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The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza announce their opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood recognition at the U.N.
By Chana Ya’ar

First Publish: 9/14/2011, 11:33 AM
Hamas officers in Gaza

Hamas officers in Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza have announced their opposition to the Palestinian Authority bid for recognition at the United Nations as a new country and membership among the international body’s ranks.

Senior members of Hamas told the Ma’an news agency this week that the reason is that the statehood bid by the Ramallah-based PA government, led by the rival Fatah faction, would constitute recognition of Israel as a state. (read more…)


A CBN Jerusalem Dateline Blog

Pray for PeaceThe events throughout the Middle East, and especially in Egypt, are sending shock waves throughout the world. The impact is being felt politically and economically around the world. It’s affecting oil prices, stability in the Middle East, and the security of Israel.

But how are some Christians in this part of the world responding to these events? It’s driving many to their knees and to the Bible. Many site these scriptures, in I Timothy 2:1-6, as one of the Apostle Paul’s most fervent exhortations to pray for events like the ones we’re seeing unfold in Egypt today:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

It might surprise you that there is a formative prayer movement in Egypt with a number of “houses of prayer.” There’s also a nascent move of young Egyptians – former Muslims – coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Rick Ridings, with Succat Hallel, mentions those phenomena in this YouTube posting.

Here’s another excerpt from another Middle Eastern house of prayer. It sums up some of the pressing prayer requests some in the Middle East are sending out:

“Pray for Egypt, Gaza, Yemen and Tunisia – cover the Middle East! Lebanon is also in a government upheaval adding to the tensions of the region. Pray that the Lord would direct the outcome of these riots. (Ps. 75:7 – But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another)”

There is also a danger to Israel in that it could potentially find itself sandwiched between two radical Islamic regimes should more radical elements prevail and overthrow Mubarak.

– Pray that the Lord establish the leadership of His choice in Egypt.

– Pray for the Egyptian people that they would call upon the name of the Lord in the midst of this turmoil and be saved.

– Pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Pray for their safety.

– Pray that this violence does not spill over into Israel. Pray for the government of Israel to hear the LORD. Islamic governments often tend to blame Israel and the Jewish people as being the root cause of their problems.

Some of our Christian Arab friends feel that the Middle East is on fire spiritually and God is about to manifest powerfully.”

It’s worth remembering too that the Bible talks about a future time when the entire Middle East from Egypt to Assyria (modern day Iraq) will enjoy tranquility. Many here in the Middle East are praying for the fulfillment of these verses in Isaiah 19:23-25:

“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

And of course, many are praying for what Psalm 122:6 says:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”

( Cabinet Minister Dr. Benny Begin, a member of the seven-minister security cabinet, praises Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for not giving in on settlement construction – and says there is no chance for negotiations while the Palestinian Authority continues to seek Israel’s destruction.

Please click here to see the video report.

The minister also spoke earlier in the day with IDF Army Radio in the wake of what appears to be a diplomatic victory for Israel: successful American pressure on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to participate in a three-way summit with U.S. President Obama and Netanyahu, even though the latter has not agreed to freeze Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

(Go to the Israel National News link to view the entire article and watch the video. Pray for Israel as they stand against terror, Islamists and unrighteousness according to God’s sovereign will.  -Ruth Mayfield)
Special Dispatch – No. 2358
May 14, 2009    No. 2358

Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki: Two-State Solution Will Lead to the Collapse of Israel

 Following are excerpts from an interview with PLO Ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki, which aired on ANB TV on May 7, 2009. (To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit ).

Also below are excerpts from other television appearances by Zaki, on New TV, OTV, and NBN TV:

Two-State Solution Will Lead to the Collapse of Israel

ANB TV, May 7, 2009

Abbas Zaki: “What is needed is a settlement, not a hudna [truce]. After 45 years of struggle, we have the right to reach a conclusion to this conflict, rather than extending the hudna, enabling Israel to expand on a daily basis.

“My advice is: we should not give Israel a hudna, because whenever Israel is given a hudna, it consolidates its position and becomes more deeply rooted. What hudna? If they do not withdraw from the 1967 lands – what hudna? Israel will become a fact on the ground, and we will end up as small enclaves, and should be driven out with time.

“Therefore, it is high time that we found a final, comprehensive solution. The Arabs talk about a comprehensive solution and present initiatives, and the world talks about a solution, yet we say: Let’s stick to the hudna. No, my friend. I personally joined Fatah somewhat belatedly, in 1962. Work out how many years that is. Should I keep on extending the hudnas? Impossible. We want a solution now.

“They talk about a two-state solution, and when that is achieved… Even Ahmadinejad, leader of the rejectionists throughout the region, said he supports a two-state solution. Nobody fools anybody.

“With the two-state solution, in my opinion, Israel will collapse, because if they get out of Jerusalem, what will become of all the talk about the Promised Land and the Chosen People? What will become of all the sacrifices they made – just to be told to leave? They consider Jerusalem to have a spiritual status. The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. It will regress of its own accord. Then we will move forward.”


I Support Suicide Bombings in Israel

New TV, January 6, 2009 (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit ).

Interviewer: “I asked you earlier if you support martyrdom operations today, and you said that the Israelis are afraid both of the Palestinian stones and people.”

Abbas Zaki: “First of all, in light of the blood that is being shed in Gaza, and the crying of the men – not only of the women… The hardest thing is to watch the men crying in Gaza. I now support any operation that will make the women and men in Israel cry. When the Al-Qassam Brigades and all the other forces were told to strike everywhere, I expected things to be carried out quickly. All those who always flex their muscles, and say they want to slaughter Israel – this is their opportunity. Soon, the world will view us as those responsible for the crime. Currently, in light of what is happening to the children of Gaza, any martyrdom operation is permissible, I swear by Allah.”

Interviewer:”Do you call for such operations to be launched from the West Bank as well? Some people are asking: What can the people of the Gaza Strip do right now? Perhaps now, with the land invasion, they will be able to act. But do you really call upon the people of the West Bank to carry out martyrdom operations?”

Abbas Zaki: “The people of the West Bank are active day and night – with stones, with demonstrations, all the people have taken to the streets. You asked me if I support, in light of this bloodshed… Don’t forget we’re Arabs – we believe in blood vengeance. No one can treat our blood like water. We should have afflicted them with three or four operations, and then their women would have said to those sons of bitches: ‘Come home, we are getting killed here.’ When Israel focuses on one front, other fronts should be activated.”

We Consider the U.S to Be an Enemy Country

OTV, November 7, 2008 (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit ).

Abbas Zaki: “We consider the U.S. to be an enemy because its only strategic alliance is with Israel.”
Interviewer: “How could you possibly accept your enemy in your land?”

Abbas Zaki: “What do you mean? We meet even with Israel.”

Interviewer: “How can you consider Israel to be your enemy, if you signed a peace treaty with it?”

Abbas Zaki: “Allow me… This enemy… If I had the capabilities of the U.S. – would I be fighting it or negotiating with it?”

Interviewer: “Israel ceased being an enemy once you signed a peace treaty with it. I don’t know how it could be your enemy. Do you talk to the Israelis as if they were your enemies? Do you talk to Israel as a friendly or enemy country?”

Abbas Zaki: “An enemy country, which owes us certain things. The heroic Vietnamese used to negotiate with the French, while they were slaughtering them.”

Interviewer: “I can assure you that in his speeches, Abu Mazen says the U.S. is a friendly country.”

Abbas Zaki: “Well, this isn’t true. Perhaps Abu Mazen, in his position, needs to use diplomatic language, but he is the greatest critic of the U.S.”



We Act According to the Phased Plan; Once We Get Jerusalem, We Will Move On to Drive Israelis Out of All of Palestine
NBN TV, April 9, 2008 (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit ).

Abbas Zaki: “We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith.”

Interviewer: “Do you still believe in weapons, not just in negotiations?”

