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Can There Be Peace in the Middle East?

Monthly Report: October 2010
Tishrei - Cheshvan 5771
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1010-Top
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
confer in face-to-face peace negotiations in Washington D.C.


 

By Shira Sorko-Ram

“The heart yearns for the success of this latest attempt at peacemaking. The same heart that pleaded for good relations with our neighbors 62 years ago, even as we founded this country amid the war that was designed to destroy it at birth.

“The heart says do anything for peace. Freeze the settlements... and prepare to dismantle most of them... work for compromise on border routes and even in Jerusalem.... ”

Thus writes David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post. He certainly reflects the mainstream of Israeli emotions over the latest peace talks that began in Washington in early September.

Horovitz continues: “Anything, says the heart. Anything to free us of the terrible, debilitating, unwanted burden of ruling the Palestinians. Anything to ensure the preservation of an Israel at once Jewish and democratic. Anything to widen the circle of normalization and create greater regional support for the struggle against Islamic extremism and its patron state, Iran.” (3Sept10)

But, as always, Horovitz returns to what the head says. The head is reminded of the many attempts to make peace with the Palestinians. The head recalls that when negotiations crash – as they always have – then often a new wave of terror hurls itself towards the Jewish people.

The most serious terrorist attacks began in the year 2000 after President Clinton brought then Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Fatah founder Yassar Arafat together, only to see Barak accept and Arafat reject out of hand all attempts at a just and reasonable peace treaty. Terrorists and suicide bombers killed over 1000 Israelis.

But why must the talks always end in failure? Let us once again review the demands of the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas and his team of politicians who accompanied him to Washington. After that we will look at Israel’s demands.

1010 - Negotiations begin
The negotiations begin. From left: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II. Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries who have signed a peace treaty with Israel. They were invited by President Obama to help negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

PALESTINIAN DEMANDS FOR PEACE

1. All construction in Jewish settlements must continue to be frozen: Just to keep the talks going, President Abbas has demanded that Israel continue freezing all settlement construction past the 10 months that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised and which ended on September 26.

This issue became an issue only when President Barack Obama made it an issue! Naively thinking that by pressing hard and publicly on Israel to make unilateral concessions immediately, he could coax the Palestinians to restart negotiations. Obama found to his surprise and dismay that it did just the opposite.

Sensing sympathy from the U.S. president, the Palestinians hunkered down and actually hardened their position to not start peace negotiations with Israel. And surprise! They added the building freeze for the first time to their set of demands before Abbas would deign to speak face to face with Netanyahu.

If the Israeli government extends the freeze, we will continue with the talks. But if they don’t extend, we will withdraw from the negotiations.
~ PA President Mahmoud Abbas

Meanwhile, under tremendous U.S. pressure, Netanyahu acquiesced and ordered the first construction freeze of houses and infrastructure in Israeli towns and villages in the West Bank. He promised that for 10 months, and 10 months only, he would stop all building. And so he did.

After clamoring so emphatically for a settlement freeze, did Abbas then begin peace talks? For nine months he refused to talk to Israel, demanding more concessions. Only as the freeze was about to end, did Abbas finally agree to come to Washington to speak to Netanyahu, with Obama looking on.

But in the same breath he has threatened to leave the direct negotiations unless Netanyahu extends the freeze, a move that will be extremely difficult to enact given the lack of reciprocity by the Palestinians and the financial problems it presents to Israel’s construction companies and families who have half-built homes – not to speak of Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners who are adamantly against another freeze. Such a threat of course gives Abbas a convenient exit from the talks at any time he so chooses.

2. Dismantle all Jewish Setlements: It must be noted that the freeze is only the “down payment” of one of Abbas’ demands. He and his leadership are demanding the dismantlement of all settlements and the expulsion of the 300,000 Israelis living in 121 towns and villages in the West Bank and the 200,000 Jews in East Jerusalem. (The number of Arabs in the West Bank is estimated at 1,500,000 and 210,000 in East Jerusalem.)

