The following was presented in the introduction to Part I (Turmoil in Israel), and repeated in the Part II post (Tragedy in Israel):
When you combine the turmoil of an Israeli government following the country’s 4th election (March 23, 2021) in two years … still unable to form a majority coalition of 61 seats in the Knesset, with the tragedy on Mount Meron (April 30th); followed recently by terror inflicted on Israelis via indiscriminate firing of over 4,000 missiles from Gaza into Israel (beginning on May 10th); preceded by tens of thousands of Arabs rioting in several towns, including Jerusalem (earlier in May); an argument could be made that Israel’s resolve and resiliency have not been tested like this since the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2014.
Some would say not since the Palestinian intifada of 2001. Others might even compare the inner turmoil—political, social, and (most of all) religious division among Israelis—combined with the Mt. Meron tragedy in which 45 men and boys were crushed to death during what was supposed to be one of the most jubilant religious celebrations among Orthodox Jews; plus, the recent Palestinian terrorism uprising to constitute the most difficult time in Israel’s 73-year history since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Also, the challenge and premise applicable to all three articles will be partially repeated:
Challenge: …a respectful but also robust challenge to Israelis and to Jews throughout the world (whether religious or secular) … that the recent developments in Israel should be a wake-up call to look up for divine guidance in general. And for their returning Messiah in particular.
Premise: The current (internal) turmoil produced in part by Israel’s political system and sometimes dysfunctional government, the tragedy of the recent Meron disaster, and the terror caused by the latest war between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization contain precedents, parallels, and patterns … preparing and even precipitating the return of both Christ (Jesus) and Antichrist (Nero).
Terror & Terrorism
As with turmoil in Part I and tragedy in Part II, let’s look at the definition of terror in this week’s post. Grasping the far-reaching meaning of each term provides that much more insight on what is happening in Israel, in these last days of the end times.
Webster’s Dictionary defines terror: “A state of intense fear; a frightening aspect (ex: invasion); a cause of anxiety; worry.” Also, “Reign of terror … violence (as bomb-throwing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.”
Some synonyms of terror: dread, alarm, panic, shock.
Terrorize: “to fill with terror, or anxiety. To coerce by threat or violence.”
Terrorism: “the systematic use of terror, esp. as a means of coercion.”
That’s what terrorists do: they systematically (sometimes spontaneous, but more often planned) terrorize innocent civilians to intimidate and get concessions from them and/or their government. But also, just for the sake of maiming and killing … borne out of hatred for their victims. That and pure evil.
(We all know where we were when we first heard. In just a couple of months, it will be twenty years)
It is no (statistical) secret. The facts show undeniably: the greater majority of those who fit these definitions/profiles of terrorists are Muslims.
Their religious and political ideology are deep-rooted in Islam. Their chief enemies are Jews, Christians, and, depending on the two main branches of Islam … Shi’ite or Sunni, other Muslims when necessary.
Terrorism covers the gamut of lone wolf attacks (guns, knives, rocks, firebombs, car-ramming, explosives wired to their bodies); to small groups/gangs (beginning with airplane, bus, train hijackings … now frontal attacks using guns and grenades); to well-rehearsed larger cells of say eight or more (Munich Olympics and 9/11 … plus rioting in general). To much larger groups with thousands or tens of thousands of well-armed soldiers led by religious/political fanatics that function like a quasi-government and paramilitary … such as Boko Haram in Africa, Taliban in Afghanistan, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen, Hamas in the Gaza Strip of Israel.
Plus, international terrorism ruthlessly dispensed by Al-Quada and ISIS at their terroristic worst.
Not to mention entire nations or national governments ruled by Islamic dictators that have terrorized their own people, e.g., Iraq, Iran, Syria, and several African countries. With Iran funding Hezbollah, Hamas, and Houthis.
With exception of communist nations (China, North Korea, some say Russia still is), they are ALL Muslim. There is no Islamophobia going on here. It is the plain truth of the matter.