Abbas Zaki: “The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide. We talk politics, but our principles are clear. It was our pioneering leader, Yasser Arafat, who persevered with this revolution, when empires collapsed. Our armed struggle has been going on for 43 years, and the political struggle, on all levels, has been going on for 50 years. We harvest U.N. resolutions, and we shame the world so that it doesn’t gang up on us, because the world is led by people who have given their brains a vacation – the American administration and the neocons.”[…]

Young Palestinian: “As I recall, the invasion of 1982 and the destruction of South Lebanon was not just in response to missile attacks, but in response to operations as well. Israel does not use only the missiles as a pretext. It uses any activity of the resistance as a pretext.”

Abbas Zaki: “The important thing is that in any operation, Israel will pay a price. We don’t want cases in which you don’t kill even a chicken, but Israel kills 20 of you. I salute any operation that makes Israel pay a heavy price.


“The P.L.O. is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota. In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the P.L.O. proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.”
MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations. Materials may ONLY be cited with proper attribution.
 © All rights reserved.

Israel acted out of concern Iranian arms convoy carrying Fajr rockets

The New York Times reported on Friday that senior American intelligence officials who are “privy to classified intelligence assessments” have confirmed its account of an Israeli airstrike on an Iranian weapons convoy in Sudan in January that was bound for Gaza.

The paper also quoted another unnamed US military officer who said that this was a regular activity of the Israeli air force. Ha’aretz adds that Israel undertook the risky long-range mission out of concern the arms shipment included Iran’s mid-range (70 km) Fajr rockets which could strike Tel Aviv from Gaza.

Meanwhile a new report by Sudanese sources claims there may have been an additional strike on a ship possibly making its way to Sudan from Iran. “There were indeed two strikes in Sudan, in January and February,” Sudan’s deputy transportation minister told Israel’s Channel 10 television on Thursday. “The second strike was against a ship at sea and it was completely destroyed,” another Sudanese official said.

Israeli officials have yet to confirm or deny the reports, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a gathering at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya yesterday that Israel can strike terrorists “anywhere” and that those who were wondering what Israel’s capabilities were should “use their imagination.”

In a related development, a senior Israeli intelligence source revealed that the Egyptian army has recently beefed up its presence along the border with Sudan to try to block the flow of Iranian arms to Gaza via Sinai. Sudan’s radical Islamist regime maintains close ties to Tehran and is apparently serving as a major link in the smuggling network the Iranians have established in East Africa to move weapons to Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli official also noted that Iran and Hamas are very concerned about a recent memorandum of understanding signed by Israel, the US and eight other NATO countries to combat arms smuggling, as well as the recent confiscation of a vessel carrying Iranian arms. The ship was en route to Syria with arms for the Syrian army, but the US believed that the arms would really be going to Hizbullah, and put pressure on Cyprus to impound the ship.


ICEJ News – is a free email service providing news and comment on Middle East affairs compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and supported by donations from subscribers. Photographic content subject to copyright, do not use without permission of copyright holder. 

Today’s bulletin was written and compiled by Matt Carmichael and Aaron Hecht
Editor: David Parsons

The ICEJ stands at the forefront of a growing mainstream movement of Christians worldwide that supports Israel based on Biblical principles and promises

written by Avner Boskey



George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (The Life of Reason, vol. one, 1905).  Hegel added, “What experience and history teach is this – that nations and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted upon any lessons they might have drawn from it” (Georg Wilhelm Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of History, 1832).


The Apostle Paul brings a more hopeful historical perspective when he comments, “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did … These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come” (1 Cor.10:6, 11). As history speeds up before our very eyes, we want to heed the warnings God is sending us, and apply the wisdom that can be gleaned from history for the situation at hand. Specifically we need to ask God what we can learn from all the happenings surrounding the recent war in Gaza.


The Ebenezer Principle


Eli was priest of YHVH at Shiloh. His two sons Phineas and Hophni oversaw and administered the sacrifices at the Tent of Meeting. The Scriptures say that Eli’s sons were wicked men, that they had no regard for YHVH, and that they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt. They violated the letter and spirit of the Mosaic Covenant and set themselves up as a higher authority. Their father Eli rebuked them saying, “‘If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against YHVH, who will intercede for him?’ His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was YHVH’s will to put them to death” (1 Samuel 2:25).


Eli’s desire to honor his sons more than fearing the Lord led to the collapse of his own priestly dynasty, the destruction of Shiloh as a spiritual center, the death of his two sons in battle and the “Ichabod” capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines. The boy prophet Samuel gave his first prophetic word to Eli in fear and trembling, speaking in the name of YHVH: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family – from beginning to end.  For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering’ ” (1 Samuel 3:11-14).


Eli’s lack of due diligence in disciplining his sons caused another terrible tragedy – 30,000 brave Jewish soldiers were slaughtered at the Battle of Ebenezer (1 Samuel 4:1-10), barely one kilometer away from today’s Baptist Village and Tel Aphek. According to writer of 1 Samuel, a leader’s sin in Israel can have disastrous and heartbreaking consequences – not only for himself, but also for his people.


Bulldozing The Bulldozer


General Ariel Sharon (known in Israel as “the bulldozer”) was an Israeli war hero whose fierce and bold brand of warfare brought Israel back from the brink of defeat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He established Unit 101, the basis for what later became Sayeret Matkal (Israel’s Delta Force). He later served as Defense Minister and Prime Minister.


When Sharon became PM on January 28 2003, he was known for his Joab-like ferocity in defending the people and land of Israel. His life’s work was based on the same principles as his campaign promises –  no withdrawal from Gaza, the West Bank or any part of Jerusalem; no negotiations with the Palestinians as long as terror continued; and a strong counter-terrorist military and intelligence response to Islamic jihad operations against Israelis.


Nearly one year later Sharon did a complete turn around. At the Herzliya Conference on December 18 2003 Sharon announced his intention to unilaterally withdraw Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip; to evacuate all Israeli settlements from Gaza and also four other small settlements from a diminutive section of the northern West Bank. Since Sharon had been elected on a platform diametrically opposed to these moves, his own Likud party insisted that his radical new plans be brought to a party vote. Eventually three separate votes were taken, and each time Sharon’s will was blocked by the will of his party’s majority. Sharon then created a new breakaway party called Kadima, while holding onto the reins of power. He pushed through a retreat from the Gaza Strip, using the IDF to accomplish this. This was especially painful for many, since the Israeli army’s mandate is to protect and defend citizens of Israel, not to evacuate them by force from their homes.


What caused Sharon to execute such a drastic turn-around, one that flew in the face of his entire military and political career? According to two senior Israeli reporters (Raviv Drucker of Israel’s Channel Ten and Ofer Shelach of Yediot Aharonot), PM Sharon (who at the time was under many criminal investigations) was well aware that the left-leaning media would look more kindly on former rightists if they pushed for compromise with the Palestinians. Sharon’s push for disengagement was a desperate attempt to get the press on his side and so avoid getting indicted for various illegal transactions. Channel Two correspondent Amnon Abramovitz then said that PM Sharon should enjoy the protection of pro-disengagement forces, and should be treated like an etrog (a fragile citron fruit used in ceremonies during the Feast of Tabernacles).  To sum up, according to left-leaning Israeli political commentators PM Sharon retreated from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria in order to gain a temporary postponement from being hit with criminal charges.


Sharon’s attempt to cover his own sins led to two tragedies for the Jewish people – Israel exiting Gaza, and the jihadi Hamas terror organization taking over Gaza. One can say that the recent war (Operation Cast Lead) finds some of its spiritual roots in PM Sharon’s reckless and misguided misdeeds. Even as the sins of Eli led to defeat at the Battle of Ebenezer, so did the sins of Sharon lead to the rise of Hamastan and the necessity for Operation Cast Lead.


On Thursday Israeli newspapers revealed that Prime Minister Olmert told Senator George Mitchell (Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East) that he had offered a secret peace deal to the Palestinian Authority which would involve the forcible evacuation of 60,000 residents of Judea and Samaria; a nearly full retreat to the 1967 borders; and an internationalization of Holy Places in Jerusalem. In a scenario that looks like history repeating itself, PM Olmert has also been under more than a handful of criminal investigations over the past 3 years.


