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written by Avner Boskey www.davidstent.org

 

Background to the recent war

 

Hamas or ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’ (for deeper background on Hamas and all archived newsletters on the war see www.davidstent.org, 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.

 

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This report contains details of Saturday and Sunday’s events, a brief analysis, and specific prayer requests.

 

Ø  The Israeli cabinet declares a unilateral cease-fire late Saturday evening

Ø  22 Hamas rockets and mortar attacks after Israeli cease-fire declaration

Ø  IDF begins partial redeployment Sunday afternoon

Ø  On Sunday afternoon Hamas announces gradual cease-fire

Ø  Majority of Israelis opposed to cease-fire

Ø  Double press conferences of 6 European leaders (Sharm eh-Sheikh, Jerusalem)

Ø  The Obama factor

 

Background to the present hostilities

 

Hamas or ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’ (for deeper background on Hamas and all archived newsletters on the war see www.davidstent.org, 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.

 

IDF activity

 

Throughout Saturday IAF planes bombed 100 smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egyptian border, as well as targets throughout the Strip. Firefights between IDF and Hamas gunmen erupted throughout Gaza. Booby-trapped buildings and homes were disarmed or blown up by IDF sappers.

 

On Sunday 170 truckloads of humanitarian aid (including fuel, food and medicine) were allowed through IDF checkpoints from Israel into Gaza.

 

Unilateral Israeli cease-fire

 

Just after 2300 Saturday night Prime Minister Olmert announced that the cabinet had authorized a unilateral cease-fire, which would come into effect on Sunday at 0200.

 

Olmert said, “Our targets, as defined when we launched the operation, have been fully achieved, and more so”. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “We’ve met our military objectives”. On Sunday morning Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi added “The objectives set for the operation have been achieved in full”.

 

Fine-print on the cease-fire

 

There are some troubling aspects to this cease-fire which are not being emphasized in the news.

 

PM Olmert added, “This is not a ceasefire with Hamas … These understandings do not guarantee a ceasefire of Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israeli civilians”.

 

DM Barak said, “Hamas may fire at (IDF) forces and the home front”.

 

Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said, “No-one expected (Hamas) to stop firing immediately after the ceasefire had gone into effect”.

 

C.O.S. Ashkenazi added, “We have created conditions to fundamentally change the security realities in southern Israel”. Note the fluid and amorphous (and extremely non-military!) definition that does not allow for clear or definable benchmarks in judging military success. No wonder; that strategic aim was devised by the cabinet and given to the IDF just prior to the Operation’s inception.

 

Hamas responses

 

Hamas’ immediate response to Olmert’s ceasefire declaration was to fire 22 rockets into Israel over the next 18 hours. Cities hit included Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, Kiryat Gat, Netivot and Sderot. IAF strikes took out some of these rocket launchers and cells.

 

Hamas released reports on Sunday morning that IDF choppers were firing on civilians near a Palestine Bank branch in Jabalya. These reports were immediately picked up by world media. Only later, after a few hours, did the facts come out: six hours after the Israeli ceasefire declaration, Hamas gunmen fired on IDF soldiers, who returned fire and called in tank and IAF reinforcements.

 

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan responded to the ceasefire with these words: “Either we hear what we want or the result will be continuing the confrontation”.

 

Abu Ubeida, Hamas spokesman for Izz ed-Din al-Qassam, stated “Do what you like, but the manufacturing of holy weapons is our goal. Bringing arms into Gaza is not smuggling. The natural situation would be for all Arab and Muslim countries, along with the rest of the free world, to formally allow weapons into the Strip… Meanwhile, we believe it is our right to bring arms in any way we find fit.”

 

Though Hamas had secretly communicated to Egypt that it would accept a ceasefire, Hamas sources declared with bluster, “Rocket fire is intended to send the message that we are the ones who decide when there is a ceasefire, not some unilateral decision in Israel”.

 

Ayman Tahu, Hamas spokesman in Cairo, declared at 1431 on Sunday that Hamas would accept a limited ceasefire: “Hamas and the factions announce a ceasefire in Gaza starting immediately and give Israel a week to withdraw.” From the tenor of these words it sounds like Hamas had pummeled Israel into submission and not vice-versa.

 

Gaza’s “victorious” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke from his secret bunker hidden under Shifa Hospital, declaring that “the enemy has failed to achieve his goals” and that Hamas had pulled off “a popular victory”. Hamas’ sponsor Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that “this is only the beginning of victory,” while Mushir al-Masri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said “We are in a powerful, victorious position. Israel will soon learn that the balance of power has changed in Hamas’s favor.”