3. East Jerusalem will be the Capital of the Palestinians: The Palestinians claim all of East Jerusalem as a capital for their Islamic state – including, of course, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Israel’s most precious heritage. It is the site where Solomon’s Temple stood, and later the Second Temple – built by Ezra and Nehemiah and improved by Herod. It is the place where  Yeshua and his disciples taught the multitudes.

Since the Bible clearly foretells that Jerusalem will be the issue that brings the whole world against Israel, it is worth following the negotiations on the City the Lord calls His own! (It does not appear to me that Yeshua’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives facing a temple dedicated to Allah in an Islamic state.)

4. “Return” all Palestinian “Refugees”: The Palestinians are demanding the “return” of some 3,000,000 plus “refugees,” descendants of Arabs who it is claimed once lived in Israel proper. No other descendants of displaced groups in the world have been declared refugees by the U.N. – except the Palestinians. With the millions of refugees around the world, only those who were actually living in a particular land when exiled are considered refugees from that place.

Israelis clearly understand that the Arab countries have purposely kept the Palestinian people from being absorbed in the countries where they now live – because they are the “weapon” that gives the Islamic community the hope and possibility to annihilate the Jewish state.

The Muslim people totally understand that if 3,000,000 “refugees” were given the “right” to move into Israel, this would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish democratic state; Arabs would be able to elect an Islamic government.

Both Jews and Arabs forget to mention that the approximately 700,000 - 800,000 Arabs that left Israel since 1948 are more than matched by the 900,000 Jews who were chased out of Arab nations with the clothes on their back when Israel became a sovereign state. The difference of course is that Israel absorbed her refugees while the Arab nations did not.

Until today, for example, the nation of Lebanon keeps its 400,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants in ghettos. There, Palestinians can only leave their towns with special passes. They are not permitted to own land or to go to university or enter 20 professions – including medical, legal and engineering.

Lebanon refuses to give them citizenship, healthcare, Social Security – so as to prevent them from becoming permanent residents. In this sense, Lebanon is truly an apartheid nation. The purpose, however, is clear to all Arab peoples: “We the Islamic nations are keeping you for the day you will return to your “home” in Palestine – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

5. Return to 1949 Cease-Fire Lines: The Palestinians are demanding that Israel return to the 1949 cease fire lines. This would mean that all the land Israel gained when four Arab nations went to war against her in 1967 would be given to the Arabs for their new Palestinian Islamic state.

ISRAEL’S DEMANDS OF THE PALESTINIANS

1. Security, security, security: On August 31 - the eve of the negotiations in Washington, Hamas terrorists in a drive-by shooting, murdered four Israelis in the West Bank. Next day, September 1, in a similar shooting, they wounded two more Israelis. The only reason the latter were not killed is because the gun of one of the killers jammed and the Israelis took those seconds to roll themselves out of their wrecked car down into a ditch.

Israelis will not allow the West Bank to become one more proxy terrorist enclave for Iran which now bankrolls and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, with the intention of annihilating Israel. The West Bank is 11 miles from Tel Aviv. The following then are the basic demands of Israel:

A commitment that rockets will not be smuggled into the West Bank (as has happened in Gaza and southern Lebanon).

A commitment that the Palestinians will not resume terror attacks.

A commitment that the Palestinians will not allow any other country to deploy military forces in the West Bank.

2. Commitment to recognize Israel as a Jewish state: The first way to destroy Israel is militarily. Theoretically, a second way would be to overwhelm the state with members of the Muslim religion, and thereby vote in a Muslim prime minister and Knesset members who would then convert Israel’s legal and cultural systems to Islamic law. Radical terrorist organizations would attempt to establish Sharia law. For that reason, Israel will never compromise on this demand; it is an absolute:

A commitment that the Palestinians will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, even as all Arab Muslim states are recognized as such.

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A private moment between the main players: Abbas, Netanyahu and Obama.

CONCLUSION

All who are trying to understand what in the world is going on in the Middle East must be aware of the following point: Israelis want peace much more than the Palestinians who still deep in their heart of hearts believe the day will come when they can completely destroy the state of Israel.

Israelis want peace, but they know that in order to continue to exist, they must have a peaceful neighbor and guarantees of security. The nation could not withstand a constant barrage of rockets hitting from four directions. And they want to know they are accepted for who they are – a Jewish democratic state.

