By Shira Sorko-Ram
Obama has sounded his trumpet. He has publicly and repeatedly demanded that (1) Israel freeze
all construction in the settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, (2) Israel proclaim its endorsement of creating a Palestinian state and dividing Jerusalem - with the Old City becoming the Islamic capital of Palestine. (3) Israel immediately destroy all settlement “outposts” that were built without government approval (because of past pressure from American presidents).
For decades, presidents of the United States, Israel’s closest ally, have not approved of Jews building homes and factories in the hills of Judea and Samaria, the Biblical name for the West Bank. Still, they never pressed Israel to the wall to completely stop the construction of cities and villages in the areas Israel captured in the Six Day War.
That 1967 war was one of the most amazing in modern history as four Arab nations launched a coordinated attack on Israel, confident they would push her into the sea. Instead, Israel gained in six days the whole of the West Bank including ancient Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Gaza and the Sinai desert!
But none of these victories over the Arab multitudes have gained her peace. The newly created entity of “Palestinian” Arabs over the last half century has been intentionally groomed by Arab leaders to be the ultimate weapon that would finally destroy Israel. In three words, they were “born to kill.”
Palestinians’ extremely high birthrate (about double that of the Jews) gives them a new generation every 20 years and the ability to fill the West Bank with an exploding population. What they could not win in war, they are winning through demographics.
Meanwhile, since the Six Day War, Jews - primarily Orthodox - have headed for Judea and Samaria to regain and populate this land promised to them by God.
In fact, few promises have been repeated as often in the Bible as God’s promise to give the land of Canaan to the children of Israel. And Abraham, who first received the promise, was in the heart of the West Bank when God appeared to him. He was living near Shechem - currently populated only by Palestinian Muslims.
But the new U.S. president, Barack Obama, has come to the conclusion with the rest of the world that this land belongs exclusively to the Muslims and not the Jews. Therefore he is certain that freezing Israel’s construction of settlements will work wonders to begin to bring peace to the Middle East and garner Arab support to fight Al Qaida and other terrorist groups threatening the Western world.
He has made it clear that freezing means not building even for “natural growth,” - no extra rooms for a growing family and no new housing for grown children.
What Obama has not internalized is the fact that the Arab nations, tribes and peoples were determined to destroy Israel long before there was a single cottage built in what is now called the “occupied territories.”
PUTTING FACTS ON THE GROUND
In East Jerusalem both Arabs and Jews have built homes as fast as they could to put irreversible facts on the ground. Intuitively they are attempting to apply the Biblical principle: “Everyplace whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours.”
But the UN is completely against Jewish construction and completely against Israel preventing Palestinian construction.
It is a sign, says one journalist, of how obsessed the international community has become with twisting our collective arm to re-divide the city in order to make way for a Palestinian state. They want nothing less, he says, than to see a Palestinian flag flying over Jerusalem. (JP 20May09)
Cabinet Member Daniel Herschkowitz reacted emotionally: “The American demand to prevent natural growth is unreasonable, and brings to mind pharaoh, who said, ‘Every son that is born you shall cast into the river.’”
But Obama believes he can bring peace by creating a “two-state solution,” Israel and a Palestinian state, “side by side, living in peace and security.”
If only Israel will evacuate its 250,000 Jews from the West Bank, give the Palestinians East Jerusalem (including, of course, the Western Wall) by ejecting another 200,000 Jews, and allow a couple of million Palestinian refugees and their descendents to move into Israel, there will be peace in the world.
The lovely hill-top city of Maaleh Adumim, Israel’s largest settlement. The city of 35,000 citizens lies a few miles southeast of Jerusalem. It has been built on hitherto barren land in the Judean Desert. Several of our congregational members live there.
There are, of course, a few problems with this idyllic scenario. Israel did pull out of Southern Lebanon. Hizbullah, the premier terrorist organization after El Quaida, took over.
Israel pulled out of Gaza. Hamas was democratically voted in, then violently threw out or killed all other Palestinian politicians and security forces not belonging to Hamas. Today, Hamas exists solely to destroy Israel.
How in the world could Obama or anybody else in the world guarantee that allowing the Palestinians to create a sovereign state would bring peace to the Middle East? It is a sure formula for one more area of the Holy Land to be completely taken over by terrorists.
BETWEEN THE ROCK AND THE HARD PLACE
But if Netanyahu is experiencing extreme pressure from America, the pressure from within Israel is even stronger. His coalition partners, the ultra-Orthodox, have said they will bring down Netanyahu’s government if he tries to freeze construction in the settlements (which includes East Jerusalem).