With regard to these terrorists and their terrorism, it is not much different in Israel.
With, however, one exceptional exception. It has been going on (and off, but mostly on) for 73 years; ever since Israel’s rebirth as a Sovereign State, and the only democracy in the Middle East at that. Jewish parents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in Israel have all faced terror in some sinister shape or another.
At first it was entire Islamic Arab nations who tried to destroy Israel in four different wars. Beginning with armies from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt attacking Jews the day after Israel declared statehood on May 14, 1948. After the Six-Day War of 1967, and particularly the Yom Kippur War of 1973, these Arab nations realized they could not defeat Israel by conventional warfare.
Consequently, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) decided to take up the cause of driving Jews out of Israel via terrorism and substituting a Palestinian State. Not a state alongside Israel; rather a Muslim/Arab state in place of Israel. That’s exactly what the Palestinian mantra means when it boasts: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
And that is precisely what the Palestinian Authority President meant when he said:
After the Palestinian Authority was formed during the ill-fated Oslo Accords of 1993, the Palestinians (Arab non-citizens of Israel) began to use terrorism as the regular weapon of choice. That and the attempt to gain international sympathy and support via the oft used tactic of Muslims making martyrs out of their murderers. “Resistance-fighters” out of their terrorists.
Time/space in this article do not permit elaboration to refute the derogatory insinuations and blatant lies perpetuated against Israel that falsely accuse Israeli Jews and/or the Israeli government of such things as apartheid. Or using terms like occupation and settlers as though the Jews have no right to live in certain areas of Israel. For purpose of today’s article, I will simply repeat what has been documented at greater length in prior Eye of Prophecy articles: There is absolutely NO APARTHEID in Israel. There is categorically NO OCCPATION (illegally or even in the negative sense of the word).
For an in-depth look at the real history of Israel and the Palestinian issue combined with current (accurate) facts on the ground, please consider some of the Eye of Prophecy articles on this subject. Such as (chronological order of posting):
Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? (Posted 5-16-15)
Can A Murderer Be A Martyr? (1-30-16)
The Myth of Al Aqsa Mosque (4-16-16)
Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda (9-17-16)
Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount, Part I & II (8-5 & 8-12-17)
The Real Reason for Palestinian Terrorism (9-30-17)
The “Right of Return” … For Palestinians or Jews? (4-7-18)
Israel’s Controversial Nation-State Law (8-11-18)
Judea/Samaria & Gaza Strip / Who Has Sovereignty? (5-11-19)
Jewish Settlements in Judea/Samaria … Are They Illegal? (11-23-19)
Palestine or Israel? Which Is It? / Your Answer May be in Jeopardy! (1-18-20)
Israel’s Annexation of Occupied Territories? We Must Define the Terms (6-27-20)
If you haven’t, please read some or even all these articles, then draw your own conclusions.
Elusive Peace in Israel
I have been to Israel (March 2006 with one of my sisters), although I wasn’t your typical tourist with a tour group visiting the cherished sites of the Holy Land. My main purpose was to gather geographic and demographic data for my first book (a novel, entitled O Israel). Most of the time, we rented a car. On a couple of occasions, we took a taxi.
Obviously, in the fifteen years since that trip some things have changed in and around Israel. Yet many things have not changed, not the least of which is the contemporary Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nor the endless struggle between Arab and Jew beginning some 3,800 years ago … Ishmael and Isaac. Then between Muslims (mostly Arabs) and Jews beginning about 1,400 years ago.
(Protesters near Damascus Gate leading to Old City of Jerusalem. One of three gates my sister and I went through during our trip to Israel. The actual entrance is obscured in the photo by a Palestinian flag. Several of these protests turned into riots in early May, 2021)
In the context of this trilogy’s themes, I will mention only three features of that trip.