Palestinians in a recent reputable poll also want peace with Israel. However, they want it with East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, as their capital. They want all the land they lost in the series of wars they fought against Israel. They want 3,000,000 Muslims to move into Israel.

If the Palestinians don’t get everything they want now, they are willing to wait; they believe time is on their side and thus have no problem backing out of peace negotiations at the first excuse they can find.

Mr. Horovitz concludes: “The head considers the validity of Netanyahu’s only two caveats regarding Palestinian statehood – that the new Palestine not be capable of threatening Israel militarily, and not be allowed to alter the Jewish character of our country via an influx of refugees... The head searches in vain for evidence that the Palestinian leadership is conveying to its people that the Jews have a sovereign legitimacy in this land.

“The heart so fervently wants to see all the current pessimism proved wrong. But the head deduces that Netanyahu’s admirable hope of finding, in Abbas, a new [Anwar] Sadat [the Egyptian president who made peace with Israel], will prove forlorn, and fears that this week’s return to terror attacks was only the first murderous consequence.” (Jerusalem Post,1Sept10)

The prophets all foretell that the West Bank, the very place where God promised the Holy Land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) will one day see the Jewish people living there in peace. But first the children of Israel must make peace with their God.

If only we, the Messianic Jewish believers of Israel, together with the born-again Christians who love Israel, could create a broader platform to introduce our people to the Prince of Peace. One day it is going to happen! And it’s going to be Good News for multitudes of Muslim Arabs too who are searching for the truth!

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Israel's Response 
to Palestinian Demands

1. An additional settlement freeze and ultimately dismantling the Jewish settlements: Netanyahu would probably reactivate such a freeze if, but only if, Israel really believed the Palestinians were seriously negotiating peace.

Israel is determined to keep the largest settlement centers, but is ready to consider dismantling some of the smaller settlements. Israel is even willing to trade some of its land within Israel proper  for land in the West Bank where the largest Jewish cities are. Various Israeli politicians have suggested trading some Israeli Arab cities in Galilee that border the West Bank for the Jewish settlement cities, but Israeli Arabs have not at all been enthusiastic about such an exchange.

2. Arab sovereignty over all East Jerusalem, making it the Islamic capital of Palestine: Israel would be willing to compromise by giving Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem to Palestinian sovereignty. But it will not agree to give up the Western Wall and the Jewish sections of the city.

The number one greatest conflict will be over the Temple Mount – which Muslims will never give to Israel and Israel will never cede to Palestinians.

3. Arab refugees moving into Israel: Israel will never agree for “millions of refugees” to move into Israel – or even hundreds of thousands. The government might agree to a symbolic number of family reunification refugees moving into Israel – if peace seems possible.

4. Return to Israel’s 1949 cease-fire borders: A strict return to such borders would affect mostly Jerusalem. All the ancient Jewish heritage and religious sites would be in the Islamic state. Even parts of the highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would no longer be in Israel! Israel is ready to compromise with borders, but is far from being ready to meet Palestinian demands to return to 1949 borders.

Even the thought of the Israel Defense Forces pulling out of the West Bank and leaving it to the Palestinians sends shivers down the backs of most Israelis. Israelis are all too aware of what Netanyahu voiced in Washington: “We left Lebanon, we got terror. We left Gaza, we got terror. We want to ensure that territory we concede will not be turned into a third Iranian-sponsored terror enclave aimed at the heart of Israel.” (JP 3Sept10)

Palestinian Response 
to Israel's Demands

If they demand concessions on the rights of the refugees or the 1967 borders, I will quit. I can’t allow myself to make even one concession.
~ PA President Mahmoud Abbas

1. A commitment to not threaten Israel militarily: Palestinians say one thing in English and another in Arabic. There is of yet no culture of acceptance of Israel among the Palestinian people. Children continue to be taught to honor the suicide “martyrs.” Arafat who destroyed their land through creating a lawless terrorist nation and who stole more than a billion dollars which he placed in European personal bank accounts, is considered founding father of the Palestinian nation.

