Shalom from Tel Aviv,
I could tell you about the musician who used to stand in front of Dizengoff Center playing for a few shekels a day, who was lying in pieces after the blast. I could tell you about the famous journalist who rushed to cover the Jerusalem suicide bombing, only to arrive home and learn that his son had been on that bus.
I could tell you about the general desperation and despair of the Israeli people. But you've heard it all. Relentlessly, methodically, drearily, the Moslem suicide bombers advance in line for their turn, with their bullets and knives in one hand and their map to Paradise where their four virgins will meet them in the other. But you've heard it all before.
A TERRORIST SPEAKS OUT
I could tell you about how we felt as we watched the lips of the world's most famous terrorist, Yasser Arafat, forming the words: "I condemn these terrorist acts." In exchange for those words in English, he is receiving large sections of Israel's real estate, tens of millions of shekels from Israel, hundreds of millions of dollars from the world's nations, and a police force of 5,000 men, many of whom are well known, hardened terrorists. You might have heard that in his Arabic speeches Arafat regularly calls for holy war against Israel while glorifying the suicide bombers as martyrs.
Must I also tell you that since the suicide bombings, ambushes, killings and attacks against Israel, no other public Palestinian figures have unequivocally condemned the recent carnage brought on by human bombs? Neither has a single member of the suicide bombers' families bemoaned the waste of the killers' own lives. (Jerusalem Post, March 1, 1996) Since the Oslo agreements, not one official Palestinian spokesman has justified the existence of the State of Israel, even though they might bow to the bitter reality. (Ibid.)
A TWO MINUTE WALK
I can also tell you about the mercies of God--how one young woman had been attending our congregation for several months, but had not yet committed her life to God and received forgiveness for her sins through the sacrifice of Yeshua our Messiah. She had been standing on the corner at Dizengoff Center chatting with a friend, then said goodbye. She walked the distance of a football field when hell exploded. She came the Saturday morning after the explosion and gave thanks to God for her deliverance, and accepted the free gift of salvation.
DISCERNING WHERE ISRAEL IS PROPHETICALLY
What is crucial, however, in absorbing information about Israel, is that you discern where the nation is, on the road to her spiritual return to God. As she falls deeper and deeper into the black void, her hopelessness and brokenness intensifies. Yet God is standing here waiting, waiting, waiting. One day it will happen. One day the dawn will begin to break and multitudes of Israelis will see Him standing here with outstretched hands.
Listen to the heartbeat of Israel. Listen with the intent to know how to pray. Pray that the scales will falloff the eyes of our people. Read the reflections of seasoned journalist Hirsh Goodman in his article on the following page. Goodman, Editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Report, represents well the mood, the feelings, the inner thoughts of the people of Israel.
After you have read Goodman, then read the prophetic word on page four. This prophecy, in our opinion, is very much in the spirit of the prophecies of Jeremiah who spoke 3,000 years ago to the people of Israel in the Name of the Lord.
And they heal the brokenness... of My people superficially, Saying, "Peace, peace," But there is no peace. . .For we have sinned against the Lord. We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror! (Jer. 8:11; 14-15)
As we finish this newsletter, the leaders of 29 nations are meeting in the Sinai Desert. They have come together to promote the peace process and fight terror at this "Summit of Peacemakers". One by one, they wait their turns to speak. They speak earnestly and repetitively of peace. Once again, hope rises in the hearts of the Israeli people--perhaps there will be peace. . . .
"Peace must succeed. Peace will succeed." Canadian Prime Minister Jan Chretien
"Peace survives. Peace will grow stronger. Peace will prevail." U.S. President Bill Clinton
"The dark days of war are at an end. Its sunset is imminent and inevitable. It will be a New Middle East." Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres
"The new sun of peace has risen." Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat
Monotonously, methodically, drearily, the presidents and prime ministers advance in line for their turn, with their speeches in one hand and their maps for a New Middle East paradise in the other. But you've heard it all before.
One thing and one thing only is going to bring peace to Israel and her neighbors. It is Revival in the Land. It is an outpouring of God's Spirit as He promised through the prophet Joel. It is massive repentance--a return to the Lord God of Israel, a rejection of all other gods.
That is why we live. That is why we work. That is why we pray and cry out to God for mercy and favor for our people. For a resurrection from the dead. That is why we write you this newsletter. And that is why you respond. Whatever you give financially will be used to further the message of repentance towards God and salvation through the Messiah of Israel. May God remember you and your help, your prayers, and your generosity to reach the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
In our Messiah's service,
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram