By Shira Sorko-Ram
Israeli men, women and children, babies and elderly, running for their lives just doesn’t make the news. Think of the headline: Three Israeli citizens killed by rockets over last three weeks.” Not impressive. And only a few children who didn’t get to safety within the allotted seconds were seriously injured with schrapnel from the falling rockets.
As a result, there are few scenes of blood and guts - the fodder that makes the media’s video cameras churn out the dramatic pictures that are a “must” for CNN, the BBC, Aljazeera, and all the others to keep their viewer ratings up.
Never doubt. There is tragedy, though often unseen. Israel now has thousands of children showing severe stress symptoms. Eight years of constant rockets has taken its toll. Hopefully, most will recover although some never will.
What about the houses themselves? The Qassams and the Grads (from Iran via tunnel) hit a wall or roof and explode inside. Inside, disaster, outside just a hole in the wall. Not much to photograph - even though more than 1,600 Israeli homes have been devastated just during this war. It is infuriating.
Just as maddening is the fact that the world - the media, the UN, the diplomatic corps, the Arab nations, the European nations, etc. turn a blind eye and a closed mind to the unbelievable war crimes of the Hamas terrorist organization. Did you hear that when the war started on December 27, Hamas went around killing some 35 Gazans? They also shot some 75 Palestinians in the knees, including women, because Hamas suspected they might have given information to Israel. Did you hear about this? You didn’t? Guess the media forgot to publish that item - although it was in the Israeli press.
HOW TO WIN A WAR AGAINST ISRAEL
The central tragedy of this war is that Hamas hides within its civilian population. It’s strategy for winning is to see as many of its citizens as possible killed or wounded. That is the way and the only way Hamas can win this war. For them, winning the war, of course, means that Israel will stop fighting Hamas. The terrorist organization might agree to a temporary lull so they can replenish their weapons stock, but it does not mean that Hamas would agree to stop firing its daily allotment of rockets into Israel, or stop building tunnels to replenish weapons. In fact, any Hamas spokesman will tell you to your face that they will never agree to a permanent peace with
The world knows that Hamas uses its non-combatants as human shields and often forces them to remain inside buildings which are being used to store and manufacture weapons. But did you know that the Israel Defence Forces dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets over Gaza urging people to leave such buildings? Did you know that the Israeli army personally made a quarter of a million telephone calls to Gazans in homes that, according to intelligence, were manufacturing and storing weapons, so their inhabitants could leave before the IDF attacks? Obviously that gave time for the terrorists to get out too, but it saved multitudes of lives.
Has any news program you watched or any newspaper you read told you that Hamas leaders - the big guys - are hiding in the basement of Shifa, the main hospital in Gaza City? These gunmen sleep well because they know Israel will not attack a hospital. In fact Israel’s security services say that some of the Hamas commanders are walking around the hospital with doctors’ robes. Our army can’t get to them because the loss of Palestinian civilian life would be unthinkable. On January 10 - payday - low-level Hamas commanders even brought salaries to the Hamas leaders hiding in and under Shifa hospital.
My heart is always praying and thinking about the Gazan “innocent civilians,” but my head reminds me that two-thirds of the Gazan people voted to elect Hamas as their government. They did it knowing that Hamas’ reason for existence is to destroy Israel. In fact, it’s not really that Hamas is hiding among the Gazan civilians.
Educating Palestinian Children with the Koran and with boundless hatred for Israel.
Hamas are the civilians. They wear no uniform and they live and work within the populace.
Nevertheless, I have seen videos of Hamas grabbing children against their will to use them as human shields as they shoot their way through battles. Have you seen a video of that? Here’s one you can log onto: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTGbP55HGi8&feature=channel_page.
OPEN SECRET: UN PROPERTIES ARE SHARED WITH TERRORISTS
In fact, Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter says the UN schools in Gaza long ago stopped being just schools. All these services and places are refuges for Hamas terrorists and commanders. The UN goes along with the show. They know that if they say anything they will be booted out. They believe their main job is to feed the Palestinian people, so if they have to allow terrorists to use their facilities, so be it. However, the UN personnel will vehemently, and I mean vehemently, deny all such terrorist activity on their properties. In fact, it is an open secret that many UN personnel in Gaza are actually Hamas.
A few days ago, terrorists hiding by a UN school fired at an Israeli tank. When Israel fired back, 30 some Gazans were killed as the school collapsed. Wow! Another victory for Hamas! A terrible disaster for Israel. It’s maddening.
CAN’T FIND SENSATION? CREATE IT!