The Palestinian Authority TV broadcasts continue to demonize Israel. The textbooks continue to rant against the illegitimate state of Israel, and the Imams on PA TV continue to teach the youth that suicide bombers have the best of both worlds – honor in this world and 72 virgins in the next.

Just last March, Abbas named a square in a local town after Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist who lead the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre in which 37 Israeli civilians and an American photographer were killed and 71 were wounded.

A few days ago he quoted from the Koran “elevating” the soul of Amin al Hindi at his funeral. Al Hindi was one of the masterminds of the September 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.

2. A commitment to accept Israel as a Jewish state: One of the Palestinian leaders, Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf, dismissed demands that the Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state. He said such a demand was in violation of international law and as such threatened to sabotage the peace talks.

According to Assaf, accepting Israel’s demand meant that “millions of Palestinians would be expelled from their historic homes and lands – and this will never happen.” (JP, 31Aug10)

Barry Rubin, a well known opinion journalist and blogger writes, “Is the PA going to meet even a single one of Israel’s requirements? End of conflict, real security guarantees, demilitarization of a Palestinian state, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, resettlement of all Palestinian refugees in the state of Palestine? Of course not. There might possibly be agreement on some minor border changes, but even that is unlikely, much less giving even the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem to Israel, or some other parts of eastern or northern Jerusalem.” (Ibid., 6Sept10; rubinreports.blogspot.com)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee.
(Psalm 122:6)

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A Palestinian State Without Negotiations?

By Shira Sorko-Ram

It’s almost certain you’ve never heard of him. But Middle East diplomats know exactly who he is. He is the “Ben Gurion of Palestine,” declares Israeli President Shimon Peres. “Compared to Arafat, he is Mother Theresa,” says Tom Gross, contributor to the Wall Street Journal.

Israelis are both pleased with him and afraid of him, while the top PLO politician, Palestinian Authority Chairman  and President Mahmoud Abbas barely tolerates him but still backs him.

Introducing PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a U.S.-trained economist who has been showered with praise, money and support by America and Europe. Fayyad is doing what no other Palestinian has ever done: he is building an infrastructure for what he declares will be a viable Palestinian sovereign state by next year, emphasizing he is “not looking for a state of leftovers – a Mickey Mouse state.” (Translation: he wants all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.)

He says Palestinians have to build their state now and cannot wait for a peace deal with Israel. He is moving ahead with an ambitious plan to get the Palestinians ready for statehood by August 2011, by building it from the ground up: paving roads, reforming the judiciary, planning new cities. He has formed the nucleus of a Central Bank, invested millions in schools, clinics, electricity and water systems.

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Under Fayyad’s guidance and with the close cooperation of the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Prof. Stanley Fisher – a world-renowned economist – Palestinians are creating governing institutions and systematically suppressing the endemic corruption implemented by PLO founder Yassir Arafat, who wasted billions of foreign aid. He has been so successful that the Palestinian GDP has risen 7% this year! (Yossi Alpher, www. bitterlemons.org15Mar10)

The security calm and sense of order across the West Bank have not been seen in the PA since its establishment. Indeed, Israel’s IDF has been very supportive in allowing the PA police force to become more professional as American military personnel trained and armed them.

But the polarizing factor with Fayyad is that he has announced his plan to have the U.N. Security  Council declare the birth of a Palestinian state – not through negotiations with Israel.

Indeed, he has welcomed the announcement of the Middle East Quartet (U.S., U.N., E.U. and Russia) that they support the PA’s plan to establish a state by August 2011. Fayyad has even publicly proclaimed that the new state will live “alongside the State of Israel in complete harmony,” –  something Abbas has never said.

His conditions are that all of East Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, and all of the West Bank would become a Palestinian state. He wants Israel to move back to the 1949 cease-fire lines. On the other hand, he is the first Palestinian politician to state that all Palestinian refugees would be welcome to move to the New Palestinian state – and not to Israel, as Abbas is demanding. For this statement Hamas says Fayyad should be tried for treason.