 

In an unintentionally dry comment on Sunday, Hamas sources added, “The Palestinian organizations have no intention of drawing IDF fire that could harm Palestinian populations”.  There might be some Gazans who are thankful that this statement was made although, since it came after a ceasefire and after 22 days of Hamas’ totally opposite strategic war policy which made use of Gazan civilians as human shields, it is probably a moot point.

 

David Horovitz, Editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, notes that Hamas will never “fundamentally change a mindset that emphatically places the destruction of Israel above the well-being of Palestinians”.

 

Egyptian responses

 

Egypt, like Johnny Cash, is trying to “walk the line” between scorning and yelling at Israel (on the one hand) and insisting that it is a viable peace partner with Israel and America (on the other hand); between placating Islamist popular forces which could overthrow or assassinate President Mubarak (on the one hand) and arresting and imprisoning Hamas’ sister organization in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood (on the other hand).

 

On Saturday Mubarak (who already had spoken with Israeli representatives and knew that Israel would declare a ceasefire within a few hours) proclaimed, “I demand Israel today stop its military operations immediately. I demand from its leaders an immediate and unconditional cease-fire and I demand from them a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Strip”.

 

On Sunday Egyptian security sources announced that they had detained 620 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest roundup of MBers in recent months. The arrests were due to pro-Hamas demonstrations and “membership in illegal organizations”. It seems that Mubarak considers the MB to be a threat to Egypt’s stability, but feels that Israel should not at all be heavy-handed in dealing with its own home-grown MB organization – Hamas.

 

At the Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait on Sunday, Mubarak spoke approvingly of Islamist armed resistance (to the State of Israel), saying “We support the right to resistance, but feel it should be responsible. We believe that resistance, like the decision to start a war, should be responsible, and should be subject to profit and loss calculations. There are factions that admit the balance of power leans very much in Israel’s favor, and it will take many years to reach a balance of power. Should the Palestinian people wait that long?”

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit commented on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Israel and the United States (which is supposed to impede Hamas smuggling of rockets through Egyptian territory) in these words: “We have no commitment towards this memo whatsoever”. The US and Israel can “do what they wish with regard to the sea or any other country in Africa, but when it comes to Egyptian land, we are not bound by anything except the safety and national security of the Egyptian people and Egypt’s ability to protect its borders”. Aboul Gheit reiterated that no weapons were being smuggled into Gaza from Egypt; he again stated that Hamas was rearming by sea. It seems that the Foreign Minister feels that the Israeli Navy is simply falling down on the job.

 

Aboul Gheit added that Israel is the main obstacle to an Egyptian sponsored peace, and that “Israeli intransigence” is due to that Jewish state being “drunk with power and violence”.

 

Israeli responses

 

A poll taken by the War and Peace Index after the first week of fighting showed that 90% of Jewish Israelis surveyed believed that this war should continue until it has achieved its goals – total cessation of rocket fire and terror attacks, and a total halt to smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Polls taken Sunday indicated that approximately 40% of Israelis are in favor of a ceasefire. This is due to the fact that the two main objectives listed by the cabinet were not totally achieved.

 

Knesset Member (MK) Avigdor Lieberman commented, “The Israeli people cannot live in peace while Hamas is in control of Gaza. Any armistice will surely be used by Hamas to prepare for the next conflict.” He stated that what was needed was “crushing Hamas’ motivation to fight us”; “Past experience shows us that ceasefires become deathtraps”.

 

SHABAK (Israeli FBI) Chief Yuval Diskin stated that “if Israel doesn’t deal with the problem of the Philadelphi route (ed., the smuggling tunnels), the situation will go back to the way it was within a number of months”.

 

MK Yuval Steinitz (former Chairman of the following Israeli Government Committees – Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee; Subcommittee for Intelligence and Secret Services; and Joint Security Committee Between the Knesset and the US Congress) said, “I fear that the main objectives of the IDF operation in Gaza have not been met. It is not clear what mechanism will prevent the arms smuggling into Gaza or why we can rely on Egypt”.

 

Likud whip MK Gideon Sa’ar added; “We assume Hamas will continue to arm itself, and we will find ourselves in another conflict with the organization in the near future after it has obtained long-range rockets”.

 

The Jerusalem Post’s David Horovitz says that “a definitive result has not been achieved” in this war.

 

Former Prime Minister MK Bibi Netanyahu noted that “the IDF has dealt Hamas a severe blow, but unfortunately the job has not been completed. Hamas still controls Gaza and will continue to smuggle improved rockets through the Philadelphi route. We cannot show any weakness in the face of the Iranian-backed Hamas terror and must act with an iron fist to defeat the enemy”.