The world media wanted to send their journalists into Gaza to film the war. Plenty of blood and guts there. But Israel did not allow it. Israel’s past experience with media (and it is vast) is that foreign press teams go into “Hamastan” and often the Palestinians put on a terrific production for them. The foreign journalists know that if they do not publicize what Hamas wants them to, at best they will be thrown out and their network will not be able to get the breaking news that is so important for their ratings. At worst, these journalists could be killed or kidnapped by Hamas or Fatah as has already happened. So they tow the line.
Israeli mother lying on street protecting her children as sirens warn a rocket is about to explode. In this same scenario another mother tried to protect her son lying on the street after they jumped out of their car. However, the boy's head was hit by shrapnel and is now fighting for his life.
Ever hear of the “Jenin massacre” in the West Bank that reverberated around the world in 2002? Completely fabricated. Instead of the “thousands” (up to 15,000 it was claimed) of Palestinians that were “massacred,” 56 Palestinians lost their lives and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in a terrible house-to-house battle to ferret out terrorists and suicide bombers. But newspapers around the world carried headlines of the “great massacre”.
When it finally became clear there was no massacre, the news was buried on inside pages. The “Jenin massacre” exists until this day in the culture of Arab nations - and their sympathizers.
Ever see the 2003 poster picture of the boy lying on the ground that the Gazans said Israel shot while the father was shouting for help? Israel published a deep apology which made the Palestinians all the angrier. It was only after a lengthy (and useless) investigation, did Israel realize that the direction of the bullet came towards the boy’s back, not his front, where the Israel Defence Force had been. Though almost for sure he was killed by Palestinian terrorists, the scene was broadcast hundreds of times while Arab poets and songwriters have composed dozens of tributes to Mohammed al-Dura’s memory. The damage was done, and the image did all the work it was supposed to do. How despicable! How appalling.
WHAT THE WEST CAN’T COMPREHEND
Here is what every Israeli knows - and what other peaceloving, free-world country leaders could know if they wanted to. The last thing in the world Israeli soldiers want to do is to kill or wound Palestinians. First of all, Israel, as a democratic nation and with its ageless Jewish heritage, loves life and hates death. Israelis wish the Palestinians health and long life; killing civilians is not part of our DNA any more than it is of other democratic peoples.
But the Palestinians of Gaza want to see Israel thrown into the sea. Their religion and holy book promise them victory over the Jews. To die a martyr in the cause of destroying Israel is the greatest of all honors.
Nothing will change the ultimate direction of a fanatical Islamic terrorist (except a heavenly conversion, of course). Hamas will not negotiate a serious, sustainable peace agreement with Israel. Never. They, themselves, say this all the time on TV in any language you want.
So, with all their might, they will continue to use their resources and their lives and that of their Palestinian civilians to fight Israel. Because of a fence around Gaza and closed border crossings, they now have a very difficult time sending suicide bombers over the Gazan border. So they settled for Qassam rockets which fly over the fence. However, they only reach a few miles. Then Iran began shipping them the longer-range Grads which they have been bringing into Gaza through tunnels. These rockets are now able to reach up to 40 kilometers covering an area of a million Israelis. If Israel waits longer, Hamas will obtain missiles that reach Tel Aviv.
All of these rockets are purposely launched from heavily populated areas, from schools, from UN food and medical supply centers - under the nose of and with the cooperation of the UN. Yes, the UN.
|Above: Palestinians carry maps of Israel. They are taught the whole land belongs to Islam. Below: New Israeli immigrants learning to read and write the Hebrew language.
Yet UN officials constantly and regularly hurl the phrase, “Israel is guilty of war crimes!” “Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity.” What are crimes against humanity? They are defined as purposely targeting civilians. Israel never purposely targets civilians - ever. Any more than the U.S. or France or Britain would purposely target civilians. Yet in any war, civilians always lose their lives, no matter how careful an army operates. How many civilians have been accidently killed by coalition forces in Iraq? In Afghanistan? On the other hand, all rockets fired by Hamas are meant to target civilians.
What should Israel do? Israel despairs.
DISPROPORTIONATE PALESTINIAN DEATHS
But, says the world, the problem at hand is that there is a disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza. “There comes a point beyond which an operation of this sort becomes… morally unjustifiable. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is so severe that a cease-fire is essential, irrespective of whether Israel feels it has achieved its military objectives,” writes The London Telegraph.
Replies the Jerusalem Post, “By this logic, Britain should have thrown in the towel in its war against Germany by September 18, 1939 - 17 days into WWII. Instead, Winston Churchill fought on for five long years at an awful - but morally justifiable - cost in Allied and enemy civilians lives.” (12Jan09)
But, the world says the root problem is the occupation!
