by Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram
The soldiers stand for hours listening to the settlers cry, scream, plead. The soldiers enter the synagogues and pray together with the weeping settlers, who pray for the last time in their Gazan synagogues. The soldiers and Orthodox settlers dance and sing together in grief across the length of the Gaza Strip. Then the soldiers evicted them from the settlements that are doomed to obliteration, to be eradicated off the face of the earth. The camera catches a soldier sitting on the ground sobbing in grief as her commander tries to comfort her.
The dead will follow the living as the graves of Jews are exhumed and the bones removed to new resting places. Many of the dead are family members of settlers who died in order that the coming generations of Israelis could live on the Biblical land of Gaza.
In 1976, the first Israelis moved to Gaza and created a small village. Soon more pioneers, especially farmers, found empty land in Gaza where, according to public information, no one had ever lived before. Neither had anyone ever planted crops there, as the sandy land was considered unfit for cultivation. Within 20-30 years, today’s 8500 Israelis had built, by the sweat of their brow, 21 magnificent communities a paradise on earth.
For a nation with such a microscopic land mass, Israelis cannot often build a home on their own piece of land. A small plot with a few feet around a house may cost anywhere from half a million to a million dollars in populated areas, and only a bit cheaper in places like Galilee. With their own hands the settlers in Gaza built dream homes, beautiful, manicured lawns and superb educational and religious facilities. They erected 1000 acres of hothouses, exporting spices, flowers, and vegetables, and contributing many millions of dollars to the Israeli economy each year. Moreover, these settlers employed 4000 Gazan Arabs in the hothouses. All this, under constant, withering bombardment and terrorist attacks.
The number of Israeli terrorist victims killed just since September 2000 is 1073, with another 7,371 injured. This, in a nation of 5,021,000 Jews and 1,255,000 Arabs.
Can you fathom this? The total number of terrorist attacks in Israel proper, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during this time has been 22,406. Of those bombings, shootings, rocket launching and suicide attacks, 12,776 were targeted against the 8,500 Gazan Jews and soldiers stationed in Gaza. That is, 57% of all attacks were in Gaza.
In their hearts of hearts, the vast majority of Israelis are not “for” disengagement. However, if peace were a real possibility, then Israelis would willingly cut this arm from its body. But there is hardly a public figure, a journalist or reporter anywhere here that believes peace is on its way. If Israelis do advocate disengagement, it is because they see absolutely no other alternative.
Journalist Elliot Jager writes: “What part of me would give to be orange [anti-disengagement] right now…I’d be able to turn around probably no more than 14 days after the last Israeli had been pulled out of Gaza and northern Samaria and scream: “I told you so! I told you this would not bring peace; that the Palestinians would interpret Israel’s withdrawal as a victory for terrorism; that far from buying us diplomatic breathing space, [instead] pressure from the EU and the U.S. to make further, even riskier, concessions would promptly materialize.”
“And yet, with a heavy heart,” Jager concludes, “I embrace Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s argument that the Jewish state must not rule over Gaza’s 1 million hostile Palestinian Arabs in perpetuity; that Gush Katif is no longer a military asset; and that to salvage as much of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as possible, precious communities must be uprooted.” (Jerusalem Post, 1 Aug 04)
Jager is saying what we hear all around us.
The Jewish settlers found virgin sand dunes where no one had ever lived or grown crops. In 20-30 years they established paradise communities and state-of-the-art greenhouses, producing millions of dollars of crops and employing 4000 Arabs from Gaza.
1. Israel cannot morally continue to prevent over a million Arabs in Gaza from attaining the basic rights of citizenship, with all that entails.
2. Israel does not have the military manpower nor the finances to spread itself so thinly among several million hostile Muslims in Gaza and the West Bank. Today, over one-third of Israel’s children are living below the poverty line, and Israel’s taxes as a result of military expenses have created a nation of harried, in-debt or bankrupt and overworked (for those who can find a job) inhabitants.
3. Israel is bracing itself against the whole world to somehow hold on to Jerusalem and most of her settlements in the West Bank. Therefore, she has chosen to consolidate her forces to better protect the rest of the land.
The Arabs in Israel and surrounding countries are multiplying as few other peoples on the globe. Today there are 1.1 million Gazan Arabs by the most scientific (non-Arab) count. They live in squalor; they have a UN organization that allows them the luxury to remain helpless, hopeless, desperately poor refugees who get their daily dole of food and necessities. This never-before “nation” has been created by Muslim hatred for one express purpose to destroy Israel as a Jewish nation and raise the banner of Allah over the Holy Land.
The Palestinians will never make peace with Israel, because, for them, Israel and “peace” are a contradiction in terms. Judea Pearl, the father of the journalist, Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by Muslim extremists in Pakistan, told of a friendly conversation he had with one of the aides of Palestinian Authority minister Mohammad Dahlan, a strong “supporter” of the Road Map, who confessed that “we Palestinians do not believe in a two-state solution, for we can’t agree to the notion of a ‘Jewish state’. Palestine is too small for two states.”