 

Televised interviews with two mothers whose sons were recently killed in Operation Cast Lead revealed that both mothers were opposed to stopping the operation, and both felt that their sons would have wanted the operation to continue until the rockets are stopped, Hamas control over Gaza is broken, and Staff-Sergeant Gilad Shalit (kidnapped by Hamas and held incommunicado for nearly 940 days) is freed.

 

An article in Yediot Aharonot (Israel’s leading Hebrew paper) noted that “many soldiers in the field” see the unilateral ceasefire as “a missed opportunity to crush Hamas”.  “We could have done a lot more. There’s a feeling the operation ended too early” said soldiers.

 

Avi Farhan, a resident of Sderot (who had been evacuated from Yamit in 1982 under PM Begin’s Camp David pullout, and again from Gaza in August 2005 under PM Sharon’s disengagement) commented, “We have witnessed a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and we’ve seen what has happened since then. Now they decide on a unilateral ceasefire with no one asking what part Egypt has played so far in the smuggling of all the weapons to the Gaza Strip. All we want and demand is to let the IDF win. We don’t want decisions to be made now for election considerations and other political considerations”.

 

European responses

 

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said, “Hamas must halt rocket attacks on Israel and the smuggling pf weapons into the Gaza Strip”.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UK PM Gordon Brown, Spanish Premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and Czech PM Mirek Topolánek all flew in for a whirlwind series of press conferences and photo opportunities at Sharm esh-Sheikh, Egypt and Jerusalem, Israel.

 

British PM Gordon Brown said, “We are prepared to provide British naval support to stop arms trafficking … At the same time, we’re prepared to provide European support for monitoring at the (Gaza-Egypt) crossings”. Considering that Hamas’ rockets enter Gaza by land through Sudan and Egypt, even the Royal Navy may find that assignment somewhat challenging.

 

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Walner declared that the “ceasefire should be followed by the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip”.  Would it have been too much to have hoped for some comment about peace being somehow connected to Hamas no longer attacking Israel?

 

France‘s Nicolas Sarkozy stated, “Israel should state immediately and clearly that if rocket fire will stop, the Israeli army will leave Gaza. There is no other solution to achieve peace.” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier added that “an international conference should be quickly organized” for launching “a dynamic for negotiations” on creating a Palestinian state. Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair said that the Arab initiative for peace between the Palestinians and Israel is “not dead” but requires a new endorsement of the two-state solution from all parties involved.

 

Most Israelis do not think that now is a good time for peace, and that a continuing Hamas presence in Gaza will do nothing to aid tranquility in the region. And of course, from a biblical perspective, the dividing up of the land of Israel (as Blair and Sarkozy et al advocate) is a rather dangerous assignment for any world power to attempt.

 

The Obama factor

 

Having surveyed the significant glitches and strategic problems inherent in a unilateral ceasefire, one must ask what compelling reason might there be in favor of ending Operation Cast Lead so suddenly. The compelling reason is the calendar date of January 20 – the Inauguration Ceremony of President Barak Hussein Obama, soon the 44th President of the United States of America.

 

According to senior Israeli cabinet officials, Israeli PM Olmert decided to withdraw from Gaza prior to the inauguration “as a gesture to the incoming President”, not wanting to “embarrass” President Obama as he takes office. These senior officials added that the cabinet reached its decision approving a unilateral ceasefire because political considerations began to outweigh the military considerations. As well,  intense international pressure to stop the fighting was brought to bear on Israel.

 

Ø  As we pray for the continued safety of Israel and the defeat of her enemies, we need to lift up Israel’s political and military leadership, asking for the God of Jacob to grant them courage, strength, clarity, discernment and revelation, and for the fear of God to triumph over the fear of man.

 

Riots and anti-Semitism

 

A Saturday demonstration in Paris organized by EuroPalestine brought 2,600 demonstrators marching towards the Israeli Embassy before they were stopped by the local gendarmerie. Israeli and US flags were burned, and for good measure the windows of a nearby McDonald’s were shattered. London, not to be outdone, witnessed the shattering of a local Starbucks shop window on January 10 in an anti-Israel demonstration. These two rather powerful examples of political activism spilling into pseudo-revolutionary violence find their common ground in pogrom-like anti-Semitism. An excellent and penetratingly prophetic piece of writing by Liat Collins of the Jerusalem Post is recommended to you in this regard (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232100170492&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull).

 

On Sunday, 200 violent Beirutis were stopped with water cannons and tear gas as they attempted to cut through the barbed wire perimeter surrounding the US Embassy.