With a preface: these observations representatively affirm that there is nothing whatsoever in Israel to even suggest a condition of apartheid—which did occur years ago in South Africa. Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel) have equal rights to Jewish Israelis, including but not limited to voting and holding office in the Knesset, that the indigenous blacks of South Africa never had.
Even the non-citizen Palestinians—who refuse to become citizens of Israel unless it’s by marrying an Israeli Arab—of the Gaza Strip and Judea/Samaria (aka West Bank) have privileges that many of their fellow Arabs in Islamic countries do not have. Not the least of which is a higher standard of living … excepting the oil-rich families of the Gulf States. Nor, for example, Palestinians living in Syria and Lebanon; many of whom are being mistreated as second and third-class citizens by the governments of those nations. Consequently, many are poverty-stricken.
Those three things:
(1) Our first taxi driver (Sammie) who served as a tour guide for the initial part of our trip to Jerusalem (we started in Tel Aviv) was born of an Egyptian father and Jewish mother. And, of all things, he passionately believed that Jesus was/is the Messiah and would someday return to Jerusalem! I hope he is still in business!
(2) Our last taxi driver simply drove us from the Old City of Jerusalem to our hotel in the newer part of the Holy City. He was an Israeli Arab, approximately 62 years old. I asked him point-blank if he and his fellow Arab citizens (including non-citizen Palestinians) were better off in a democratic Jewish nation than he and his ancestors were under a non-state (territorial) Jordanian rule (most of Jerusalem from 1948-1967); British mandate (1917-1948); and Ottoman Turk empire (some four hundred years before that).
His answer … “yes.” However, with a disclaimer. He said that the land (of Israel) does not belong to the Jews but to his people. Yet he stopped short of saying that there should be a Palestinian state.
This has been and still is the main dividing line and stumbling block between Muslim and Jew. Muslims simply will not acknowledge:
(A) the Jews have been in Israel since God gave the Promised Land to them nearly 4,000 years ago. Whereas the Arabs did not occupy (in the negative sense of the word) Israel until Mohammed invented Islam in the 7th century AD and began killing and subjugating Jews.
(B) For several years now, the Jews in Israel have outnumbered both the Arab Israelis and the Palestinians in Israel. Even though the ultimate right for the existence of the one Jewish nation on earth stems from the only true God granting them in perpetuity this small portion of land—plus 3,300 years of inhabiting (settling) and possessing (occupying in the neutral sense of the word) the Promised Land with Jerusalem as its eternal capital under King David around 1,000 B.C.—the fact that there are more Jews in Israel than Arabs is a point that cannot be dismissed. If for no other reason than this (population) numbers card has been played by the Arabs for years.
(3) In 2005 (just a few months before my trip to Israel), some 10,000 Israeli Jews were evicted by their own government (Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the time) from their homes in the Gaza Strip, many under police and military “escort” (coercion). They were relocated throughout Israel. Please understand: The Gaza Strip is geographically part of the sovereign state of Israel. The Jews were not “settlers” in Gaza nor were they “occupying” it. They were removed mostly for security but also for geopolitical reasons.
Much could be said about that unfortunate decision; however, only one point will be made in the context of today’s article: To this day, there are those (misinformed, uninformed, refuse to be informed) who erroneously think or say that Israeli Jews occupy the Gaza Strip and/or segregate it.
(A not so new) Newsflash: There are no Jews living in the Gaza Strip, nor have they for 16 years. Nor do the Gazan Palestinians want Jews there or want to be part of the State of Israel. Because they do not even recognize Israel’s right to exist. It is the Jews who are segregated by/from Gaza.
(One of the sad scenes during the 2005 expulsion of Jews from Gaza, some by force)
Consequently, Hamas refuses to participate in peace discussions with Israelis. Nor will Hamas (which began their autocratic Gaza rule in 2007) recognize or be part of a Palestinian State with the Palestinian Authority (headquartered in Ramallah of Judea/Samaria region) running that state. In fact, the Palestinian Authority / Fatah and Hamas are bitter enemies.