Ø  Pray that the God of Israel would limit the damage done by Prime Minister Olmert through the harmful negotiations described above.


Ø  Pray for the incoming Prime Minister of Israel who will be elected on February 10 – that he would be instructed and guided by God on these issues.


9/11 and the Saudi connection


History is repeats itself in another area – Saudi Arabian threats against the USA in order to turn American policy against Israel.


The first of these two events transpired between May and July 2001, when Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Aziz (now King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia) instructed his Ambassador Prince Bandar Sultan to communicate his grave displeasure with America’s support of Israel. In particular Abdullah was infuriated by Israel’s counter-terrorism efforts against Islamic jihadi terror groups, and by American refusal to condemn Israel’s anti-terrorism policies.


Deciding that America did not “get the hint”, on August 25 Prince Bandar told the Saudi Chief of Staff General Bin Muhayya to cancel Saudi Arabia’s high-level strategic military review with America’s top brass.


Then, on August 27 Prince Bandar delivered a message to President Bush from Crown Prince Abdullah which said, “A time comes when peoples and nations part. We are at a crossroads. It is time for the United States and Saudi Arabia to look to their separate interests”. The message continued, “Therefore the Crown Prince will not communicate in any form, type or shape with you, and Saudi Arabia will take all its political, economic and security decisions based on how it sees its own interest in the region, without taking into account American interests anymore because it is obvious that the United States has taken a strategic decision adopting (Israel’s) policy”. Unspoken (though anonymously leaked at the same time) were threats of drastic cuts in oil supply to America or even an oil embargo; turning to other countries for weaponry; and no intelligence cooperation regarding jihadi terror groups and plans.


Less than two days later, a two-page Presidential letter was winging its way back to Riyadh, held tightly in Prince Bandar’s hands. President George W. Bush had for the first time ever officially committed the United States to establish a Palestinian state – to divide the land of Israel – and was planning to announce this sea-change in US policy on September 24, 2001.  The weekend of September 8, 2001 saw Saudi and U.S. officials discuss how the revolutionary announcement would be publicized – would Colin Powell publicize it first, or would President Bush, or perhaps both? Final decisions were put off to the next week.


Prince Bandar recollected that “the happiest man in the world that night, on Monday night, was Bandar bin Sultan. I was in the [indoor] swimming pool [of my McLean residence], smoking a cigar. I gave myself a day off because I worked the whole weekend. I had been to Saudi Arabia . . . out with the [Bush] response, back with our response. I worked on the weekend up to 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning. . . . I worked all Monday. And I said to my office, Tuesday I’m taking the day off.”  But Tuesday was 9/11.


The terror attack on September 11 2002 which destroyed the Twin Towers was carried out by 19 Saudi citizens. The resulting confusion and American crisis forced a rescheduling of president Bush’s Palestine policy change. The announcement was postponed until Bush’s Rose Garden speech of June 24 2002. The principles were then further established by the international “Quartet” on April 30 2003 in what is now known as the “Road Map”.


The connection between America’s official decision to divide the land of Israel and the most serious terror attack on U.S. soil is sobering.


Ø  Though there are many other factors which also influenced the tragedy of 9/11, God’s warnings about cursing Israel and dividing His land in Genesis 12:3, Joel 3:1-3 and Zechariah 14:1-3 call us to serious prayer for the leaders of our nations.


The Turki Trot


In a historical repeat of Abdullah’s 2001 threats to the USA, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal published an op-ed in London’s Financial Times on January 22, 2009 entitled “Saudi patience is running out”. Al-Faisal was Director General of the Kingdom’s Intelligence Service for 24 years, and has served as Saudi Ambassador to London and Washington.


Here are some quotes from this article.


Ø  “Unless the new US administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the US-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk.”


Ø  “If the US wants to continue playing a leadership role in the Middle East and keep its strategic alliances intact – especially its ‘special relationship’ with Saudi Arabia – it will have to drastically revise its policies vis-à-vis Israel and Palestine”.


Prince Turki lists what is required: a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank; the recognition of an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capitol; a return of all Palestinian refugees to Israel (basically, an event which would lead quickly to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state).


Prince Turki concludes, “So far, the Kingdom has resisted these calls (for jihad against Israel), but every day this restraint becomes more difficult to maintain … Eventually, the Kingdom will not be able to prevent its citizens from joining the worldwide revolt against Israel.” He then prays that President Obama will have the resolve “to rein in the murderous Israeli regime”.


The parallels between Prince Turki’s threats in 2009 and King Abdullah’s threats in 2001 are striking. There is no question that Saudi Arabia is applying pressure, trying to manipulate America into cursing Israel big time.


Ø  Pray for President Obama and his advisors – that God will give them a different spirit, and guide them safely through these Saudi minefields into being a blessing to and for Israel according to Genesis 12:3.


Perverting the Holcaust


Seventy years ago Adolf Hitler began his genocidal attack on the Jewish people. From ghettos to killing pits, from gas chambers to crematoria, Nazi Germany focused with a religious zeal on incinerating the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8). For the most part the nations of the world showed either indifference or cold-heartedness to the Final Solution. Only after the war did some measure of shame push the nations into voting for the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel.


Thirty years passed, and slowly the theme of the Holocaust began to surface in films, plays and literature. Children were taught ethical lessons based on the Holocaust, and Holocaust Remembrance Days became part of most Western European official calendars. Nevertheless, the rise of neo-Nazi and skinhead movements in Germany and throughout Europe continued to grow apace. Anti-Jewish attacks became commonplace in France and the former Soviet Union, with Muslims being the religious grouping most likely to engage in these attacks. The cooperation of European Islamist and radical leftist movements in spearheading anti-Israel demonstrations gradually became part of the political scenery.


Operation Cast Lead was greeted by this coalition with huge and often violent anti-Israel demonstrations, which were directed against Jews as well as Israelis, and which took perverse delight in using Nazi terminology to describe Jews and the Jewish state. For the first time since WWII violent European street demonstrations called for the destruction of Jews and the Jewish state, accusing Israel of carrying out a Holocaust on Gazan Arabs.  Verbal attacks on the Jews have included threats to gas Jews, taunts calling the Jewish people Nazis, descriptions of Israel as a Nazi state, and equating the Star of David with a swastika.  


The Swedish city of Lulea’s municipal board and local church cancelled a planned Holocaust Memorial Day because of anger toward Israel over the Gaza war. In Barcelona the Cataluña government canceled a public commemorative service remembering the Holocaust. A city official stated that “marking the Jewish Holocaust while a Palestinian holocaust is taking place is not right”.  Instead, the city council decided to have a week of solidarity with the Palestinian people, inviting Leila Khaled, a PFLP terrorist (according to European Union definition). The Socialist mayor of Campozuelos, also in Spain, canceled Holocaust Day and replaced it with Palestinian Naqba Day, mourning the establishment of the state of Israel.


It is astounding to see how those who condemn Nazi attacks on the Jewish people so quickly end up repeating Nazi sins by targeting the Jewish state and the Jewish people for vilification, attack and destruction. Though calling themselves anti-Nazis, those who engage in such attacks against the Jewish people and their state are blindly repeating Nazi sins, bringing judgment on their cities and nations according to Genesis 12:3 and Zechariah 2:8. The irony of Nazi-like groups attacking Jews and calling them Nazis is LSD-like in nature; it strongly pushes the boundaries of commonly understood reality further into worlds unknown.


The Fellowship of Firemen and Arsonists


During WWII many Western statesmen and politicians who were anti-Semitic suggested that their Jewish populations were making too big a thing about Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. They also accused their Jewish constituents of panicking and blubbering, while simultaneously suggesting that the Jewish people “had it coming” and were to blame for any attacks that the wider Gentile populace might bring upon them. These leaders tried to establish a “moral equivalence” between the Jewish victims and their anti-Semitic attackers.


It has become commonplace for the UN and world media to fall into this same historical black hole, creating a false moral equivalence between Islamist terror and Israeli counter-terror police operations. The oft repeated term is “cycle of violence”, and the feeling communicated is “Here they go again, blaming each other and killing each other. A plague on both their houses, but a special plague on the Jewish part!”


There is a world of difference between the terrorist who wants to destroy all unbelievers in general and Jewish people in particular, and the soldier who is willing to sacrifice his own life to prevent the terrorist from killing innocent civilians. To place them on the same moral playing field is as intellectually honest as stating that firefighters and arsonists are basically the same, since they both deal with fire!


A recent example of such moral equivalence is found in Senator George Mitchell’s 2001 Report on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which main conclusions were recently repeated in his December comments in Tel Aviv. In both cases he said that Israel and the Palestinians were both guilty: Mitchell called upon Palestinians to make efforts to prevent terrorism, while calling upon Israel to no longer live in the West Bank.


In truth, what is actually required is that Palestinians both stop all terror and also recognize that Jews have a right to live anywhere in their own land.  If terror has been chosen as a Palestinian strategy to get Jewish people to move out of parts of the biblical land of Israel, then Mitchell’s policy of moral equivalence, of forcing Jews to move out of parts of their biblical land is actually aiding and abetting the Palestinian terror strategy. No good or blessing can come to America through such a strategy, from a God’s eye perspective.


Prophets Asleep At The Wheel


Zechariah 1:7-17 describes the vision of the myrtle trees – a fat and prosperous world that couldn’t care less about the spiritual and physical state of the Jewish people. “All’s well, and all’s peaceful,” is what all the nations say, turning a cold shoulder and an even colder heart to the Jewish people in their time of need (see also Jeremiah 25:31; 30:17). In verse 15 YHVH states that He is very angry with the nations that feel secure, because through their indifference and cold-heartedness they have only added to Israel’s calamitous situation.


In the Western world, certain streams of the prophetic movement may have something in common with Zechariah’s vision of the nations among the myrtle trees. When daily prophecies abound which focus on personal fulfillment and financial success, while the Scriptures that prophesy revival, restoration and blessing for Israel are allegorized and applied prophetically only to the Church, a corrective is needed. And over the past weeks when Israel’s life has been threatened by war, what is needed is not a steady stream of “feel-good” prophecies. Serious calls for intercession or divine protection need to go out.


We praise the Lord for such groups like Mike Bickle’s IHOP (, Jobst Bittner’s TOS (, Don Finto’s Caleb Company (, James Goll’s Encounters Network (, Jane Hansen’s Aglow (, Chuck Pierce’s Glory of Zion International (, Joel Rosenberg’s Joshua Fund ( (and others – this is only  partial list) who have taken a courageous stand in intercession, prayer and more – for Israel and for Messianic Jews. But the need is very great; the laborers are few; and many are otherwise preoccupied.


The prophetic movement is still in its infancy, and too often it is more concerned about personal peace and prosperity than in Israel, the biblical apple of God’s eye. In time and as the result of intercessory groanings, that maturity will come. In time the prophets of the nations will receive a deeper revelation about God’s passion for Israel and about the urgency of the hour. In time the prophetic movement will grapple with the scriptures referring to Israel and will accept what they teach. In time the prophetic movement will communicate God’s heart and strategies for Israel and the nations with greater accuracy, honesty and humility.






Ø  Pray for the leaders of international prophetic streams to receive clearer Bible-based revelation about God’s heart and strategies for His people Israel.


Ø  Pray that these leaders would become bold and courageous in their preaching and teaching about the need for the body of Messiah to bless, pray for, stand with and evangelize the Jewish people and their state.  


written by Avner Boskey

“A text without a context is a pretext”. Bible college students are taught this proverb when they begin to tackle the fundamentals of exegesis. Reporters doing a stint on the Middle Eastern beat would surely benefit from similar advice. Often the main actors and leaders on the Middle Eastern stage are misunderstood by the media, their behaviors and beliefs ignored or glossed over. Apart from access to greater depth of analysis, it is hard for the average consumer of news to make sense of what is actually happening in the Middle East.


What follows is some context – light and background enabling the reader to better understand the behavior and strategies of five of the recent Gaza-Israel war’s main players: Egypt, Fatah, Hamas, the Arab world and the United States.




On Sunday January 25 Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised Egypt for preventing stockpiles of weapons in the Sinai desert from reaching Hamas in the Gaza Strip. President Obama also recently thanked Egypt for playing a constructive role in developments. On Friday President Sarkozy of France announced that a French helicopter-carrying frigate will now patrol the waters off Gaza, while on Saturday the US announced that it has diverted the Combined Task Force 151 to track Iranian seaborne weapons smuggling in the Red Sea. On Monday Germany sent six Foreign and Interior Ministry experts to assess how to beef up security on Egypt’s border with Gaza. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, “Effectively fighting weapons smuggling is one of the key questions for a lasting truce and the opening of the borders.”


What goes unsaid here is something so simple that it seems to be in poor taste for anyone to call attention to it.


Gaza does not only border on Israel. It also touches the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt. The Israeli Navy effectively prevents arms smuggling by sea into Gaza. And of course, arms are not smuggled into Gaza overland from Israel, as the borders are protected by Israeli security fences. It is an open secret that all weapons are smuggled into Gaza through Egypt. Egypt physically observes all Hamas smuggling operations, and allows them to continue because it is in Egypt’s interest for such smuggling to occur. Were Egypt to turn off the faucet on the Hamas arms flow, it could achieve near-perfect results overnight. Why has this not happened?


Egypt allows weapons smuggling for its own good reasons. It has a large and restive Islamist population which is pro-Hamas and pro-Muslim Brotherhood. As long as weapons flow to Gaza, some of this potential revolutionary anger toward Mubarak’s regime is dissipated.


President Mubarak realizes that control of the arms spigot affords Egypt some influence over Hamas as well, specifically making sure that Hamas focuses its jihadi endeavors on the Gazan side of the Egyptian border. Egypt also recognizes that an active Hamas weakens Israel, and this is definitely part of Egyptian geopolitical strategy. When Israel is preoccupied, Egypt has more room to breathe and influence Arab-Islamic politics.


The US, Germany and France understand Egypt’s way of thinking. They know that Egypt will never willingly or effectively prevent arms smuggling. As a result, these nations smilingly describe their current activities as “helping Egypt” and (as long as these foreign navies don’t set foot on Egyptian soil) Egypt smiles in return. Even Israel lends faint praise to the “constructive” Egyptian role. The world smiles and forgets about the Middle East for a few days. Everyone is happy.


But, as Delaney and Bonnie once said, “Where there’s a will, sure enough honey there’s a way!” Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan declared on Sunday that nothing “will prevent us from using weapons or smuggling arms into the Gaza Strip or the West Bank. No one has the right to prevent the Palestinians from equipping themselves with weapons as long as the occupation continues. From the first day of the ceasefire we began to return what we’d lost and to improve what we have in our hands. No ships, planes, or technology and satellite imagery will prevent the weapons smuggling.”


Ø  Pray that Egypt’s leaders and people will receive the biblical revelation that their blessing and safety will come from blessing Israel (Isaiah 19:16-25)


Ø  Pray for Egypt’s leadership to have courage to know, speak and do the truth




Yassir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has had major problems with corruption since its inception. Palestinian communities throughout the world have been very aware of PLO financial sleaze, yet have made sure that their disgust is carefully voiced in private settings alone. It was this disgust with PLO corruption that led to a landslide victory for Hamas in the Gazan elections in January 2006. Gaza’s electorate chose Hamas to lead them, an Islamist political party whose covenantal platform calls for eliminating Israel through jihad, and setting up an Islamist state (“raising the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine”). Its organizational motto is, “Allah is our goal, the Prophet our model, the Qur’an our Constitution, Jihad our path and death for the cause of Allah our most sublime belief”.


Though the US and Western Europe accept Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (the new name for the PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian people (in Gaza, at least) are not quite as sure. Gazans actually chose jihadi terror representation (Hamas) over more secular and corrupt terrorists (PA and Fatah).