So, Israel pulled out of Gaza and left it 100% to the Gazans in 2005. Jewish philanthropists paid $14 million for the luscious greenhouse farms that had brought Israelis profits of tens of millions of dollars a year - and gave them to the Gazans. The Gazans promptly vandalized and completely destroyed all those farms - which could have employed some of the 50% of Gazans without jobs!
But even unemployed Gazans are not starving because UNRWA feeds them from the taxpayers of Western democratic nations (not the oil-rich Arab nations). Those who do work mainly have jobs from the bloated public sector or in building and running tunnels or producing rockets.
And since the two and a half years when Israel left Gaza to the Gazans 6,000 rockets have rained down on Israel. It costs a great deal for the Palestinians and their patrons (Iran and Syria) to make 6,000 rockets. They just don’t have any money left for creating private businesses and building up their economy. It is beyond vile.
So what can Israel do? Israel knows that if she fights back to really bring Hamas down, civilian deaths will go over the top and the world will erupt in an explosion of fury and rage.
Even the Americans, often Israel’s only friend, abstained on a UN Security Council resolution in early January, demanding Israel stop attacking Hamas. The abstention allowed the resolution to pass. This binding decree would be an even more serious threat to Israel if Hamas hadn’t completely rejected it. Still it is not a good omen for Israel. Such a binding resolution can incorporate sanctions and boycotts. That would be a mortal blow to little Israel with no natural
resources. Israel despairs.
WHY NOT OPEN BORDER CROSSINGS?
But, Hamas demands that Israel open all the border crossings from Israel to Gaza and from Egypt to Gaza. Egypt doesn’t want to open their crossings…why? Because not even Egypt wants the terrorist traffic criss-crossing back and forth. Fanatical organizations like Egypt’s Islamic Brotherhood (from which Hamas was spawned) is dangerous to the Egyptian regime.
The crossings were originally open but Israel closed them off after terrorists kept coming through to attack Israelis. In fact I remember an incident not long ago, when an Israeli civilian worker
came to a border crossing to bring a supply of gasoline to the Gaza Strip, and Hamas shot him dead. Needless to say, the citizens of Gaza did not get gasoline any time soon. How sad.
THE WORLD STANDS WITH PALESTINE
|Meanwhile this past week, 80,000 outraged Belgians protested against the “Nazi atrocities” of
Israel. All through Europe and the Arab and Muslim states, great mobs of people demonstrated
their righteous wrath against Israel. Isn’t it interesting that they never demonstrated during the eight years of falling rockets on Israeli children.
|Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, helps a preschooler finish his paper assignment.
Not even once. And the soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped two and a half years ago by terrorists who dug a tunnel to Israel? No demonstrations for him either.
President Barack Obama has said that he will work diligently for a sustainable and lasting cease-fire accord. He noted that both sides understand they will have to make very serious compromises. Could one compromise possibly be to give up the idea of destroying Israel?
In the three weeks of fighting, Hamas has launched over 1000 rockets on the cities, towns and farms of Israel. Schools were closed for most of the war, and only a few are open now. Children are worried - not just about rockets, but whether they will have enough class time for their national tests in order to graduate to their next classes. Now we know that God is just. We know He would not ask us as believers to support any cause that is blatantly unjust. And He
has commanded in His Word that we should stand by Israel and the Jewish people and the
promises He has given them.
Israel’s cause is just. God gave her this land. Britain, who was given the opportunity to steward a great part of this Middle East area, promised this land to the Jewish people in 1917 in the form of the Balfour Declaration. Britain reneged on this promise and instead gave the majority of the land to become the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The United Nations on November 29, 1947, divided what was left between Israel and the Arabs, giving Israel two tiny slivers. But the Arabs never accepted the UN’s partition, and from that time until now, there has been war over this piece of land.
Remember, when we say, “The Promised Land,” who was it promised to? By whom?
Israel stands alone. But the God of Israel is still around! Because of that, Israel will survive, but at what cost?
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The Covenant of Hamas
The Covenant of Hamas was issued on August 18,1988. Its Covenant is a comprehensive manifesto comprised of 36 separate articles, all of which promote the basic HAMAS goal of destroying the State of Israel through Jihad. The following are excerpts from its Covenant:
Goal of Hamas: Hamas “is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine. (Article 6)
On the Destruction of Israel: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it. (Preamble)
Exclusive Moslem Nature of Israel, West Bank and Gaza: “The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf (Holy Possession) consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can … abandon it or any part of it.” (Article 11).