With whom is Israel supposed to negotiate? It would be sheer madness for Israelis to consider the creation of another state within its borders (with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt) when the people of that state cannot even agree on whether to hold elections. Nor would one Palestinian side recognize the legitimacy of the other’s government even if an election would produce such and such a leader or leaders. Plus, it’s absurdly impractical to create a Palestinian state with what would be two or three separated boundaries, as opposed to contiguous borders within Israel proper.
Terror in Israel
The deep mourning of all Israel over the Mt. Meron Lag B’Omer tragedy of April 30, 2021, had barely begun when the Palestinians in Judea/Samaria, joined shortly afterward by thousands of Arab Israelis, followed a few days later by the terror organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip decided to add terror to Israel’s turmoil and tragedy. A reign of terror; literally raining down missiles in Israel.
Not that Arabs in Israel—usually Palestinians, but in this latest episode also thousands of rioting Israeli Arab citizens—need an excuse (pretense) to wreak as much havoc as they can get away with before Israel is forced to respond. Some terror attacks are a spur-of-the-moment result of incitement by Palestinian leaders.
However, from the evidence collected during this latest spate of terror or gleaned after the cease-fire (5-21-2021) between Hamas and Israel, it’s clear that the sequence of events was mostly planned … deliberate. Each provocation was more calculated than impulsive. The Palestinians and Israeli Arabs knew that the attacks on Israeli Jews and their property (beatings, rocks, Molotov cocktails, burning, looting, missiles from Gaza) would produce a response from Israeli police and military. They reckoned that Israel’s response to defend and protect her people would be perceived as entirely disproportional in the eyes of the world; thereby, generating more (senseless) sympathy for the “underdog.”
It’s All About Jerusalem
One feature of this latest engagement (May 10 through 21) between Hamas and Israel that is like the previous three (limited) wars of 2008, 2012, and 2014: the launching of missiles (over 4,300) into Israel. With Israel’s (necessary) retaliation of some 1,500 air strikes by the IDF Air Force. Israel hit Hamas hard and rightfully so considering Hamas’ massive number of missiles and, as we will soon see, the out-and-out arrogance of Hamas leaders.
However, there were two aspects of this Arab/Palestinian uprising different than past episodes of terrorism.
(1) The widespread rioting and violent attacks against Jews and Jewish property by Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel) instead of the non-citizen Palestinians of Judea/Samaria. Albeit, with a great deal of incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and by his military arm Fatah.
(2) Jerusalem as the center of attention like never. In fact, the Israeli Defense Force named this military operation in response to Hamas’ missile barrage, “Guardian of the Walls.” Referring primarily to the Western Wall in Jerusalem just below Temple Mount. Hamas labeled their (unprovoked) missile attack that struck several Israeli cities including Tel Aviv and even Jerusalem itself: “Sword of Jerusalem.”
Hamas’ switch in reasons (excuses) for launching their periodic missile and mortar attacks indiscriminately into Israel cities was summarized by retired Israeli Navy commander Eliezer Marom in his article posted 6-1-2021 in Israel Hayom, entitled: It must be clear: Jerusalem is not up for discussion. He writes:
“…Hamas gambled and started the latest round using a different narrative than it employed in the previous ones. It was no longer about ‘resistance’ and defending the Gaza Strip and its residents from ‘the siege,’ but rather about ‘protecting Jerusalem and hurting anyone who attacks it.’ The Palestinian public was fired up and we saw Arab Israelis take to the streets.”
*Note: Hamas’ audacity and conceit is clearly on display nowadays. They no longer imply; rather they insist that ALL Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs, not just the eastern portion to include Temple Mount.