But it is not only Hamas that engages in terrorism. The PA’s armed wings (Fatah and al-Aqsa Brigades) are up to their hip boots in terrorism, though Western politicians turns a blind eye and don’t let on that the PA’s “naked emperor” is actually sporting terrorist fatigues.


Israeli Colonel Moshe Elad served as the head of the security coordination mechanism with the Palestinian Authority during the Oslo Accord period. Today he is a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College. Elad remembers a statement made by a senior Palestinian (Fatah) figure at a fateful moment during the Oslo negotiations: “No Arab leader has the right to renounce the right of return, because the return is beyond anything.”


This Fatah politician was stating that, even if a future peace deal would divide the land of Israel into two states (one Israeli, one Palestinian), all Palestinians will still insist on the right to settle in any spot within the Jewish state and claim it as their own. If the Jewish state refuses to allow this, then Fatah will once again wage war against Israel until “every inch of Palestine” is conquered by Arab Palestinians. This is the Palestinian Authority’s not-so-secret strategy. And this Palestinian Authority is what the West calls its “Palestinian peace partner”.


Ø  Pray that the God of Israel will grant revelation to Palestinians about His heart for Israel the people and the land (Zechariah 2:8-13)


Ø  Pray for salvation in Yeshua to come to many Palestinians through evangelism, dreams and visions




Hamas has the unique challenge of being a jihadi group trying to get its message across to a secular Western world. It has hit on a successful media strategy which has evoked world sympathy – its spokesmen champion freedom from occupation; they call for open borders; they stir up the world to hate Israel for civilian casualties in the Gaza war. Hamas has been rather effective in its strategy. But what Hamas does not communicate is even more important.


Though it calls Israel an occupier, Hamas does not explain that Israel does not occupy the Gaza Strip. Israel totally evacuated Gaza in August 2005, leaving not even one soldier behind. What Hamas wants Israel to evacuate now is Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva and Jerusalem – the whole State of Israel. That is what it means by the term “occupation”. It wants the Jews of Israel to fold up their tents and move en masse to Europe or America or to just disappear from the face of the earth. Israel’s existence is what Hamas wants to destroy – not any invisible occupation in Gaza.


Hamas’ call for open borders is also a euphemism. It is another way of saying that Hamas wants freedom to continue smuggling in weapons through Egyptian tunnels and unmonitored Egyptian borders. Open borders between Hamas and Egypt would lead to Israel’s destruction – by the same Gazan rockets, IEDs and gunmen who fired on Israel for the past 8 years.


Television footage of civilian casualties in Gaza have been used by Hamas to label Israel a criminal and evil state. Yet the context of those tragic pictures must be re-emphasized: civilian casualties occurred because civilian population centers were where Hamas stored its rockets, placed its rocket launchers and from where it fired its missiles into Israel. Hamas chose its battlefield carefully, knowing that Israel would have to respond, and knowing that civilian casualties could turn world opinion against Israel if the images of these casualties were marketed wisely.


Casualty figures were inflated by Hamas and the majority of the casualties were described by Hamas as innocent women and children. The IDF’s latest intelligence is that 1,100 to 1,200 Gazans were killed in Operation Cast Lead, out of which at least 700 were combatants, with another 200 fatalities of men in their 20’s whose identities are still being established. IDF’s Military Intelligence believes that most of these 200 will be proved to be Hamas operatives. That is an approximate ration of 3:1, or 75% of the fatalities being Hamas operatives. This is convincing proof that the IDF was targeting Hamas and not civilians. Indeed, significant precautions were taken not to harm civilians. It was Hamas’ strategy of using Gaza’s civilian population as human shields which made the carrying out of surgical strikes with no “collateral damage” an extremely difficult undertaking.


But it seems that for Hamas not all news is sad news. Even though Hamas’ locations of firing zones guaranteed that many of their own fellow Gazans would become cannon fodder, on January 22 Hamas spokesman Tahar al-Nunu announced that the families of Palestinians killed in the war will receive 1,000 Euros, and those whose homes were destroyed will receive 4,000 Euros.


The Arab world


In the Middle Ages, blood libels against European Jews were commonplace. False and vicious charges were often made that Jewish people had captured and then murdered Christian children, draining their blood to mix with unleavened flour for ritual Passover matzot. Even in the Middle East such charges became commonplace. In Damascus, Syria a blood libel was backed by the French Consul in February 1840, and it led to the murder of two Jewish leaders and the torture of seven Jewish citizens, as well as the hostage-taking of 63 Jewish children. Other notorious Middle Eastern blood libels include Damascus (1848, 1890), Aleppo (1810, 1850, 1875), Antioch (1826), Beirut (1862, 1874), Tripoli (1834), Jerusalem (1847, 1870, 1895), Jaffa (1876), Dayr al-Qamar (1847), Istanbul (1870, 1874), Izmir (1872, 1874) and Edirne (1872).


The blood libel has been resurrected by Syria’s Vice-President and Defense Minister Mustafa Tlas in his book The Matzah of Zion (1983). Egypt’s government-sponsored al-Ahram newspaper published an article on October 28, 2000 entitled “Jewish Matzah is Made from Arab Blood”. Other modern variations on an ancient theme involve Jews supposedly using Arab blood to make Purim pastries. The false equation of Zionism with Nazism has also been drilled into Arab minds for more than 40 years in succession.


In Israel’s counter-terror Operation Defensive Shield (April 2002), Palestinian sources claimed that Israel had massacred more than 500 civilians in Jenin. The numbers were later downsized to between 53 and 56, 6 or 7 of whom were civilians. Hamas’ recent attempts to paint Gazan fatalities as being all or mostly civilians is an up-to-date example of the same libelous strategy.


A few days ago I watched a British TV network interview a Gazan man who insisted that he watched an IDF soldier get out of his tank and shoot a number of small Palestinian children with his personal M-16 while two other IDF soldiers looked on, munching on chocolate bars and potato crisps. No evidence was shown, nor was it requested. No IDF reaction was asked for. No other eyewitnesses were interviewed. Yet this libelous “testimony” was broadcast around the world as “gospel truth”.


Other deliberately slanderous charges against Israel in the Gaza war involve accusations of using white phosphorus anti-personnel bombs and uranium shells. In each case attempts are made to portray Israeli behavior in battle as sub-human or even demonic. Unfortunately, some human rights groups with a strong anti-Israel bias have taken up these calumnies and used the media to spread these hateful charges against Israel. In this they are unwittingly used by Hamas as willing accomplices in their drive to weaken and destroy the Jewish state.


American political strategies


President Obama declared on his first day in office that he “will make progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a key diplomatic priority from day one”.  He “will make a sustained push … to achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security”. Obama stated that he would pursue peace in the Middle East “aggressively” and that he appointed Senator George Mitchell as his new Middle East envoy. Senator Mitchell is supposed to arrive in Israel on Wednesday to begin his mission.


Mitchell was the facilitator of the Belfast Agreement (1998) in Northern Ireland. He then “formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended”. His Mitchell Report, commissioned by President Clinton and handed in to President Bush, became the basis for President Bush’s Road Map concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mitchell’s plan then called for a total freeze on Jewish housing growth and settlement (including natural growth, which means normal population increase through births) between Beersheva and Jerusalem, and between Jerusalem and Afula (the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria).


His present perspective is summed up in this quote from May 21, 2001: “Two proud peoples share a land and a destiny. Competing claims, religious differences and many other factors have led to a grinding, demoralizing and destructive conflict here”. Mitchell sees the Biblical prophecies and Islamic claims over Israel as in conflict. He does not believe that the God of the Bible is restoring the Jewish people back to their own homeland. For Senator Mitchell, that train of thought is irrelevant and even potentially destructive. His solution is to sidestep all claims and to attempt to establish peace and stability through American influence and pressure. To Mitchell, “the alternative is unacceptable and should be unthinkable” (this last quote was also given word for word on December 18, 2008).