 

Also on Sunday Indonesian Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (founder of Islamist terror group Jemaah Islamiah – see www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/ji.htm), called for a jihad against Israel in his sermon to 500 at a local mosque in Bekasi, east of Jakarta: “The war in Palestine isn’t a war between one country and another, it is a religious war. The Jews try to destroy Islam, and so Muslims must join, to fight in their own capacity”.

 

On Saturday a Berlin court struck down an administrative ban on demonstrators using Hamas flags, clothing and banners, but felt constrained to prohibit calls to murder Israeli or Jews at public demonstrations. Recent demonstrations in Germany have been marked by calls to “kill, kill Israelis”, “kill, kill Jews” and “Juden raus!” (“Jews out!”, a Nazi slogan). Though Hamas is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations (September 2003), freedom of speech for anti-Semites won the day in Berlin. 

 

In an article in the German Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger entitled “Vom Wegsehen und Vergessen” (“About averting one’s gaze and forgetting“), political commentator Tobias Kaufmann notes that in today’s Germany “blatant anti-Semitism is blossoming. Germany is currently experiencing perhaps the largest anti-Jewish manifestations since World War II. Jews are called child-murderers, and Israel is compared with the Third Reich”.

 

Precedents, jihad and Arab shame

 

Three thoughts in closing:

 

1. Israel took unilateral steps in its withdrawal from West Bank cities (1994) after which Yasser Arafat’s PLO filled the vacuum; in its withdrawal from Lebanon (2000) after which Hizbollah filled the vacuum; and after its withdrawal (“disengagement”) from Gaza (2005) after which Hamas filled the vacuum. In each case terror was subsequently directed against Israeli civilians as the relinquished territory became a jihadi base for killing Israelis. Unilateral withdrawals have an abysmal track record in this part of the Middle East.

 

Ø  Pray for Israel’s leaders to have the veil of fear lifted from their eyes and hearts vis-à-vis the displeasure or opposition of the nations.

 

2. Islamic jihad is a powerful spiritual force. Most Westerners are far too secular to appreciate this, and have ignored jihad to their national detriment. Until the power of jihadi Islam is broken over the Middle East and Central Asia, there will be no peace for the Western world and no peace for the Middle East. That, and not  a Palestinian state, is the real deal-breaker.

 

Ø  Pray that the God of Israel will cause the anti-Christ religion of jihadi Islam to collapse, and for a new harvest to take place throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

 

3. Embedded deep with the Arab and Islamic culture is a life-and-death polarity between honor and shame (highly recommended is The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, by David Pryce-Jones; Ivan R. Dee Publishers, Chicago 1989). Leaders in the Arab world know that their survival depends on their supporters’ honoring them, and these leaders’ demise is directly connected to the level of shame they tolerate. So Hamas boasts that it has won the recent war, because if it admits the truth (that it has been decimated by Israel, a non-Islamic power) it will lose its status, its influence and eventually its head in Gaza. Mubarak refuses to stop smuggling on Egypt’s Gaza border because he knows that if he allows foreign forces to operate on Egyptian soil, he will be targeted by Osama Bin Laden and his followers – as another apostate Arab ruler who has allowed the “Western infidel” to obtain another foothold on Islamic soil.

 

Ø  Pray for deliverance and salvation for President Mubarak of Egypt, for the Hamas leadership, and for Mahmoud Abbas and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. While you’re at it, pray for the salvation of many Hizbollah adherents, and for many Syrian and Jordanian seekers of truth.

 

Ø  And end your prayers with one penultimate prayer for the salvation and deliverance of Israel and the Jewish people!

 

In Messiah Yeshua,

 

Avner Boskey

 www.davidstent.org

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=axZLAbvx.p6E

Commentary by Natan Sharansky

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Israel’s war in Gaza has been met with cries of protest around the world. They come from two sources.

First, there are those who oppose any Israeli effort to defend itself, mainly because they don’t believe a Jewish state should exist at all. This is a form of anti-Semitism, and such a view should be rejected outright rather than argued with.

Second, there are those who support Israel’s existence, but believe it is wrong to wage so harsh an assault on the Gaza Strip. This argument also takes two forms: First, that Israel’s response is disproportionate and therefore wrong; and second, that there are less violent ways to handle Hamas — through international pressure, sanctions or negotiations.

Both of these claims, as logical as they may sound, ignore the lessons of history, including Israel’s recent history in fighting terror. In the 10 years I served as a minister in Israel’s security cabinet, I learned just how mistaken such arguments can be.

On June 1, 2001, a suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv. Twenty-one Israelis, mostly young people, were killed, and more than 130 injured. This was the latest in a long string of suicide bombings that had been launched since the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000.