Could this be good for Israel? There are some Israelis who think so. They say the Fayyad plan is the best non-negotiated solution Israelis could conceivably ask for. Obviously, the argument goes, there would still be conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But now it would be between two sovereign states. Perhaps Israel and a Palestinian state could then negotiate at least the borders, and not every other issue at the same time. (Yossi Alpher, www.bitterlemons.org)

However, Fayyad has little or no grassroots political support, and is clearly dependent on the backing of President Mahmoud Abbas who is not thrilled with the direction he has taken. Because Fayyad has introduced financial accountability, Abbas and his PLO politicians no longer have free access to the cash box and therefore feel a great reduction in their power base.

Besides, the infrastructure necessary to support a Palestinian state is far from ready. It is also unlikely that the Palestinian security forces are in a position yet to prevent rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport from the West Bank. Were such rockets to be fired or other terror attacks to occur, the premature establishment of a Palestinian state, as proposed by Fayyad, would likely lead to an immediate all-out war. (Mideast Dispatch Archive)

But because he has left no doubt as to his determination to declare a Palestinian state on every centimeter over the 1949 green line, including all of East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, other Israeli politicians see his attempt to get a U.N. declaration of independence as a nightmare for Israel. If the Security Council votes to create a Palestinian state, there is simply no telling what they would demand of Israel. And if Israel did not cooperate, the U.N. could be capable of launching debilitating sanctions against the Jewish state.

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By Divine Accident

By Shani Sorko-Ram Ferguson

When Kobi and I met back in 1997, we both had experience in the music field. Kobi had gone through college playing jazz trumpet and had been in several bands playing drums. I had studied classical piano from the age of five in the conservatory and took up the guitar in high school so I could play worship songs in the privacy of my room and to lead worship in small groups. But as a young couple and having no access to a keyboard and no place to practice a loud trumpet or drum kit, Kobi and I had all but given up on our passion for music.

1010 - Shani Leads worship
Shani leading worship at the ElAv youth conference,
with husband Kobi at the drums.
(Photo by CARIÑO CASAS)

It was during this time that we had a number of people who knew little about us approach us and tell us that music would be an important part of our lives. We knew if this was to be the case, it would have to be God because we knew the music industry is competitive and we just didn’t have it in us to try to push ourselves up some ladder of popularity in the music field. We were, however, drawn to audio recording and video production which we studied, and within a few years, we found an outlet to use our skills.

In 2005 we began working to develop a media department within Maoz Israel in Tel Aviv. The department included video and audio capabilities, and we began by producing sermons in Hebrew for the Israeli public.

During this time we got involved with a small but talented group of musicians in the Tiferet Yeshua congregation. A bass player, named Beny, a fine musician and arranger from Ecuador who immigrated to Israel in his 20’s, became our close friend.

We also had a brilliant pianist but we didn’t have a guitar player. So we prayed that God would send us one. Within two weeks, in walked a 14 year-old guitar player named Alan. Fresh off the boat from Brazil with his family, Alan, was down right prodigy material. At first he didn’t speak a lick of Hebrew, so Beny would tell him in Spanish what to play, and Alan would just smile and obey. I remember thinking he was the perfect worship team member because he couldn’t talk back; he would just do whatever we told him!

Soon after we started playing together in the congregation, we had the opportunity to play at an annual new age festival outreach up north. We spent months preparing, and I think it was during this time that we began to realize how much we enjoyed playing together and how good we could sound as a band.

People at our congregation were constantly asking us to record the worship services so they could enjoy times of worship at home during the week. As a band, we had been recording the worship services for our own benefit to learn where we could improve. So we scanned through some of the better recordings and slapped the songs on a CD. Since we only used what we had recorded live, and it was our first project, it wasn’t the greatest quality. But the congregants were happy to have anything that glorified God in Hebrew to play in their car or home.

It was soon after, when I was pregnant with our second daughter, that people in our congregation who had heard the outreach-geared songs that we had done at the festival asked for recordings of those as well. So, as a second congregational project, the idea was to get multiple singers in the congregation to sing the songs.

It was, however, complicated organizing everyone amidst their work, army and school schedules, so I ended up singing all the songs except for one number at the end of the album.

The intended audience was our local congregation, but we had underestimated the desire in the hearts of Jewish believers and Christians around the world to hear modern worship music in the language of the Bible.