Though perhaps well intentioned, it is clear that President Obama’s aggressive priority to establish peace in the Middle East leads back to the same black hole that swallowed the Bush Administration – a commitment to divide the land of Israel and give part of it to Israel’s enemies. Without truly understanding what he is getting himself into, President Obama is running up against the promises and warnings of the God of Jacob in Zechariah 14:1-3 and Joel 3:1-3. When Yeshua returns, He will judge the nations based on their dividing up of the land of Israel and their re-division of Jerusalem. Dividing the land of Israel (even if one calls it “the peace process”) actually forms the basis for the judgment of the nations at the Second Coming of Messiah Yeshua. Concerted pressure on Israel by any nation will bring the concerted pressure of YHVH right back on that nation.


Ø  Pray for President Barak Obama, his advisors and wise men – that the Lord God of Israel will grant him a revelation regarding the land of Israel and God’s strategy for it as the Jewish homeland and world capitol. Pray that the President will only push for the things that will bless America, things that will dovetail with God’s heart and strategies for the Promised Land.

written by Avner Boskey


Background to the recent war


Hamas or ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’ (for deeper background on Hamas and all archived newsletters on the war see, under “words”, newsletters February 2006, June 2007) is linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, a world jihadi group ideologically connected to Osama Bin Laden.  Hamas has fired over 10,000 rockets and mortars against civilian targets in Israel over the past 8 years. Sporadic firing of rockets against Israel continued during a recent temporary “cessation of hostilities”, and that season was used by Hamas to build up forces and weaponry in preparation for the present continued attacks on Israel.


On December 19 2008 Hamas refused to extend even that partial cease-fire and began intensive rocketing Israeli kibbutzim, towns and cities on the average of 40-50 attacks a day. On Saturday December 27 Israel Air Force jets attacked Hamas forces in Gaza, finally responding to years of Hamas rocket attacks. On January 3 2009 a land invasion of Gaza was initiated. The war lasted for just over 22 days. A unilateral ceasefire was declared on Saturday evening January 17, going into effect Sunday January 18 at 2 am, after which Israel troops evacuated the Gaza Strip by January 20.


Gaza after the cease-fire


IDF troops pulled out of Gaza on the evening of Tuesday January 20, President Obama’s Inauguration Day. Their pullout had been delayed by post-ceasefire Hamas mortar fire and sniping. Sporadic Hamas mortar fire continued up to January 24, though most of the mortars which were fired landed within the Gaza Strip.


Since the ceasefire Hamas gunmen continue to hijack humanitarian aid trucks and steal much of the aid, as well as to assault UNRWA drivers. They have prevented Gazans from accessing Israeli medical clinics at the Erez crossing (set up to treat Palestinian Gazans).


Hamas is currently engaged in a vendetta against Palestinian Authority (PA) members of Mahmoud Abbas’ former PLO/Fatah.  Ehab al-Ghsain, Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman, said that “the Internal Security Service was instructed to track collaborators and hit them hard”. This euphemistic “tracking” refers to Hamas rounding up, torturing and killing PA loyalists. Well over 100 confirmed PA people have been shot in their legs or have had their hands broken; at least three have had their eyes gouged out; many are being tortured at a children’s hospital and at a mental health center in Gaza City, as well as at school buildings in Khan Yunis and Rafah. An unnamed Fatah operative said, “What’s happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah”. It remains to be seen whether or not the world’s media will care that much about Palestinian deaths when they are “only” caused by fellow Arabs in Hamas.


Photos of smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza are front page news in Israel. These tunnels are being re-dug and are in busy operation. Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon estimates that it will take Hamas one year to re-arm and make up for its losses before it is ready to attack Israel again. This explains Hamas’ strategy in seeking only a one year lull (tahadiya in Arabic) in the fighting.


How “moderate” is Fatah in Gaza?


The US and Europe classify Hamas as a jihadi terror organization, while its sister organization the Muslim Brotherhood is illegal in Egypt. Another major Palestinian organization exists in Gaza called Al-Fatah. Fatah is the largest faction of Yassir Arafat’s PLO (also called the PA or Palestinian Authority). It is considered by the Western world to be a moderate Palestinian organization, and most Western aid has been funneled through the PA.


Active in terror for more nearly three decades, in September 1993 Arafat gave public commitments to Israel, Norway and the USA that the PLO would abandon terror and armed struggle against Israel. As a result Israel co-signed the Oslo Accords, recognizing the PLO/PA/Fatah as “the representative of the Palestinian people” and “commencing negotiations with the PLO”. 


Though the accepted Western perspective is that the PA is now moderate and committed to non-violence, the truth is rather different. Arafat may have publically declared pacifism on the White House lawn, but he continued to fund and administrate terror for a decade post-Oslo. Occasionally Israeli intelligence has been able to present “smoking guns” – incontrovertible evidence – incriminating the PLO and blowing their cover.


On May 7 2001 the Santorini arms smuggling ship (loaded with Iranian arms and headed for Gaza) was commandeered by Israel’s Shayetet 13 Navy commandos. On January 3 2002 the Karine A was boarded, again by Shayetet 13, again under control of Arafat’s people, again full of Iranian and Russian weapons (packed in 80 submersible containers to be tossed overboard at the Gaza coast). Documents seized by IDF special forces from Arafat’s Muqata HQ in Ramallah (April 2002) confirmed his paying of terrorists’ salaries for specific attacks against Israelis. The PLO’s declarations of moderation were simply lies 15 years ago, and the Palestinian Authority’s “peace declarations” today are also lies.


Arafat’s successor today is Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority. He graduated from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow in 1982, and his thesis was later published as a book titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” in which Abbas described the Holocaust as a “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed”. His conviction is that the “number of Jewish victims (was) only a few hundred thousand”.


After Operation Cast Lead, Fatah in Gaza declared that they had fully participated in the jihad against Israel, firing 137 mortars and rockets on Israeli towns, farms and cities.


The first phone call that President Obama made (8 am on his first day of work in the White House) was to PA head Mahmoud Abbas. In that conversation Obama pledged to work with Abbas as a partner for a lasting peace in the region.


Hamas declares “unilateral victory”


Hamas and its allies continue to declare that Israel has been defeated. “With full trust and full confidence I say the Palestinians people and the heroic resistance have won this battle. Hamas today is stronger than any time before”, said Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri. On January 20th banners carried at Hamas’ victory parade read, “The resistance will be victorious; Israel has been defeated”.  Hamas Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal declared that Hamas had “gained legitimacy through struggle” and insisted that the EU should begin dialogue with Hamas.


On the other hand, Lt.-Col. Rick Francona, a former US Air Force intelligence officer and military analyst for NBC News, said to Israel, “You’ve won the battle”. It is his perspective that the ceasefire is “just the end of this round, and that seems to be Israeli policy right now. The best Israel can go for is to manage the conflict until Hamas can be made to go away,” Francona said.


Lt.-Gen. Thomas McInerney, a 35-year veteran of the US Air Force and a Fox News military analyst, said on January 20 during a visit to Israel, “I think you achieved what one Israeli general called ‘changing the reality’ in which Hamas operates, but I think you were too restrained and could have gone deeper into Gaza … The Israeli public’s support for this war mutes global opinion. When a nation is united in its right to defend itself, it makes it more difficult for Europeans, the Left or the Arab media to counter that … Your leadership is too sensitive about world opinion. I know why Israel didn’t (drive deeper into Gaza) – you have an election coming up and a new (US) president taking office, but you need to gain the freedom of operation in Gaza that you have in the West Bank.”

His take on the Israeli unilateral ceasefire?  “Israel did not want to destroy Hamas. I believe you should have.”


Israeli perspectives


Dr. Dan Shiftan (head of National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa) recently wrote an article “Limits of Restraint”. In it he analyzes the strategic nature of Israel’s response to Hamas rocket fire targeting its citizenry and originating from within Gazan civilian areas. Israel’s willingness to sow disproportional destruction on its enemies is a clear message to some of its unfriendly Middle Eastern neighbors: “Destruction in Gaza contributes to the prevention of war with Lebanon and Syria, assists Egypt and Jordan in fighting radical elements, and signals Israel’s limits of restraint to Iran”.