Practicing Restraint

The next day, I took part in a dramatic cabinet meeting to discuss our options — a Sabbath-day meeting, which only a true emergency could justify. Most of the ministers felt decisive action had to be taken. Military officials presented a plan for uprooting the terror infrastructure, through a complex campaign in the heart of Palestinian cities and refugee camps. Though the attack had been carried out by Hamas, it was clear that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had given them a green light. We had both the right and the ability to strike back.

Throughout the meeting, though, our foreign minister kept going in and out of the room, talking to world leaders and reporting back. His message was clear: Right now Israel enjoys the sympathy of the international community. As long as we keep our military response to a minimum, the world will continue to be on our side, and increased diplomatic pressure will rein in the terror. But if we launch a full-scale attack on the terrorists, we risk losing the world’s support and turning Arafat from an aggressor into a victim.

Proportionate Response

Eventually the prime minister was convinced of this approach, and the decision was made to stick to a proportionate response — pinpoint attacks on terror cells, special operations, arrests — and to allow diplomacy to work its magic.

Over the next nine months, Israel held its fire, and the world indeed condemned terrorism. But the attacks only increased. In the heart of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, suicide bombers blew up coffee shops, buses and hotels. Nightlife ground to a halt, tourism was decimated and hotels had to release most of their workers. One of my colleagues in the government, Rehavam Zeevi, was gunned down by terrorists. In the meantime, the U.S. suffered its own terror attacks on Sept. 11 and put intense pressure on us not to retaliate against the Palestinians, for fear of complicating its own war on al-Qaeda.

The situation came to a head in March 2002, when more than 130 Israelis were killed in a single month alone — most infamously on March 27, Passover Eve, at the Park Hotel in Netanya. The next day, the cabinet convened — again, in an extraordinary meeting during a religious holiday. The meeting started at 6 p.m. and lasted the night. This time, however, the government decided to launch Operation Defensive Shield — the same plan the Israel Defense Forces had offered the previous year.

Worst Fears

In the international arena, our worst fears were realized. The United Nations condemned us, and the U.S. dispatched Secretary of State Colin Powell to tell us to stop the assault immediately. The global media mounted a brutal campaign depicting us as war criminals, spreading false rumors of the wholesale butchering of Palestinian civilians, describing the operation as the worst atrocity of modern history.

The most outrageous of these rumors was the Jenin libel, which was portrayed in a film produced largely from the fertile imagination of its director, and then shown around the world. It didn’t matter that, in fact, Israel had taken unprecedented measures to minimize civilian casualties, including refraining from using either aerial or artillery bombardment, putting its own soldiers at unprecedented risk; or that the UN commission that was created to investigate Jenin was soon disbanded for lack of evidence; or that the director of the film admitted that he had misled his audience.

Reputation Destroyed

For years to come, the “Jenin massacre” was the centerpiece of the anti-Israel propaganda machine, reverberating across Europe and on U.S. campuses as the symbol of Israeli iniquity. Our reputation was in tatters.

Yet all this was a small price to pay for what Israel gained. Within a few weeks, Palestinian terror was rendered ineffective, with the number of Israelis killed falling from hundreds per month to fewer than a dozen over the next year. Life returned to Israeli streets. Tourists returned by the hundreds of thousands. The economy started moving again.

No less important, though, was the effect Defensive Shield had on the Palestinians themselves. With the terror infrastructure removed, Palestinians could begin rebuilding their civic institutions and changing their attitude toward violence. Over time, Arafat’s policy of promoting terror was replaced by the far more cautious approach of his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

West Bank Rebirth

In more than six years since the operation, the West Bank’s economy has boomed. If there is hope in the West Bank today, it is because Israel abandoned the ideas of proportionality and diplomacy in handling terror. The West Bank Palestinians know this; for this reason, they have not joined in the world’s rampant condemnation of Israel in the current war. While tens of thousands protest in Europe, West Bankers are mostly silent.

Understanding the war in Gaza means recognizing the lessons of 2002. During the three years that passed after pulling out all troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel chose to respond to Hamas’s deadly, daily rocket attacks with proportionality and diplomacy. The result? More rockets, more missiles, more misery for Palestinians — and enough breathing space for Hamas to take over the Gaza Strip, devastate its society, build a much more powerful arsenal than it had in 2005 and become the vanguard of Iranian expansionism in the region.

Cancer Treatment

Terrorism is a cancer that can’t be cured through “proportional” treatments. It requires invasive surgery. It threatens not only democratic states that are its target, but also — foremost — the local civilians who are forced into its fanatical ranks, deployed as human shields, and devastated by its tyranny.