And thus, in essence by divine accident, the “Close” Album was released and a vision to impact Israel through music was born.

IMPACT

As the album “Close” made its rounds, it seemed to do something to the psyche of the believers in Israel. While there have been Hebrew worship CD’s released in the country, we were suddenly called “pioneers” in the field of modern Hebrew worship music. Young Israeli believers told us they felt it was an album that was genuinely geared towards them. And young musicians were expanding their horizons in their approach to worship music. Leaders from ministries across the country would come up to us to encourage us that our music was having an impact. It seemed the limitations of ministry Kobi and I felt because of our responsibilities at home with small children were being made up for with our recordings.

1010-Stephan

1010-Zikuk 1010-Beny

Our team played last summer at the ElAv youth conference in Tel Aviv.
Top: Stefan, composer of beautiful melodies and lyrics. Bottom Left: Zikuk, a composer and performer of rap music and a teenager with a deep walk with God. Bottom Right: Beny, our bass player and highly talented arranger.

We had no money to advertise or distribute the album, but somehow the word about our music kept spreading. The songs themselves began to be used in congregations across the country, and the testimonies kept pouring in as to their impact. And somewhat of an icing on the cake was the fact that English speakers were also writing in to tell us they could sense the power of God on the music, even though they couldn’t understand what was being sung. It was like a little whisper from Heaven to affirm that our music genuinely had God’s kiss on it that transcended languages.

MORE, PLEASE!

Meanwhile, we had moved to Jerusalem and it was earlier this year, (as Kobi and I were beginning to get a little more sleep since Nevaeh, our third child, was finally sleeping through the night,) that the subject came up with a friend of ours about putting out more music. People had been asking us for new songs, and while at first we didn’t see how we could pull it off, we were tossing the idea around.

I had known Stefan, now also a Jerusalemite, since we were teens, but only recently had I come to know what an incredible musician and song writer he was. He had an ear for beautiful melodies and was so flexible to work with, that we began to work together to write music for a new recording project.

Some of the songs came in downloads almost like we were handed the music and lyrics from someone who had already written them and had been waiting for it to be released on earth. And some of the lyrics we toiled away for weeks. Within a few months we had enough material to begin recording, and Maoz Israel excitedly agreed to let us use their studio to produce the music.

THE MYSTERY OF MUSIC

Music has a way of cleaving to the walls of the mind. It attaches itself to memories and can pop back into the mind decades after it was last heard. One phrase can instantly bring back a whole song and all the memories attached to its time period.

Childhood English speakers can rest assured they will never forget the order of the alphabet when looking through a dictionary, because of the ABC song that can instantly be brought to mind. Likewise, the scriptures people often remember best are the ones they learned with a melody.

Music is why John Lennon explained he knew Christians would listen to his songs that mocked God because before they realized what he was doing, they would be addicted to the tune. And with revelation of the power of music a famous secular guitar player from the 1960’s explained, “I use music to open up men’s souls, then I preach to them whatever I want.” While worship does not  require music, the blending of worship with music is one of the most powerful tools believers have to rock heaven and penetrate the unbelieving world with their message. We use music to reach God’s heart with worship. We use music to reach people’s hearts with truth.

In addition, music establishes culture. Israel’s culture is still young and is still discovering itself. If we believers can penetrate Israel’s music culture, we, the Messianic Jews, can solidify our place in Israeli society. We can impact it in ways that a sermon or a book never could. Let’s just do it!

1010 - Messianic Music
New Ground Broken: The largest music distributor in Israel, Tower Records, has just opened a new category in their stores - Messianic Music! We are looking  forward to seeing our CDs for sale here too!

WHY HEBREW MUSIC

If it is true that there is no lack of English worship music and Israelis speak English, why is it they cannot just enjoy the English worship? Aside from the fact that Israeli music is different stylistically than western Christian music, the issue in Israel is that the belief in Yeshua is perceived as being a foreign religion. There are very few Israelis who know that all the original followers of Yeshua were Jewish (with the exception, perhaps, of Luke.) Therefore, hearing music that speaks of Yeshua in the Hebrew language removes that monumental barrier in the mind of Israelis.