Colonel Yigal Slovik, Commander of Armored Corps’ 401st Brigade, described how entering his first booby-trapped house in Gaza removed his moral reservations about low-intensity urban conflict. “When you see one house that is laden with explosives, and then the one next to is also booby-trapped or serves as a weapons cache – then there is no dilemma … As a father, looking into the house and seeing a photo of children – then clearly it touches the heart – but if there is a possibility that my soldiers will get hurt as a result of an explosion from inside that house, then I’d rather feel bad over the photo than bury five of my soldiers. We did not destroy homes; we acted against terror infrastructure.”


European perspectives


President Nicolas Sarkozy of France stated at the Sharm esh-Sheikh press conference, “In our minds, this is the beginning of our journey. We should continue and we should accelerate our efforts in order to achieve a settlement based on the creation of two states, a Palestinians state living side-by-side with an Israeli state that has the right to its security”. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner added that this should happen “very quickly”.


Trine Lilleng, First Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Riyadh, sent out a newsletter juxtapositioning Holocaust pictures of Jews alongside of color photos of Operation Cast Lead. She stated, “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from WW II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany”. Does Lilleng actually believe that death camps and gas chambers exist in Gaza?


The amount of anti-Jewish attacks has risen more than 300% since the same time last year. Most of these anti-Semitic attacks have focused on the Gaza war, and have involved verbal and physical attacks on Jewish people and Israel supporters.


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the leaders of eight countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (where recent demonstrations were starkly anti-Semitic in nature) to publicly condemn “the explosion of anti-Semitic rhetoric”. Posters and banners with Nazi imagery, as well as genocidal chants comparing Jewish Holocaust victims to Gazans have been widely used at anti-Israel demonstrations in the past three weeks.


The ADL statement said, “Blatantly anti-Semitic displays have contributed to an unacceptable wave of anti-Semitic threats of violence, intimidation and attacks against Jewish communal institutions and individuals in many countries … While it is important to take immediate steps to increase security measures for the Jewish community for the protection of property and the personal safety of individuals, there is also an urgent need for your government to publicly and forcefully speak out against such anti-Semitic attacks to make it clear that anti-Semitism, hatred and bigotry of any kind has no place in your country”.


The Time of The Hunters


The prophet Jeremiah described a time (yet future in his day) when God would bring the Jewish people back to Israel in an Ingathering greater than the Exodus from Egypt (Jeremiah 16:14-15). At that time there will be a movement of fishers – people who benignly participate in and catalyze this return (verse 17). As well, Jeremiah said that there will be a last-days movement of hunters – men and women who will hunt down and destroy the Jewish people in a scenario very similar to Hitler’s Final Solution.


A dear prophetic friend James Goll told me of how God spoke to him on the morning of September 11 2001. The Lord told James, “Turn on your TV”. He did so and saw the second jet crash into the Twin Towers in NYC. Then the Lord told James, “The time of the hunters has begun”.


We are now in the season where anti-Semitism is increasing exponentially, and it will grow until it even outstrips that of Hitler’s Nazi Reich. The war in Gaza is being used by Satan to catalyze and jump-start a European and Western anti-Semitism that has merely lain dormant, and an international Islamist anti-Israel movement that daily prays and strives for a jihadi vision of Israel’s future.


Ø  Pray for the protection and salvation of the entire Jewish people; that Diaspora Jews will wake up to the growing danger of world anti-Semitism; and that believers in Yeshua worldwide will be ready to stand with the Jewish people and the Jewish state, having counted the cost.
By Dena Gewanter, M.D., Kiriat Yam, Israel

January 21, 2009

While the media in the West are lambasting Israel for killing women and children, and are saturating their viewers with horrific photos of bloodied corpses, Israel as a nation is undergoing an astonishing spiritual awakening as a result of this conflict. It is a pity that the world is unable to be witness to the miracles that are occurring here daily. Even the most jaded person would be amazed at the transformation of the people in this country. After many years of feeling the underdog and fearful of the approbation of the outside world, Israel is undergoing an absolute renaissance on a personal and national level.

First and foremost, Israel as a nation has finally decided to throw aside the fear of being rejected by the nations and embrace its sovereign right to defend its citizens from terrorist attacks. What is so astonishing, for those who know Jews and particularly Israelis, is that a whopping 92% of Jewish Israelis actually AGREE that the war is necessary and just. The adage of 2 Jews, 3 opinions and 4 political parties has vaporized in the face of the national crisis we are in. Not only is there agreement among the populace, but also the left wing and the right wing of the political spheres agree. Even more amazing is the concordance among the various religious factions: Ashkenazi, Sephardic, reform and conservative, Zionists and anti-Zionist Jews are all joining together in prayer and supplication to the Almighty for salvation, protection and victory over our enemies. There are calls to prayer everywhere, regardless of denomination or ethnic background, everyone is united in looking towards the God of Israel to keep our soldiers safe and help us win against an evil enemy who has sworn never to stop until Israel as a nation is destroyed.

The soldiers themselves seem to have a huge spiritual hunger, and are unified in not only asking for prayer but also praying themselves, wearing tzitzit (prayer tassles) into battle and carrying the book of Psalms with them. The Rabbis are calling the tzitzit “heavenly flak jackets!” Tent synagogues on the battlefield have no less than 10 sessions every morning, and it is reported that soldiers who never attended synagogue are now praying with tefillim. They have reason to cry out to God, since everyone is aware of the years of preparation of the bloodthirsty Hamas militants, their desire to kill, maim or kidnap Israeli soldiers is greater than their desire to live; they have been financed by Iran and supported by Syria and Hezbollah. Yet, we are defeating them, and there are reports daily of amazing miracles of protection and Divine direction during the battle. The following are just a few examples: A Hamas map was found, with booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions clearly spelled out. The IDF was able to counter each installation due to the information given. A large platoon of soldiers not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, (discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night), disarmed the bombs with no one hurt. A single soldier successfully fought off several Hamas terrorists trying to drag him into a tunnel, and all were captured. Hundreds of tunnels, hidden in homes under beds and kitchen cabinets, all full of live explosives and ammunition, yet none have exploded with IDF soldiers inside. While there have been soldie rs wounded, there are miracles there as well. A young man who moved here alone from England less than 2 years ago to serve in the army was in an explosion, and thrown into the air. After being carried off the field by other soldiers and transported on a tractor to helicopter and then to hospital, the doctors were utterly stunned when they saw that a piece of shrapnel that went completely through his neck, missed the carotid artery, the jugular vein and the spinal cord by millimeters. After they removed it, he needed only stitches. Another soldier was shot through the back but the bullet missed his spinal cord and exited from the front. A young newlywed, in grave condition, inexplicably turned for the better and will recover to go home to his wife.

On the ground level, bombs continue to fall, but here again, miracle after miracle is reported even on the local news. One hears the word “nes” (miracle) over and over by the reporters and the bystanders. A bomb heading toward 4 apartment buildings goes into a sewer pipe and explodes underground, damaging nothing above ground. An elderly woman caught in an apartment completely demolished by a bomb, walks out with scratches on her ankle. The mayor of Beersheva felt he should cancel school one day, and a rocket completely destroys an empty kindergarten. The elder housing complex that was hit in Nahariya had the sleeping quarters destroyed, but everyone had just gone to breakfast, so no one injured. A man leaves his car with his young daughter, and the car is blown up moments later after they entered a bomb shelter. If they had taken a few more seconds, he and his daughter would have been burned to a crisp. He was televised saying again and again it was a miracle.

Similar stories like these were heard during the second Lebanon war, reported on Israeli radio and television, but no one in the west ever heard; only negative propaganda from the terrorists was reported, whose aim was to malign Israel and make us look like a nation of bloodthirsty killers. One has to grieve over the terrible destruction of the cities in Gaza and the horrific human tragedy going on there, but the responsibility for the suffering and death is directly on the doorstep of the Hamas leadership. These deluded people think that their god, Allah, will give them victory, and have entered into a battle with the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that they will never win. We are literally living in times like those of the scripture, when the Lord told Elisha all the plans of the enemy, until they began to wonder if there was a spy in their ranks.