Eliezer Marom continues: “Ultimately, in war, the image of victory is a mental one. At the end of this round, Hamas managed to cast itself in the eyes of some of the Palestinian public as the defender of Jerusalem. The IDF’s success in crushing Hamas’ military capabilities has not been sufficiently publicized. Hamas is trying to create a new equation in which any attack on Jerusalem, such as evicting residents of Sheikh Jarrah (more on that incident in a moment) or police entering the Temple Mount compound, will lead to Hamas rocket fire on civilian targets in central Israel. We cannot accept that (parenthesis mine)”
(One of the Israeli Jews dwellings damaged during the 11-days of Hamas missiles into Israel)
This latest action between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas (funded by Iran) is yet another prelude to this well-known, soon-to-unfold end times Biblical prophecy:
“This message concerning the fate of Israel came from the Lord. ‘This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves’” (Zechariah 12:1-3).
I am convinced that one of the reasons (a pretense because nearby nations, including Arab Muslim nations don’t really care about the Palestinians) for the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel (led by Russia, Iran, and Turkey) soon after the Rapture will be to assist the Palestinians of Israel in their avowed goal to “free Palestine.” To “liberate Jerusalem” from the Jews.
According to Ezekiel 38 & 39, God Himself will unilaterally and utterly crush this coalition.
Then, near the end of the Great Tribulation, Zechariah’s (Chapters 12 & 14) prophecy plus that of Daniel Chapter 11 will unfold. With Antichrist and his alliance invading Israel for any number of reasons, to include ostensibly “deliverance” of the Palestinians from the Israelis.
More so than ever, both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs fabricated threats of Jewish attacks against Al Aqsa Mosque on Israel’s most holy site (Temple Mount) as an excuse to attack Israeli Jews and provoke Israeli police. That and distorting the evidence and deceiving themselves and anyone who didn’t want to know all the facts about a situation in Jerusalem involving (alleged arbitrary) eviction of Arab residents from their homes … without cause. When, in fact, they were tenants simply not paying their rent and had not for decades.
The Sheikh Jarrah Saga
Several op-ed articles were posted about the Sheikh Jarrah episode, with the authors explaining the real circumstances (history).Thereby, exposing the lies foisted by and on both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Arabs, as well as misinformation from some international media sources, especially those that are subjectively slanted against Israel.
Even then, a recent poll disclosed that only about 25% of Arabs in Israel believed the distortions about Israel’s handling of the Sheikh Jarrah dilemma. Which means the majority knew all too well the rest of the story.
In 1973 well-known Israeli diplomat Abba Eban said (in the context of Arab/Palestinians not terribly interested in peace negotiations):
This time they seized the moment because what they were about to do was anything but peaceful. Why not use the lies about Sheikh Jarrah and Temple Mount to protest, riot, terrorize, and attack Jews and destroy Jewish property (Israeli Arabs)? And to lob thousands of deadly missiles and mortars into Israel (Hamas).
Time/space only permits a condensed version as found in excerpts from a couple of these articles. Beginning with: Media lies about Sheikh Jarrah feed a false narrative. Written by James Sinkinson, President of and posted originally on June 13, 2021, for FLAME (Facts and Logic About the Middle East); reposted in Jewish News Syndicate.
“In the days leading up to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, the mainstream media and various talking heads were provocatively reporting on the ‘eviction’ or ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Palestinians from their homes in eastern Jerusalem in favor of ‘Jewish settlers.’ Thus begins one of the most outrageous sagas of twisted journalism and media disinformation so far this century. The New Yorker’s Steve Coll disingenuously put it this way: ‘For many Palestinians, the eviction cases evoked a long history of dispossession while presenting evidence of continued efforts to remove them from the city.’
“Few journalists—and certainly not Coll—bothered to provide background beyond these breathless declarations, which at times bordered on incitement and anti-Semitism, and which are part of the wider battle against the legitimacy of Jews in their national, indigenous and ancestral homeland.”