And Rabbis have ordered soldiers and police to refuse to dismantle outposts - meaning bulldozing the buildings and ejecting the people living there. Tearing down outposts (there are about 100) will not be a simple operation as there are a lot of high-ranking personnel in the Israel
Defense Forces who either live in an outpost or have family and friends who do. They could literally be dismantling their own homes and ejecting their families.
And can you imagine throwing 200,000 Jews out of their homes in “occupied” Jerusalem to make way for a Muslim capital? It won’t happen.
Of course, world powers play a game of chess. Netanyahu must not allow himself to be seen as the one blocking peace.
The best Netanyahu can do is to try to keep the dialogue going - so that Obama will not carry out threats such as have been rumored - like the United States no longer automatically vetoing the Security Council’s frequent resolutions against Israel - resolutions initiated by Arab nations that could put Israel in grave danger of world sanctions if the U.S. didn’t continue to veto them.
COULD IT HAPPEN AGAIN?
Modern day Israelis are very cognizant of Jewish history. Many are asking, who can guarantee that there will not be another Holocaust?
Even considering today’s immense struggle over Jerusalem - Israelis remember its history is rooted in great tragedy for the Jews. In 70 A.D. the Romans murdered 1.1 million Jews when they leveled the city. Another 97,000 Jews were sold into slavery or fed to the lions. Only a tiny remnant continued to live in Jerusalem, and meanwhile foreigners moved in. That’s why Israelis are once again having to fight for the city that God gave them.
Yes, Israel finally won back her capital and her land in 1967. But the world is determined to snatch it once again out of her hands.
Israelis across the board are greatly concerned that such a solution would lead to the emergence of a Hamas-run Palestinian state, with Hamas tanks and artillery supplied by Iran in Jerusalem and a few miles from Tel Aviv and the central part of the nation.
WHAT ABOUT IRAN, MR. OBAMA?
Yet today, with all the security problems Israel has, her number one concern is not the Palestinians. It is Iran. Ahmadinajad is doing exactly what Hitler did - publically declaring the demise of Israel and the part he plans to play in it. World leaders didn’t do anything seriously to stop Hitler’s promise to slaughter the Jews, and they aren’t doing anything seriously to stop Ahmadinajad.
The Israeli people are afraid. They are afraid of missiles from Iran raining down on our cities. Missiles with possible nuclear heads. They are afraid that Obama is turning against Israel and disregarding its existential threat.
Israelis sadly understand that because of the underlying theology of Islam, there will not be peace with the Palestinians. Muslims will not agree to recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish nation.
They will continue to demand the return of several million “refugees” to Israel proper with a strategy to populate Israel over the next few years with a majority of Muslims.
Islamic religion teaches that one day they will prevail. They will conquer the world. The Jews will be destroyed and the world will be ruled by Sharia law.
Why, then, should Arabs agree to recognize Israel?
Israelis know what America and Europe have forgotten - six Israeli prime ministers have offered the Palestinians everything but the kitchen sink - and the Palestinians have refused all offers.
Just last fall, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, together with then Foreign Secretary Tsipi Livni, offered the Palestinians far-reaching concessions - 97% of the West Bank and part of Jerusalem. Instead Israel got rockets and the Gaza War. The same old pattern. The more concessions Israel
makes, the greater the violence from Islamists.
But the new man on the block is confident. “We are committed to two states for two peoples living alongside each other in security and peace, and we shall act accordingly,” President Obama promises.
Ad placed in the Jerusalem Post by a number of conservative Orthodox organizations.
The core problem is, of course, that the settlers, like the rest of Israelis, are far from God. The Orthodox have a zeal for God but lack His knowledge. With the Temple gone, they have no access to His presence, as they have no sacrifice for their sin.
Over the years, the Arabs in the West Bank mercilessly attacked the Jews, until the settlers having had enough began to fight back. Some have become increasingly violent and lawless themselves, as they believe they are doing God’s will by settling in their ancient homeland, and therefore they don’t have to obey any law except their Rabbis’. Israeli police are afraid of them because of the strong abhorrence of Jew fighting Jew.
It is this lawless atmosphere that bred the Jewish settlers’ attack in the name of God on Ami Ortiz, the son of a Messianic Jewish pastor in the West Bank. The police have arrested no one - again most probably because they are afraid to tangle with Jewish settlers.
The Scriptures couldn’t be clearer. Reading the ancient books of Joshua, Judges, the books of
Samuel and Kings, we are shown how God dealt with the forefathers of those who are now living in the same area.