The longer one waits to treat it, the worse it gets, and the harsher the treatment required to defeat it. In southern Lebanon, where Israel failed to defeat the terrorists in 2006, the disease has only spread: Hezbollah now has three times the missiles it had before, and the terrorists have gained a stranglehold on the Lebanese government. Israel is determined not to repeat this mistake in Gaza.

Just as in 2002, Israel has chosen to fight the heart of terror, in the face of worldwide denunciation, mass demonstrations, UN resolutions, and talk of crimes against humanity. Now, as then, it is the right decision.

The operation is painful: The number of civilians hurt and killed, while far fewer than in comparable operations around the world, is still intolerably high — a reflection of the size and depth of the terror infrastructure that has grown there over the last three years.

As in 2002, the real beneficiaries of a successful Israeli campaign will be the Palestinians themselves. Peace can be found only when Palestinians are given the freedom to build real civic institutions, and a leadership can emerge unafraid of telling its own citizens that violence, fanaticism and martyrdom aren’t the Palestinian way. But this can happen only once the malignancy of terror is removed from their midst. As ugly as it sounds, it is the only source of hope for Gaza.

(Natan Sharansky is chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies in Shalem Center, a former deputy prime minister and the author of the recently published “Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy.” The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the author of this column: Natan Sharansky at natans@shalem.org.il

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1231424927983

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Jan. 11, 2009

 

The false symmetry of UN Security Council Resolution 1860

Dore Gold , THE JERUSALEM POST


Most Israelis regard UN Security Council Resolution 1860 on the Gaza Conflict as a troubling development. It fails to mention the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit who has been in Hamas captivity since 2006. The word “rocket” does not even appear, only general references to condemning “violence and hostilities directed against civilians.” Reading the resolution, one would not be aware that Israel has been under constant rocket attacks since 2001, the real background to the current conflict.

The resolution also suggests a diplomatic sequence that begins with an “immediate” cease-fire, and leaves for the future the efforts of UN member states to provide arrangements that “prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.” Israel halts its defensive operations, but may well be left empty handed at a later stage.

There is also a disturbing symmetry between Israel and the Palestinian side, which appears in Resolution 1860. Despite the language of the resolution, most international observers agree that Israeli civilians should not have to face rocket attacks from Hamas in the future, and hence Hamas must halt this activity. But in Resolution 1860 there is a demand of Israel in parallel, “to ensure the sustained reopening of crossing points” between Israel and Gaza. It is as though the cessation of rocket fire and the opening of the crossing points are symmetric demands that are increasingly mentioned in the same breath by commentators. This is like asking for a quid pro quo for Hamas stopping terrorism.

THIS IS moral equivalence at its worst. Israel should not pay anything to get Hamas to stop firing rockets which is an act of outright aggression against the Jewish State. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the UN Security Council did not seek Kuwaiti concessions alongside its demand of Iraq to withdraw. Israel is not required under international law to trade with a neighbor if it prefers not to. Resolution 1860 makes specific reference to the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). That problematic agreement, which was largely imposed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is today regarded in Israeli circles as a failure, for it did not stop the movement of terrorist operatives in and out of the Gaza Strip.

It was also an agreement that was reached when Mahmud Abbas and his Fatah movement exclusively controlled the Palestinian Authority. In January 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections while in June 2007 Hamas launched a military coup against the PA in Gaza. Hamas provided sanctuary to organizations like Jaish al-Islam or Jaish al-Umma which identified themselves as al-Qaeda affiliates. This put the Hamas regime in a category like the Taliban which had allowed the original al-Qaeda to grow in its domain. Given the completely changed circumstances created by the Hamas takeover, it is surprising that the Security Council came back to hold Israel to an old agreement over Gaza reached with Fatah in the past.

Finally, Israel, with the backing of the Western powers, decided to embargo the Hamas regime in Gaza. Trade embargos are a state’s inherent right, like the US embargo of Iran or Cuba. Hamas is a particularly severe case for it calls for Israel’s destruction, engages in suicide terrorism against Israeli citizens, and brainwashes Palestinian children with anti-Semitic hatred. To compel Israel to open the Gaza crossing points is to deny Israel a valid economic instrument to exercise its right to self-defense against a regime that seeks its eradication.

Perhaps underpinning Resolution 1860 is an assumption of normalized relations in the future between Hamas and the State of Israel. This makes the US abstention at the UN all the more disturbing. The Bush administration, which led the diplomatic fight against terrorism after 9/11, appears to be acquiescing to granting rights to a terror regime that in reality should not earn any more international protection than the Taliban did in 2001.