*Note: There has never been a case of Israeli Jews attempting, “to remove them (Palestinian Arabs) from the city (Jerusalem)”, merely for the purpose of dispossession or ethnic cleansing. In fact, it’s just the opposite. As Sinkinson goes on to explain and as I (and others) have written about the contemporary history of Israel; it was Jordan (Arabs) who in 1948 forcefully evicted Jews from most of Jerusalem, including the Old City which lies in the eastern part of Jerusalem. Not until Israel won a stunning victory over superior Arab armies in the phenomenal Six-Day War of 1967, did Israel reclaim what rightfully belonged to her … ALL of Israel and ALL of Jerusalem.
Only to relinquish some of the territory back to Egypt (Gaza & Sinai) and Jordan (Temple Mount). Then land sections known as A & B of Judea/Samaria to the Palestinian Arabs. With, however, ultimate jurisdiction maintained by the sovereign Jewish State of Israel.
James Sinkinson goes on to explain that the Sheikh Jarrah community in question was (illegally, due to illegitimate occupation and administration by Jordan) “arranged for the housing of 28 Arab families in the area of the abandoned residential compounds in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood….”
Sheikh Jarrah is the burial site of a 3rd century B.C. Jewish high priest, Shimon Hatzadik who served, “…700-800 years before the arrival of Muslim invaders.”
He stated, “Most importantly, the New Yorker … failed to clarify that the properties in question were legally purchased in 1875 by two Jewish trusts committed to the development of the Jewish population of Jerusalem… After Israel liberated these areas in the 1967 Six-Day, the Jewish families who had had their homes and lands confiscated—and had the deeds to prove it—began proceedings to reclaim them. In 1972, these claims were accepted by the courts, and ownership was returned to the original owners.”
(Shiekh Jarrah community in Jerusalem)
The rightful Jewish owners of these houses/properties agreed to allow the Arab tenants to remain, with (the obvious) condition that they honor the leases and pay rent. Not only didn’t the Arabs pay rent and/or move out when their lease expired, they damaged and destroyed some of the buildings including an old synagogue.
James Sinkinson then accurately stated in his article: “Like all tenants who refuse to pay their agreed rent and (who) damage property, they were legally called to leave. Eviction notices were issued, but the tenants refused to leave, despite exhausting all legal avenues open to them….”
He then summarized by explaining how international media in their incomplete and dishonest reporting of this situation, “gives the false impression that these Arabs lived on their own property since time immemorial” (italics in the text).
In a more recent article entitled: The 2021 Gaza War: An overview reprinted in Jewish News Syndicate, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and journalist Dore Gold explained the two reasons given by Hamas in attacking Israel.
Wrote Dore Gold:
“According to Hamas, the 2021 war was caused by Israeli actions in Jerusalem: first, the Palestinian protests around the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Hamas spokesman argued that Israel was planning to evict residents from that area. But in truth, this was a legal dispute that had been under consideration by Israeli courts for many years….
“This was not a dispute between indigenous Arab residents and new Israeli ‘settlers’ as it is often portrayed today. The legal battle over Sheikh Jarrah went all the way up to the Israeli Supreme Court, which evaluated the orders issued by lower courts to evict the squatters and ordered Israeli Police to enact the ruling.”
Dore Gold then labeled the next sub-heading in his article (in bold letters):
“The Israeli ‘threat’ to the al-Aqsa Mosque”
Followed by: “Hamas claims that a second cause of the Gaza attack was events on the Temple Mount, namely Israeli police stopping rioting and stone-throwing from inside the barricaded al-Aqsa Mosque. Since the early 20th century, the Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem sought to use the so-called threat to the Muslim religious shrines on the Temple Mount as an instrument to rally (incitement) public opinion” (parenthesis mine).
Large rocks, firebombs, and firecrackers (the kind that can cause injury) were hurled from Temple Mount onto Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below with the intention of luring a large contingency of police to respond. The rioters then pelted the police with more stones and Molotov cocktails. Police responded with stun grenades and water cannons. Palestinians cunningly convinced the (mostly) uninformed international media that, “the Israeli Police decided to attack peaceful Muslim worshippers on Temple Mount.”