Pearl pondered, “Road Map to what? To a Middle East without Israel?” After telling this story to an Egyptian scholar renowned as a champion of liberalism in the Arab world, the Egyptian replied, “There is no place for a Jewish state in Palestine... The Jews were driven out 2,000 years ago, and that should be final….”
Pearl laments, “I still cannot name a single Muslim leader (or journalist, or an intellectual) who has publicly acknowledged the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute between two legitimate national movements.”
“The problem with Muslim elites,” concludes Pearl, “could be seen again, even at the University of California at Irvine, where the Muslim Student Union organized a meeting entitled “A World Without Israel.” (Ibid., 17 June 05)
Soldiers weep as they evict the settlers of gaza from their homes and villages.
A WORLD WITHOUT ISRAEL?
And now we have arrived at what this government views as the greatest danger of all, that Israel would not be able to sustain itself as a viable nation because the whole world has decided she’s not worth saving.
For those who understand the spiritual implications, all is quite clear. And in every country there is a greater or lesser number of praying Christians who understand. Nevertheless, the world - and especially Europeans who once had a Christian culture - neither believe in God nor in the Bible, and so are literally in the dark.
“The main reason Europeans are blind to Israel’s security needs and national interests,” says columnist Barry Rubin, “is because they simply want a ‘solution’ to the Middle East conflict so they can get on with their own perceived interests as soon as possible. They include: large-scale trade with Arab states, a calmer situation in the Arab world to reduce the inflow of Muslim immigrants to their lands, scoring points against the U.S., and posing as humanitarian champions of the underdog. (Ibid., 28 June 05)
Thus there is growing consternation across Israel that her very existence is in the balance. This is really the heart-stopping, dreaded reason that Sharon has become so desperate as to uproot his own people.
What Europe, Russia, China and other nations want is quiet. A small tribe of some 13,000,000 Hebrew souls world wide, means little or nothing to them. Whether Israel lives or dies is not a particularly pressing issue. The Arab nations know this, and their strategy is to keep the pot boiling around Israel, and make sure the Arabs presently living in the ancient land of Israel maintain their determination to “take back their land.”
A newer tactic is for Palestinian leaders to proclaim they are advocates of democracy and therefore want their “lawful rights” for a single democratic “bi-national” state in place of Israel. One citizen, one vote. Translation: The end of the Jewish state, the establishment of one more Muslim state.
The UN, of which around one-third are nations of the Islamic religion, is a perfect vehicle to continually tighten the screws on the Zionist Jews. Did you know, for example, that Israel is the only country in the world that has not been given a permanent placement in one of the UN’s geographical subdivisions? It is from these subdivisions that states are nominated, among other considerations, to sit on committees and councils, including the ten rotational Security Council seats. Israel is never on any of these important committees, because she doesn’t “exist” in the geographic divisions.
Now - and here comes the existential danger again - a growing number of European and American organizations, especially universities and liberal churches, are calling for economic and commercial sanctions against Israel. If such sanctions became wide-spread, they would utterly destroy Israel’s fragile economy, and thus her capacity to defend herself.
Journalist Jager hopes what the majority of Israelis are hoping: “Whatever its many pitfalls, disengagement just might buy Israel some diplomatic breathing space. The orange camp [anti-disengagement] seems oblivious to just how close we are to being tarred as the Rhodesia of the 21st century. Google “boycott Israel” and you’ll see what I mean…Like it or not we need Washington and Brussels more than they need us.” (Ibid., 1Aug.05)
Amnon Rubinstein, a liberal Knesset member for many years, adds, “Also of utmost concern is the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran Israel’s most vocal enemy openly threatening Israel’s population centers. “The battle,” says Rubenstein, “is not waged for this or that hill, but concerns our very existence.”
Rubinstein concludes that Israel must aggressively seek a defense pact with the U.S or within NATO, as a means of deterring missile attacks against Israel, and therefore she cannot afford to remain on land that the whole world, including the U.S., perceives as belonging to the Muslims. (Ibid., 3 Aug. 05)
Now think about this! Israel has no defense pact with anybody!! If she is attacked, no one is contractually committed to come to her rescue!
MAKING SENSE OF IT ALL
So, where do we personally stand? We have consistently stated that there is NO political answer to Israel’s problems. But we would like to elaborate on our thoughts, starting with the words of Jeremiah, who is known as the weeping prophet. As he saw destruction coming on his people, he cried out:
My soul, my soul! I am in anguish! Oh, my heart! My heart is pounding in me; I cannot be silent, Because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war... for the whole land is devastated. Jer. 4:19-20
Your ways and your deeds have brought these things to you…. Jer. 4:18
None other than Moses laid out the consequences of turning against God’s Way:
You shall build a house, but you shall not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not use its fruit…A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you shall never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually…and you shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see…
So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you... and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. Sections of Deut 28:3-63
What can we learn from Moses and Jeremiah? God’s total purpose, plan and destiny is to give Israel everything He has promised her including all of her land from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River, and to be the nation from which the Messiah will rule the world. These promises Jeremiah and the prophets prophesied over and over again.