“Palestine is an Islamic land... Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem wherever he may be.” (Article 14)
Prime Minister of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, greets a small child dressed as a trrorist.
The Call to Jihad: “The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the
individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” (Article 15)
Rejection of a Negotiated Peace Settlement: “There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.” (Article 13)
Anti-Semitic Incitement: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: “O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.” (Article 7)
“Zionism scheming has no end, and after Palestine, they will covet expansion from the Nile to the Euphrates River. Their scheme has been laid out in the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’.”(Article 32)
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The Non-Violent Way
Now here’s one bit of good news that the world should be thrilled about. Israel has found a totally nonviolent way to protect her citizens from suicide bombers. It built a hi-tech fence (in some places a wall to keep sharp shooters from killing Israelis) between Israel proper and the West Bank.
But can you believe? The world has had a fit of apoplexy over the “apartheid wall,” which, they say, is inconvenient for Palestinians in the West Bank. They demand that the wall/fence come down. Never mind that the fence has caused terrorist attacks to fall to almost zero in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Alas, anything that protects Israel from harm becomes a cause célèbre to the Palestinian masses against the “aggressors” and the “occupation.”
But let’s go back to the “occupation.” Oh yes…occupation is the root of all evil, says Hamas, says Hizbullah, says Fatah, says the Arab world, says London, Paris, Rome and Indonesia. But wait! When Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, that is when Hamas grabbed control - and the Palestinians let them. Hamas’ promise is to never stop fighting until Israel is destroyed.
Geographically, only a few miles apart. Culturally, worlds apart. Above: Palestinian education. Below: Israeli education.
In the year 2000 Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. That is when Hizbullah took over. Its aim, it says, is to never stop fighting Israel until Israel is destroyed because the entire Jewish state was created on occupied Islamic territory.
Even the “moderate” Fatah government in the West Bank repeats daily (in Arabic) that its enemy is Israel and until its last breath it will fight the occupying force of Israel until the whole land is liberated for the Islamic peoples - its rightful owner. Allah has promised it.
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Tapping on the Roof
In Israeli press and in statements of Israeli politicians, the current war was not referred to as a war against Gaza, nor as a war against the Palestinians, but as a war against Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization whose stated goal is the total destruction of Israel. It declares itself to be the front line of the international Jihad, backed by radical Muslims (including Iran) around the world.
A few days ago one of the leaders of the “military” wing of Hamas, Nizar Rian, was killed by an
Israeli air strike on his house along with 14 others (including 4 of his wives).
That strike was the result of careful intelligence gathering. When Rian was located, Israeli army and government legal advisors went through a painstaking process of bringing the strike before court judges to verify its legality according to the Geneva conventions.
Fifteen (15) minutes before the strike, the Israeli army called on the telephone and asked the people to leave the house. When they received the call, they gathered people up onto the roof as a human shield. The Israeli helicopter pilot saw them, and as they figured, he didn’t want to hurt them.
The pilot then fired a missile into a field next to the house to warn them. They still did not leave.
Then he fired onto them a non-lethal weapon to cause them to flee. Only after they left the roof did he fire the shot that destroyed the house.
When the missile hit, there were a series of other explosions, indicating as assumed by the Israeli army, that the house was used for weapon storage.
The policy of notifying the civilians of a coming attack is called by the Israeli army, “Tap on the
roof,” like knocking on a door before you enter a house. Revelation 16:10-11 describes a bowl of the wrath of God being poured out upon the “throne of the beast.” God’s wrath is not first of all directed at people, but at demonic forces. He warns people, and if they do not distance themselves from the demonic powers, they will be hit by the wrath of God. Verse 11 says the people did not repent of their evil deeds, but just “cursed God” because of their pains.
This rule holds true for all people, whether they be White or Black, Jew or Arab, Eastern or Western. May God help us to repent of our sins and distance ourselves from the work of the devil, so we will not be partakers of the punishment due to demons!
Asher Intrater is the director of Revive Israel ministries and pastor of Ahavat Yeshua Congregation. For more information please check his website at http://www.revive-israel.org.
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How do you Keep Love Alive in Marriage?
THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES
|A family that does not have a stable marriage cannot be an effective witness to the power and love of Yeshua, Messiah of Israel.
Israeli marriages need help (just like people of every nation). God has given Gary Chapman wise and practical wisdom - that has healed multitudes of couples having marriage issues.
What’s more, these practical insights of communicating one with another are being soaked up by singles - because the principles work in every area of relationship among human beings.
We have translated this book into Hebrew and now we are ready for printing. Each book will cost $5.00 to print. All funds from sales will be reinvested to print more books in the future.