 

The writer served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN and today is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

 

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1231424927983&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull

Copyright 1995- 2009 The Jerusalem Post – http://www.jpost.com/

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1054275.html

 

ANALYSIS / UN Gaza truce resolution was serious diplomatic malfunction

By Aluf Benn Haaretz 11 January 2008


Resolution 1860 by the United Nations Security Council, which called for a
cease-fire in Gaza, should be seen as an expression of the international
community’s discomfort about the continued fighting.

It does not dictate halting the Israeli operation nor does it demand the
immediate pullout of Israel Defense Forces troops from the Strip before
security arrangements are made to guarantee long-term stability.

But even if the decision bears no operative significance, it should stir
concerns in Israel for three reasons. First, things are not going to get
better. This is the international position, which identifies with the
Palestinian suffering and ignores Gilad Shalit’s fate and the suffering of
the people in Israel’s south.

Second, although Hamas is not mentioned in the resolution – which it has
rejected – Khaled Meshal, Ismail Haniyeh and their friends have good reason
to smile. Hamas’ Gaza regime now enjoys the legitimacy afforded it by the
Security Council, the international community’s highest institution. That’s
because Resolution 1680 refers to a Hamas republic as a fait accompli.

The resolution does not demand that the Strip be returned to the Palestinian
Authority, except in the call for a renewed settlement for the crossings,
which will be based on the old agreement between Israel and the PA. Nor does
the resolution call for disarming the militias and terrorist groups
operating in the Gaza Strip.

Third, the process that led to the passing of the resolution points to
Jerusalem’s failure in handling the issue. Israel objected to having the war
end in a Security Council resolution similar to the one that ended the
Second Lebanon War. This is probably why Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni – who
led those who oppose an agreement for fear it might legitimize Hamas – opted
to stay at home instead of heading over to the UN headquarters in New York.

Israel made a similar mistake a few years ago, when it refused to appear
before the International Court of Justice in the Hague when it reviewed the
separation fence. And the problem with this decision is that he UN, like the
justices in Hague, ruled without taking Israel’s position into account.

A situation like this makes Israel dependent on the United States. But U.S.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice supported the UN Resolution and assisted
with its formulation. Livni was in contact with Rice in an attempt to soften
its wording.

At the last minute, at 3:30 A.M., Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also intervened
with a desperate phone call to President George W. Bush, requesting that the
United States veto the resolution. Bush refused, simply instructing Rice to
abstain from the vote.

One doesn’t need to know all the details to realize that a late-night phone
call between national leaders is the result of a major malfunction in the
diplomatic handling of state matters, which reveals a problem in the
relationship between Israel and the United States.

If it were not for Bush’s friendship, the United States would have joined
the supporters of Resolution 1860.

http://www.ifij.org/all/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=291&Itemid=1

 

Special Alert #3
As the fighting in Gaza enters the third week Israel is once again at a crossroads where it must make strategic choices. At this point, it seems clear that while Hamas has taken a major blow to its infrastructure, weapons stockpiles, and the loss of a small number of its fighters (their force was estimated to be 15,000-20,000 fighters), this terror organization is still active, in place, and ruling Gaza.

Israel has mobilized about 10,000 reservists who have spent the last week training and are now ready to go. As we said in the last Special Alert, you cannot keep troops in a high state of readiness indefinitely.

Israel must make a decision: Withdraw from Gaza either unilaterally, or with some kind of truce mechanism in place. Both of these are bad choices. At best, Israel will only achieve a “victory on points, not the conclusive victory it is aiming for. Hamas continues to pound Israel with rockets, now hitting as far inland as Beersheva, and according to some reports, as close as 17 Km. south of Tel Aviv.

Expanding the ground operation to the next stage might include taking over the Philadelphi corridor (between Egypt and Gaza), where the smuggling tunnels are situated. Other options to “stage 3” are expanding the fighting to the central part of Gaza (Khan Yunis) and even house to house fighting in the center of Gaza City. The army estimates that stage 3 would take an additional 20 days to accomplish. That would bring us to 31 January, 10 days before elections.

Meanwhile, on the streets of the nations and in the U.N., calls for an unequal “cease fire” are being heard with greater frequency and violence. U.N. resolution 1860, calling for a cease fire in Gaza, basically puts Israel, a sovereign nation, and Hamas, a terrorist organization, on the same level. It does not call for disarming the terrorists in Gaza and it does not even mention Israel’s captive soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel appealed directly to President Bush to veto the resolution, but he declined to do so. While this resolution is not “binding”, and Hamas rejected it outright anyway, it is a bad harbinger of things to come.