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The Maoz Israel Wall of Honor

Recognizing our Partners' Vision

The Maoz Israel Wall of Honor exists to recognize the generosity and foresight of those who embrace the vision of MAOZ and understand Israel's future by making a legacy gift. The hallmark of this special group of friends is a commitment to reaching Israel and her people - impacting them with the gospel.

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Membership is extended to anyone who:

0507-Wall-of-Honor

When you join the Wall of Honor, you will receive a beautiful stone plaque with your name on it. Also, a plaque will be hung in Israel with your name in honor of your gift.

Become a member today with your investment in the future salvation of Israel!

"We just know we wanted to bless Israel, and Maoz Israel Ministries was the best place to do that."
      ~Wayne & Alice  H., Texas, Wall of Honor Members

Please Join Us

Please let us know if you have named Maoz Israel Ministries as the beneficiary of a legacy gift. We want to honor you as a member of the Maoz Israel Wall of Honor.

For more information on how to include Maoz in your will or about how a life income gift might benefit you today and help secure Maoz's future impact on Israel, please contact Christy Wilkerson.

Toll Free: 800.856.7060  Local Fax: 214.677.0500

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October 2010

Dear Maoz Partner,

Recently I went to a concert with some of our staff and family in the old Roman amphitheater in Caesarea - a gorgeous setting on the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient theater was packed with 5,000 Israelis who had come to see Shlomo Artzi, Israel’s most successful singer and icon for over 40 years.

We watched as he had the audience of young and old eating out of his hand. With his big band he was both performer and song leader who led the crowd through song after song. His followers sang with all their might with him for three solid hours.

As I looked at the scene of enthusiastic humanity all around me and the roar of the crowd, I could not help but sense the historical significance of the evening. This ancient theater was built by none other than Herod the Great a few years before Yeshua the Messiah was born.

Herod who killed the children in Bethlehem built this monumental theater to honor Augustus Caesar and for hundreds of years the Romans entertained themselves – often with mime, ridiculing the Jews and their religion. The amphitheater also hosted gladiator games.

These same Romans destroyed Jerusalem and hundreds of thousands of Jews. They crushed the Bar Kochba rebellion of Jews 66 years after the Temple was destroyed, ravishing most of what was left of the land and people of Israel.

Finally, when the Crusaders came along a thousand years later, Caesarea was deserted and sand dunes covered the abandoned structures of the beautiful Roman city. It was no more.

But now... who could have foreseen – save the prophets – that one day this Roman amphitheater would again be full of people. Singing the songs of Israel in a revived Hebrew language.

The children of Israel are once again alive and well in their own land. Physically alive. A miracle.

But I could not help but pray out loud (nobody could possibly hear me) and say, “Oh Lord! The day must come soon when this amphitheater will be filled with Israeli Messianic believers singing with all their might songs of Zion that honor and worship the God of Israel and the King of the Jews, Yeshua!” I added, “With musicians and singers who are top quality!” (Does Satan have a monopoly on quality? Absolutely not!)

Music is a huge key to the hearts of the Israeli people – and therefore a key to their salvation. We at Maoz want to have a part in what God is doing through Messianic music in Israel. Therefore we are seriously taking up the challenge to pray and work and encourage the recording of quality music geared toward heaven.

It is such a Jewish thing... King David filled his sanctuary with hundreds and even thousands of musicians and singers.

Today, English-speaking countries are producing the finest of Godoriented musicians – on a par with singers anywhere in the world. There is no reason that Israel cannot be likewise blessed.

Now our daughter and son-in-law are working on their third album of Messianic Hebrew music geared toward young Israelis. We believe their talents and determination for excellence can and will make a difference in this nation.

As you read Shani’s article and view the pages in this Report, consider what you can do by participating in this exciting challenge! The cost of recording this CD is $28,000 (€22,000, £18,250). Quality recordings are definitely expensive.

In Israel, because of the small core of believers, there is no way to begin to recoup the investment. At this stage this is pure outreach!

But oh! It’s worth it!

          For Israel’s salvation,
Ari & Shira Signature
          Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram

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