When they obeyed God, He destroyed their enemies. But when they served other gods (as they do today with their rabbinical and pagan ways) then God raised up enemies to fight them and to harass them. Only when they turned back to Him and sought His face, did He heal their land.
If, God forbid, Obama would become Israel’s enemy, the promises of God to never let Israel be destroyed (Jeremiah 31) still stand. Israel may suffer great tragedy, as she did in the times of the Bible and throughout history, but she will persevere.
The fact that God has stirred so many countless Christians and Messianic Jews to pray for Israel’s survival gives us hope that the Holy One of Israel will have His angelic hosts come to Israel’s rescue, as the Jewish people turn their hearts toward their Messiah.
That is why we are here in Israel.
Back to Top
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place
A portion of the crowd of Messianic Jews who gathered for Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or pentecost) yearly celebrations, sponsored by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of Israel. There were special prayers for Gilad Shalit, Israel’s kidnapped soldier by Hamas. Estimated attendance this year was around 2000!
Our worship team was one of the musical groups leading praise at the celebration.
Our Representative, Rachel, head of Maoz publishing, gives believers in attendance the opportunity to obtain Maoz books, CD's and DVD's at our booth at the Shavuot conference.
Back to Top
Through the Bible Series by Gordon Lindsay
Last month we received contributions to cover four books (for a total of 8 booklets), for which we are very thankful!
We have another 29 to go!
Before his death in 1973, Gordon Lindsay, founder of Christ for the Nations, authored a Bible course called “Through the Bible” series. Lindsay teaches the personality of God and the way He deals with human beings by analyzing the lives of the men and women of the Old Testament.
Although Rabbinical authorities of course teach from the Bible, they do not usually deal with the deep spiritual relationship between God and man.
For the Israeli reader, this will be a fresh new way of looking at the Bible characters and learning from them what God wants and expects from us today.
This Bible course of 37 booklets was created to give readers a love of the Scriptures.
We wish to translate the series into Hebrew.
Each book will cost $1,750 to translate, edit, proofread, typeset, print and distribute (£1270; €1370)
Your gift will help Israelis mature in their faith - which means they will be strengthened to multiply themselves by reaching new Israelis who are searching for the truth!
Back to Top
Dear Maoz Partner,
The Body of Messiah in Israel is growing!
We attended the national Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Pentecost) celebrations which take place each year at Yad HaShmona, a Biblical village near Jerusalem. It was a day of picnics, singing and fellowship.
We could not help but feel proud of the wonderful expanding community of Messianic Jews throughout Israel. We were told by the organizers there were some 2000 believers at the celebration.
We reminisced with some of the “old timers” how 30 years ago there were at best a couple of hundred Messianic Jews in the whole country.
Now, as you probably know, the numbers generally quoted by the secular press is something like 15,000 of us today.
One long-time Messianic leader remarked how Israeli believers and their leaders - from every Messianic affiliation - happily come together for events like this.
We get to visit with so many of our believing friends around the country at weddings, bar mitzvahs and even funerals. The Messianic Jews of Israel are truly a community.
The young people from our congregation regularly attend conferences all over the country. In fact, at all of these events there is always a large representation of youth, students and soldiers. The younger generation is taking their faith seriously... and their numbers are growing.
At the Shavuot celebration we were led in praise by worship teams from throughout Israel.
With God’s people on the increase, more and more Israelis are having the opportunity to hear the Good News from their friends and family members who have themselves received salvation.
With the national atmosphere in Israel growing more gloomy and threatening, we are really the only light on the horizon. We have the solution... it is not political... it is spiritual!
When we say “we,” that word most definitely includes you.
Your participation powers the ministry with the funding that is critical for carrying out God’s call to reach our Israeli people. Your gifts are like the gas that makes the engine run!
You enable us to rent our congregational home in downtown Tel Aviv. Without a spiritual home we would have only homeless (and underdeveloped) believers.
Your investments make it possible for wonderfully dedicated Israelis to minister to all ages in Tiferet Yeshua congregation - where people receive salvation, healing, deliverance and discipleship, and where their children can be loved, nourished and taught.
So when we say “we,” we always have you in mind. You are our partners, our spiritual family and co-laborers in the harvest.
With grace, we will continue to work together - through good times and hard times, through thick and through thin - because we know the times in which we live.
It is late, and we shall all work together while it is still day.
Your harvest partners,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
Partner with Maoz today by supporting our projects:
Maoz Israel Ministries | istandwithisrael | Through the Bible series
Congregation Tiferet Yeshua | Coffee House Outreach
Driven by Eternity book | Arab Congregations | Persecuted Believers
Back to Top