This past weekend demonstrations were held all over the world blaming Israel for a “massacre” of the Palestinians; not one word was mentioned of the constant terror southern Israel has been experiencing for the last three years. The dictionary defines a massacre as: “The act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty. A cruel or wanton murder.” None of these definitions applies to what is happening in Gaza. Yes, some children and civilians are dying in Gaza, but we must ask and answer the question, why? They are dying because Hamas is fighting in the midst of this civilian population and using these civilians as living shields to protect them from the Israeli Army. (There are documented pictures of Hamas terrorists holding children in front of them to keep Israeli soldiers from firing at them, and pictures of Hamas mortar squads firing from U.N. schools which are supposed to be places of refugee for the Palestinian civilians.) Many of these fighters are wearing civilian, not military clothes, and they are fighting from Mosques as well as schools. The Hamas leadership is in hiding, reportedly in a bunker under Shifra Hospital in Gaza.

While the children are innocent victims, most of their parents do not qualify as innocent. Two thirds of the population of Gaza voted for Hamas in the last elections. They voted for a terror organization who has promised never to recognize Israel, never to make peace with her, and to fight with all means (including suicide bombers) until Israel is totally destroyed.

Although Israel is far from perfect, and in war accidents do happen, what other nation has both dropped leaflets from the air and even called Gazans on their phones calling on them to move out of areas that are occupied by the terrorists or have weapons caches. Did Germany warn London before the V2 bombs dropped? Did the USA and UK warn Dresden before it was firebombed? Did the USA warn the Iraqis before the “shock and awe” bombing of the Second Gulf War?

In the midst of this battle, Israel has agreed to a daily three hour cease fire (1-4 PM) so that food and medical supplies can be brought into Gaza. As Israel “ceases,” Hamas continues to “fire” rockets into Israel. What other country in the history of warfare has ever done something like this? Yet, we are maligned and condemned in most of the nations of the world.

At Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, P.M. Olmert said it very well: “No country in the world, including those that preach morals to us, would have shown restraint as we have. We knew this wouldn’t be simple, and what is acceptable for every other country in the world is barely accepted when it comes to Israel. We have never allowed anyone to decide for us whether we are allowed to strike those that hurl bombs at our kindergartens and schools and we never will agree to that in the future. No resolution that was made or will be made in the future that will deprive us of our basic right to defend the residents of Israel.” Let us pray that these will not just be nice sounding but empty words, but that they will be a standard of operation that Israel will be committed to.

Our prayer points come from Special Alerts 1&2 and this Friday’s Prayer Points:

Pray for:

  • Clarity, courage, and sound judgment for Israel’s political and military leadership. That they have the strength of soul and spirit, as well as the determined resolve to see this battle through to the proper conclusion.

    “And said to the judges, ‘Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.'”

    2 Chronicles 19:6

  • That the end of this conflict will also include the release of our prisoner in Gaza Gilad Shalit. That this will be a non-negotiable demand of Israel.
  • That Israel will take over the “Philadelphi Route.”
  • Protection of the innocent on both sides of the battle lines especially the children.

    Thus says the LORD: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”

    Jer 31:15

  • Israel to strike a hard and decisive blow on the Hamas infrastructure and terrorist leadership.

    God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown. I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

    Psalm 7:11-17

  • Israel to have an anointing and ability to explain to the world why this is happening and to remain committed to finishing it properly, in spite of the worlds condemnations and accusations.

    Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD — Your salvation according to Your word. So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I have hoped in Your ordinances.

    Psalm 119:41-43

  • The Israeli elections: that they will not be postponed, nor that this long overdue Israeli response to the ongoing terror will shift the election into the hands of those who are responsible for the condition in the first place. We ask for an overwhelming victory for Likud and Netanyahu — because they are the one major political party much closer to Your revealed will for this nation. Anoint Netanyahu and the rest of the Likud team with real wisdom and sharpness to lay out the situation clearly once election campaigning restarts. Awaken Israelis to truth. Give us a government through whom You can glorify Yourself.

    “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.”

    Ezekiel 36:23

  • Extreme vigilance for Israel’s intelligence services so we are not surprised by an attack by Hizbullah or Syria. Pray also that there would be clear communication between the intelligence services and divine wisdom as to what to act on and what not to. In addition, pray that policy would be driven by what’s truly best for the nation and not by politics or personal ambition.

    And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”

    2Kings 6:12

  • While we pray for the safety of all of Israel’s soldiers, please remember that many Messianic believers are serving at this time and more may be called to the battle.
  • Pray that Israel will not have any more “friendly fire” incidents.
  • Ultimately, that God’s will is done.

    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

    Jeremiah 29:11

    For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “THE DELIVERER WILL COME OUT OF ZION, AND HE WILL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB; FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”

    Romans 11:25-27

The IFI Team
11 January 2009
Jerusalem

www.ifij.org

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