There is hope here, not despair and unity of resolve. Even the parents of Yoni Natanel, killed by friendly fire, were quoted as saying that their son died “for the sanctification of God’s name”, and forgave and blessed those who accidently fired at his unit. There is such heroism and courage here, one wishes that the world could see it, but as one of our journalists said, the media have left their brains at the door of Ben Gurion Airport. They are many miles away from the actual battle, wear flak jackets and helmets for the cameras, and then take them off to have cappuccino at the local restaurant!

Fortunately, Israelis are accustomed to being misunderstood and maligned by the outside world. At this point, everyone knows we have a job to do, and we are becoming more and more aware that there is a greater Power than us is on our side. We are fulfilling our commission to be a “Light to the Nations”. Israel learned from the failure of the Lebanon war, and prepared well to fight the terrorists who clearly said they wanted to destroy us. The rest of the nations have not remembered the threats of Hitler, and how the Jewish people were almost wiped out because no one wanted to believe he actually meant what he said. Contrary to those who want to hide their heads in the sands of political correctness, there is a right and a wrong side in this conflict. It is a battle between darkness and light. Fortunately, we have a God who was never wishy-washy about defending Israel against her enemies, when His People cried out to Him for help. The outside world is missing the miracle of a righteous God who hears the prayers of His People.

“If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14


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[This is in English–recorded prior to the cease-fire Jan 15, it is worth listening to. It contains a perspective of what it is like to fight a war against people who do not value life, victory or death as we are accustomed. This is not all Palestinians, nor are they all Hamas. Excerpts it is written out below, but it is worth listening to the entire 48 minute interview available at the bottom of this message.]

IDF Soldier in Gaza Speaks
by Hillel Fendel

Aryeh, a Jewish reserves soldier down in the Gaza war, shares his real-life experiences – including old men with suicide belts, booby-trapped kindergartens, and secular soldiers stocking up with mini-Psalms for protection. And a surprise: It’s the children’s letters that keep our army going! An IDF soldier in Gaza speaks of enemy attempts to kidnap soldiers into tunnels, the incredible motivation displayed by his comrades-in-arms, and more.

Aryeh, a former hesder yeshiva student and a soldier in reserves who spent a week fighting terrorists deep inside northern Gaza, spoke with IsraelNationalRadio’s Yishai and Malkah Fleisher on Thursday about his personal experiences during the war.

Email readers: click here to listen to the IDF soldier from Gaza


I’ve been in Gaza for a week; medics and others in my unit went in a week earlier to get the lay of the land. We’re in an armored reconnaissance unit, which means we are infantry that goes in front of the tanks, first of all to clear a path, either in open area or clearing houses in built-up areas, making sure there are no anti-tank forces against us, and secondly, we scout ahead and point out targets for the tanks…

The army was very tight with us about security – they took away our cell phones, made sure we don’t have cameras, etc.

No Atheists in Foxholes

[Asked what it is like when they actually enter Ga Right before we went in, there were a lot of jokes, black humor, like, ‘I’ll leave you my boots,’ etc. And you know how they say there’s no atheist in a foxhole – it’s really true. Rabbis were giving out Tehillim [little books of Psalm, and every soldier took one, or two, or three, or four – even the guys who just two days ago were arguing with me against religion. They act as if the Tehillim are bullet-proof, and they put them all over their body, saying I don’t want to get hit here, and here, and here… Anyway, before we went in, there were jokes – but then, when we actually start going on, it gets very, very quiet, people thinking their own thoughts, like who might not be coming back, or about their families, or whatever.

When we actually went in, it was very surreal. On the Israeli side, even with all the rockets and shells falling around us, you sort of feel safe – but when you cross over, you feel like you have left the safe cover of Israel. … You hear a lot of booms, mostly from our jets and copters and tanks and things. The first kilometer or two was open area, and then, when we got to the built-up areas, it really was pretty scary. There are snipers and stuff – but there were two things that were particularly hard for me. One is that almost every single house is booby-trapped – even with families inside! Because it looks good on the news [against Israe to have a whole family killed… the people are forced to stay there, or sometimes they stay on their own – this is insane, we can’t comprehend this… It’s scary kicking in a door and thinking that the entire house might collapse on you.

Fear of Being Snatched

But even more scary is the fact that there are tunnels everywhere in Gaza – not just the ones that people know about in southern Gaza. I don’t know how many there are, but there are tunnels between houses and headquarters and the like, not only for reinforcements but also because one of their main goals is to kidnap soldiers. That is really terrifying. You see a bush and suddenly the bush moves and a hand sticks out, trying to grab a soldier’s leg and pull him inside. It happened a lot… Or we’re in a house trying to get some sleep, and you don’t know if a floor tile will suddenly move and someone will try to grab you. So on the one hand, you try to sleep very little, but we also work very closely together, looking after each other, helping each other, and certainly not doing anything by oneself…

The Old-Man-and-the-Cane Trick

The top Hamas guys are dug-in and hiding pretty well under hospitals and schools, and they don’t even know what’s going on outside. We’ve cut their phone lines, including cell phones, and they communicate by sending children with notes to each other; we’ve caught kids carrying notes. We once saw an old man hobbling down the street with a cane, looking very bent over and wretched, and when he saw Israeli soldiers, he suddenly threw away the cane, ran over to them and tried to blow himself up on them; the soldiers were able to shoot him first.

No Concern for Life

[Asked what the feelings seem to be among the Arab The mindset of the enemy is so alien to us; by us, the death of any one soldier is terrible, a national tragedy – but by them, it seems that they want as many deaths as possible. In Israel, schools even dozens of kilometers from Gaza are closed in order to minimize the risk, which is pretty small – but in Gaza, where there are bombs all over the place all the time, we’ve seen kindergartens filled with 150 or 200 children, and the kindergartens are boobytrapped! They even shoot rockets from inside mosques and these places…

We Want to Finish the Job

The soldiers’ morale is very high, and all of them definitely believe that the war is just and important. No one likes fighting; people want to be with their families. I’ve seen some 35-year-old guys almost crying about how much they miss their families – but at the same time, no one wants to leave now. Of all sectors, it’s the soldiers who do not want a ceasefire, not because we want to fight but because we know the job is not finished yet. We don’t want to have to go back again in a year or two or three. The soldiers want to stay and finish the job, they really do… I think there has to be a hard push against Hamas, even harder than we have done until now; this will take a real sacrifice, we know – but to think that we might leave and the rockets will still fall, what did we do??! Killing 900 terrorists out of 20,000 is just not enough, we have to really decimate their ranks in order that they should know that they should leave us alone…

True, Gaza is now largely in ruins, but they’ll get lots of money to rebuild, and they’ll use a lot of the money to get more weapons as well. We have to go in deeper and stronger, and make them understand that it’s just not worth it. In addition, I think we can’t leave without Gilad Shalit; it would be terrible if not.

We Feel the Hand of G-d

[Asked about how spirituality and faith in G-d plays ou Well, I would say that everyday religion is one thing; we take things for granted, we pray every day, some people concentrate more and some concentrate less… But here – you live it, you absolutely live it. Secular soldiers are whispering prayers, everyone wants G-d to be there, and we do feel it – we have seen the hand of G-d; we have been very fortunate, you can see it and feel it… [Regarding packages of sweets that the soldiers receive from the home fron Even though we’re often hungry, the first thing a lot of soldiers go for in the packages that is not the food, but rather the letters and words of support. You can’t imagine what it does for us to read them… I have about nine of the really special ones, and when I had a little time, I would go over to some corner and pull them out and read them… They give so much strength…

I just want to tell this really special story that happened to me: Some of the letters have phone numbers on them, so I called one of them to thank her for her letter – an 8-year-old girl named Eden. Eden told me that she was so happy I called and that she had just been in the hospital for an ear operation… But then her mother got on and she was all emotional and told me, “It’s so amazing that you called because Eden’s two older sisters received calls of thanks from soldiers, and she was feeling sad that no one called her – and now you called!”

Click here to listen to Aryeh’s entire talk.

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