*Note: Are rocks and firebombs part and parcel of Islamic worship….?
(Stockpiled rocks inside Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount)
Fortunately, there were no police fatalities; however, 18 were wounded.
As written by Shmuel Katz in an article posted in Jewish News Syndicate (May 24, 2021) entitled, Anti-Semitic lies, Israeli truths:
“Hamas gave an ultimatum to Israel on May 10 to leave the Temple Mount and Sheikh Jarrah, and release by 6 p.m. all Arab rioters who were caught and arrested. Israel ignored this insane ultimatum, and Hamas started a massive assault on Jerusalem and other Israeli locations, launching multiple rockets…”
*Note: several of these rockets didn’t make it out of the Gaza Strip, instead falling prematurely onto Palestinians in Gaza, killing several of their own people. Twelve Israeli Jews were killed. Were it not for Israel’s amazing Iron Dome defense (shooting missiles out of the sky before they reach their target), it is estimated that dozens, if not hundreds of Israelis might have died.
Just before Hamas initiated its barrage against Israel, its top leader Ismail Haniyeh had the gall to issue a warning directly to (then) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to, “play with fire” in Jerusalem.
*Note: How vainly ironic when 26 fires were ignited in Israel by Gazans sending fire kites and balloons into Israel. And the fires that burned cars, homes, businesses, and synagogues started by Israeli Arabs throughout Israel. With a Hamas military leader issuing this threat to Israeli Jews: “we’re here to burn you, to make you wish you were dead. You will not enjoy a decent life….”
Then Haniyeh brazenly boasted: “Neither you, nor your army and police, can win this battle.”
Naturally, Haniyeh’s counterpart—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (these two Palestinian Arab leaders are sworn enemies)—had to get his two cents worth of incitement in by acclaiming the “courageous stand” of the protesters (rioters actually). On Palestinian T.V. he claimed that Israel bore full liability for the violence.
There were other condemnations of Israel’s justified response to ruthless attacks on Israeli Jews and mass destruction of Jewish property, but one needs only to consider the sources. Thus, I would be remiss if I didn’t cite the biased, anti-Semitic (don’t bother me with facts) quote from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders:
“The United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward.”
Note: there is no city or territory, or jurisdictionally zoned area called East Jerusalem. Even if there were, the Shiekh Jarrah neighborhood is in the northern section of Jerusalem, not the eastern portion as such.
Plus, one of the Squad Members, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted: “We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.” She then labeled Israel’s actions as, “state violence.”
Israeli Arab Rioting
As alluded to earlier, one unusual feature of this current uprising was the virtually unprecedented violence perpetrated by Israeli Arabs on a massive scale … citizens of Israel as opposed to Palestinians non-citizens.
In an article written by Itsik Saban posted in Israel Hayom on May 27, 2021, we read:
“The recent clashes between Jewish and Arab Israelis in the country’s mixed-population towns were worse than the public believed and bordered on anarchy, Border Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Amir Cohen said. They were, ‘the stuff of nightmares. The police are not to blame for the riots nor for the vandalism or brutality,’ he said of the shocking events in Lod, where clashes were so severe the city had to be placed on emergency lockdown.
‘That day, tens of thousands of rioters flooded the streets of Lod, Akko, Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Bat Yam and Umm el-Fahm, and even if the police had had hundreds of additional officers, unfortunately, we still would not have been able to be everywhere.’
The article continued: “Indeed, the May riots required the activation of 20 companies of Border Police reservists—a first in the country’s history.”
He then quoted Commander Cohen again: “We’re not the Israel Defense Forces, which faces a known, familiar enemy—we’re police officers facing our fellow Israelis. I never expected an Israeli citizen, even an Israeli Arab, to point a gun at law enforcement. I saw mobs storming innocent bystanders…”
Several Jews were injured. Three were killed by Arabs—one by gunfire, two beaten to death. Jewish homes and businesses were vandalized and/or set afire.