I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. Jer. 32:41 Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land. Jer. 32:15 And the coast will be for the remnant of the house of Judah. Zeph. 2: 7 If the heavens above can be measured…then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel…Jer. 31:37 And on and on.
Nevertheless, Jeremiah, at the risk of his own safety, also prophesied that due to the sins of the nation, calamity and sorrow would be visited on his people until they turned back to Him.
Because of God’s great mercy and everlasting love for the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He is at this moment fulfilling prophecy by planting over 5,000,000 Jews in the ancient Promised Land. But these hundreds upon hundreds of promises to Israel cannot be fulfilled in their entirety until Israel enters into a New Covenant relationship with God (Jer. 31:31) and receives spiritual healing:
And you shall be My people, and I will be your God. The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back, until He has performed, and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand this. At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. Jer. 30:24-31:1 (Also see Jer. 23:20-22)
Who does not know we are in the Last Days? For this reason, God guarantees that He is going to be involved in such a way that He will bring this whole nation back to Him. Israel will not be totally destroyed by the curses found in the Law of Moses.
The message Israel does not yet know, of course, is the Good News - that Yeshua, the Sacrifical Lamb has paid the price of sin and thus the curses of the Mosaic law are lifted off the sinner so that he can now receive all the blessings of the Law.
The Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us... Gal. 3:13
And thus all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, the Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. Rom. 11:26, 27
But the writer of Romans, in the middle of his discourse on Israel, emphasizes the absolute necessity of sending preachers, evangelists, intercessors and workers to Israel to help in the spiritual birth of this nation:
How then shall they [Israel] call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Rom. 10:14-15
And that is the question that we believe God has put before us all. We know that God’s desire is for our people to occupy their God-given land. These are the last days when God’s purpose is to
bring Israel into her fullness, spiritually and materially.
August 17. The pain is wrenching. The scenes are shattering. The heart of Israel is broken as soldiers weep along side of wailing settlers who beg not to be expelled from their homes. The heart must be in the stomach, because the ache is deep, sad and hopeless in the collective being of the nation.
The Jewish settlers pray their last prayers in their beloved synagogue before they are ejected from Neveh Dekalim. On the other side of the fence, Palestinian forces and a crowd of Gazans wait to take over the abandoned land.
Were we against disengagement? Yes.
Did we believe the disengagement was the best possible solution under Israel’s present circumstances? With a heavy heart, we say yes.
Do we want to see Israel return to her inheritance in Gaza? Absolutely, because this is God’s express will.
Do we believe that nations that pressure or force Israel to give up any of of her land will one day be punished? Yes. (Joel 3:2)
Will you be a part of God’s solution for the restoration of His people? Will you be part of the answer to bring our people back to their land, by sowing and investing into the spiritual awakening of the Israeli people? In this issue of the MaozIsrael Report, you will find several ways to do so. Weep with us. Sow and reap with us.
In the midst of our nation’s trauma we continue to take practical steps to get the message of salvation through Yeshua the Messiah to our people.
Creating a library of books for spiritual growth in Hebrew is most definitely a pioneer work that will give multitudes of Israelis the opportunity to understand the Gospel, and then to put deep roots down in their faith.
(The need is apparent in that there are only two other believing publishing companies in Israel, and we are the only one publishing books by both evangelical and charismatic authors.)
The head of our publishing division, Gil Paz, has now put together one full Israeli team for publishing including translator, editor, proof reader, typesetter graphic designer and workers with our digital printing equipment. And Gil is working on a second team. This is a great answer to many prayers.
To keep these teams working, we must continue to publish a steady flow of Gospel books which is precisely our prayer and aim. So, we need partners to invest in this heavenly business!
In Israel a book of 200 pages now costs about $10,000 to produce and print the first edition. (Over 50% of the cost goes for various taxes, and compulsory benefits)
As you well know, books yield new believers and nurture growing believers. Their rich truths written by experienced and mature men and women of God, deepen the spiritual lives of leaders-in-training exactly what we need in Israel!
Invest now, and one day you will be full of joy as you see the harvest your gifts have brought forth.
Our nation is facing the most difficult time since its establishment in 1948. Nothing else will save Israel but the spreading of the Gospel of Peace through the Prince of Peace, Yeshua the Messiah. There is absolutely no other answer.
We now have 16 contracts with publishers waiting to be published.
Will you bless Israel with the knowledge of the Word of God by joining our Hebrew Book of the Month Club with a gift of $25, $50 or $100 per month for 12 months, and by giving generously whenever you can, special offerings towards the publishing of these books?
May the peace of God rest on you,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
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