kippur. Other reports state that …"In France, tension between Jews and Moslems has mounted, with synagogues attacked and "Death to the Jews" shouted at pro-Arab rallies. Firebombs were thrown at two synagogues in the Paris area and one in Lyon causing damage to the outside of the buildings. One attack occurred during Yom Kippur services." Similar incidents have occurred in Germany. (Ibid)
IS THERE HOPE FOR ARAB AND JEW TO LIVE TOGETHER?
It is recorded in Genesis 21:17 that God has heard the voice of the lad where he is (speaking of Ishmael). God instructed Hagar … "Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand; for I will make a great nation of him." Further, in verse 20 it declares that God was with the lad. God still longs to be with the descendants of "the lad" - Ishmael.
Yet, many of Ishmael's descendants have, for centuries, been strangled spiritually by the deception of Islam which seeks to have pre-eminence and domination over God's ordained plan for His chosen people.
There is only one hope in this desperate war over the promised land. Yes, war will come as the prophets foretold. But many Arabs and Jews can be saved from the coming disaster. Oh, that God would pour out His Spirit on both sons of Abraham! And indeed, it is promised! The prophets foresaw the day that as Israel begins to be a spiritual light to the nations of the world, that light will also shine on the Arabs. Isaiah makes several references to this marvelous promise. He prophesies that the people of Kedar and Nebaioth will be gathered to Israel and even minister to her! (Isa. 60:7) Nebaioth was the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar the second. (Gen. 25:13)
When there is spiritual restoration in Israel and the Arab countries, there will be peace in the Middle East. Today, Israel's highways stop abruptly at her borders in all four directions, but Isaiah even promises that the time is coming when there will be a highway from the northern Arab countries passing through the nation of Israel and continuing down through Egypt. All these nations will be "a blessing in the midst of the earth." (Isa. 19:22-24)
Now is the time to intensely focus on evangelism in the Middle East. There is no longer any time to lose. Pray for the salvation of Israel and the Arab people. Give of your resources so that men and women and children might live and not die.
by CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
"Fighting has broken out in the Middle East, we read. This use of passive phrasing, almost universal in media reports on the violence in Israel, is a way of deliberately expressing agnosticism about the cause of the fighting.
It is a scandal. It is akin to writing that on September 1, 1939, war "broke out on the German-Polish frontier.
Few wars break out spontaneously. And certainly not this one. Does anyone believe that Ehud Barak, who went to Camp David and offered the Palestinians peace terms of breathtaking generosity would be starting a war? Does anyone believe that the most dovish government in Israeli history, feeling itself just inches away from concluding a permanent peace, would initiate gun battles?
The plain fact is that Yasser Arafat, thrown on the diplomatic defensive by rejecting Barak's offer (to the astonishment and dismay of the American mediators), has done what he has always done: resort to violence to regain the initiative and, most important, mint new underage martyrs - on world television - to regain the international sympathy he had forfeited by turning down peace at Camp David.
His pretext was that the September 28 visit to the Temple Mount by Israel's leader of the opposition so offended Islam that the faithful erupted in violence. The audacity of this claim is astonishing. Yes, the Temple Mount is the third-holiest place in Islam. But it happens to be the single most holy place for Jews. Why does the Moslem claim so trump all others that Jews may not set foot on their most sacred site, their Mecca?
The war that followed was as spontaneous as a Havana demonstration. The preacher at al-Aqsa mosque called at Friday prayers to "eradicate the Jews from Palestine." Official Palestinian television began playing over and over archival footage of the Palestinian intifada of 1987-1993 showing young people out in the streets throwing stones.
In case one still didn't get the message, Voice of Palestine radio began playing patriotic war songs. Arafat then closed the schools and declared a general strike, causing everyone to go out into the street. With Arafat's chief political lieutenant on the West Bank orchestrating the militias, war then "broke out."
The doves are stunned. Avraham Burg, speaker of the Israeli parliament and one of the architects of the Labor government's bend-over-backward peace proposals, writes perplexedly, pathetically: "Do we really understand what is going on? After everything was given, there are still demands on the other side. Suddenly we discovered," he continues plaintively, "that what we mean by peace - which is mutual reconciliation - is not being met by the other side."
SUDDENLY? Where has he been for seven years? Seven years during which Arafat built his "police force" into a 40,000-man army now unleashed on Israel. Seven years during which Arafat repeatedly said that the peace process was one option and that if he did not get everything he wanted there was another. Seven years during which his state-controlled television, radio, newspapers and now children's textbooks inculcated in his people an anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism so virulent that it has succeeded in producing a new generation bred on reflexive hostility to Israel.
Seven years during which he repeatedly called for "jihad" for Jerusalem.
Well, it has now arrived. That is the meaning of the current fighting.
This is, as the Palestinians openly call it, a war for Jerusalem. Not, as the world press has reported endlessly and fatuously, an expression of Palestinian "frustration." Frustration with what? Israeli occupation? It ended years ago; 99 percent of Palestinians live under the rule of Yasser Arafat. Over territory? Barak has conceded virtually the entire West Bank
Over political subordination? Barak offered full recognition of the first independent Palestinian state in history.
The Palestinians are less frustrated than emboldened. Emboldened by an Israeli government so desperate for peace it has given up "everything," as Burg admitted. Emboldened by the fecklessness of Burg and his colleagues, so impervious for so long to empirical evidence of Palestinian implacability that in this moment of supreme crisis they admit openly to disorientation.
Emboldened by an American administration so craven that it refuses to condemn Arafat for cynically starting this war, indeed for repeatedly violating his single obligation under Oslo; the renunciation of violence.
"After everything was given," laments Burg. Yes everything, except one last thing: the Temple Mount. Why, Barak went wobbly even on that. He offered to relinquish sovereignty over Judaism's holiest site and internationalize it under the UN Security Council.
Arafat refused. He demands ownership - the audacity is breathtaking - of Judaism's holy of holies. Hence this war.
It is not spontaneous. And it is not without direction. Arafat knows what he wants, and he is prepared to sacrifice as many of his people as it takes to get it. Preferably on television." Printed by permission. (Washington Post Writers Group)