By helping get this book published in Hebrew, you will be investing in the families of believers - and nonbelievers - in Israel.
Needed: $2500 for first edition in Hebrew of 500 books.*
* One of eight books wating to be published in Hebrew.
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This photo was taken with the iphone of our daughter, Shani in Jerusalem. It was one of those special moments I had with our granddaughters (from left) Lahav, Nevaeh (pronounced NeVAYah) and Illit. My friends who saw the picture were sure I was working on the Maoz Israel Report!
But what I was actually doing was teaching Illit the alphabet, because I want to do what I can to give them the joy of reading their Bible as soon as possible, and the youth books we are translating to Hebrew! Of course they will have a special gift - they will be able to read both in English and Hebrew!
When Christy Wilkerson, our international administrator, saw the picture, she got all inspired and wrote her thoughts below:
“With your THREE granddaughters surrounding you, you, even now, are grooming them for their Kingdom purposes ahead! With a grandmother like they have...they have no choice but surrender to God’s plan and purposes for their lives!”
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New Testament Recording in Hebrew
We are now ready to produce these New Testament audio CDs for distribution. Each set of 18 CDs plus package will cost us $13.00 The money from sales will go toward producing more audio New Testaments. But we need help to get the first 1000 produced at a cost of $13,000. We invite you to help us produce these audio New Testaments.
Each $13.00 (£9.00; €10.00) produces one
set. You can partner with us to get the precious gift of the audio New Testament
into the hands of the Israeli people.
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The Gospel of Matthew
Giving Life through the Book of Life
The book of Matthew is a wonderful way to introduce an Israeli to the Good News. Matthew starts with the genealogy of Yeshua, showing that He is from the line of King David often a big shock to Israelis who know little about Yeshua whom many only identify as the “founder of a gentile religion.”
Yeshua gave his life for the nations, but as King of the Jews He longs to see His own people come to Him!
We want to distribute 10,000 sets of the audio Gospel of Matthew (on 2 CDs) with an attractive cover to interested Israelis. Each set will cost us $1.20 (£ 0.80; €0.90)
Will you invest in giving Israelis the chance to hear the Gospel of Matthew? (10 sets $12.00, 100 sets $120.00 etc.)
What a great opportunity!
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Dear Maoz Partner,
Let’s say it the way it is. The war is spiritual. Satan hates God. He hates God’s creation - the human race. And he hates God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants. Satan obviously believes he can still wipe Israel off the map and defeat God’s plan of redemption for Israel and the nations.
But it shall not be!
Israel has just been through a terrible war and a beating by the UN, Europe, the Arab nations, and the world press.
Israel is suffering. Even though there is at the moment a fragile cease-fire, a million Israelis are still under the threat of daily, hourly explosions of rockets which can land anywhere in the south.
If not today, then tomorrow.
Our Israeli people are searching for answers. Multitudes of our soldiers are contacting ultra-Orthodox rabbis, asking them to pray for them while they continue to be in harm’s way. Our soldiers and civilians are searching, but they do not yet know where to turn.
Now is the time to turn on the Light of God! One fabulous way of doing so is by getting the audio Gospel of Matthew to those who are ready to hear.
We are also distributing books - both for nonbelievers and for believers - books that can change
We now have a brand new book on how to heal a suffering marriage. We can get it into the hands of believers and unbelievers. What a way to reach out to friends, family and neighbors in distress!
We want to reach our people with the Good News and we believe you do too!
Books and the audio New Testament CDs can reach so many more people than we ever can touch individually.
We invite you to partner with us!
It’s time to give Israel a chance!
As the Jewish people turn back to our God, and receive the blood atonement of the Lamb of God, He will bring salvation to His chosen people - the people God called Israel, because as the angel told Jacob, “you have struggled with God and man, and you have prevailed.”
Together, we will help our people prevail - by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony!
What better way than to give these 21st century children of Israel the Word of God on CD?
We can get the Word out either by the Gospel of Matthew for nonbelievers, or the whole New Testament to disciple believers and serious searchers.
Your partners for the salvation of Israel,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. Help us touch ALL the children of Israel - young, old, families, couples, teenagers, soldiers... we don’t want to miss a chance to reach everyone with the saving truth of their Messiah. Bless the people of Israel today! Together, we can touch many lives!
Partner with Maoz today by supporting our projects:
Maoz Israel Ministries | istandwithisrael | Hebrew Books
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua | Coffee House Outreach
Media Projects | Hebrew New Testament | Burkina Faso
Arab Congregations | Persecuted Believers
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