(Israeli home vandalized by Arab rioters)
Rabbi Avi Berman described the devastation in the city of Lod: “…While it is a mixed Jewish-Muslim community, this was the first time that the Jewish community living there experienced rioting led by their neighbors. The experience was absolutely shocking…”
For Israeli Jews, it was a two-front war of terrorism against them, with individual Muslims and Arab gangs terrorizing Jews mostly in northern and central Israel. Then, Hamas from the Gaza strip creating terror among hundreds of thousands of Jews in southern and central Israel, including Israel’s two largest cites, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The kind of terror that keeps people from leaving their homes night or day for fear of being assaulted or the need to protect their house from vandalism. The distress which gives them less than 15 seconds to run to a bomb shelter when sirens warn of incoming missiles.
In an article posted in Israel Hayom on 6-8-2021 by Maytal Yasur Beit-Or entitled, Study: Israelis’ psychological resilience took a hit during Gaza War, she wrote:
“The research looked into the level of psychological resilience and social cohesion of the Israeli population and found that respondents’ level of resilience had been dropping since the COVID pandemic and saw a significant drop during Operation Guardian of the Walls last month.
“…measured from 1 (lowest) to 5 (strongest). In 2018, the Israeli population’s average level of resilience stood at 4.33. When the second COVID wave was at its height in October 2020, the average level of resilience stood at 3.41; and during Operation Guardian of the Walls, it dropped to 2.47.
“Should the drop … continue, they warned, it could ‘seriously damage Israeli society’s ability to recover and return to normal life.’”
The Turmoil, Tragedy, and Terror of It All
Three types of troubles and trials from three different sources; each, I believe, for the testing of how Jews will respond—individually and as a nation.
Part I, Turmoil (Self Inflicted, From Within): A result of two years of the Israeli government in limbo. Even the recent bare majority Knesset coalition is fragile at best.
Part II, Tragedy (Possibly Providential, From Above?): 45 Orthodox Jews died in an ironically tragic twist to what was supposed to be a jubilant celebration of the Lag B’Omer annual festival.
Part III, Terror (Israel’s Enemies, From Without): Over 4,300 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel; also, days of terror inflicted by rampaging Arab gangs.
Isn’t it time for a great number of Israeli Jews (and Jews worldwide) to join their Messianic brothers and sisters who have recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the (their) Messiah? To believe and receive him as Savior and Lord. Otherwise, they will be among those in Israel who will mourn when they see their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-14). Mourn because they will know that he is the one who was crucified for their sins (Isaiah 53).
And Psalm 22.
That Jesus was, indeed, raised from the dead and he is, despite their rejection of him for all these years, returning to rescue Israel from even more turmoil, tragedy, and terror. Trouble and trials of epic proportions that those left behind at the Rapture will experience at the hands of the Antichrist and his ten-nation coalition during the last days of the seven-year Great Tribulation as graphically depicted in the following passage:
“Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the woman raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city. Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 14:1-4a).
Things to Ponder
If only the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would look up to see that their redemption is near (Luke 21:28).
If only they would have ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to know how much the God of Israel and His Son, Jesus of Nazareth, loves them and wants them to be saved … ALL OF THEM! Spiritually (from sin). Physically (from enemies).
That a former Orthodox Jew (Pharisee) in the first century who was dramatically changed from the inside out (born again) in his remarkable encounter with the risen Christ also loved his Jewish brothers and sisters in the flesh.
Wrote the Apostle Paul (formerly called Saul) under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4, italics for emphasis).
Paul would go on to prophetically declare:
“…Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved…. Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News (Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the New Covenant of Grace), and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…. Once you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead. Now they are the rebels and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will share in God’s mercy” (Romans 11:25-31, parenthesis mine).
Said the Lord God: “O Israel, if you would only listen to me!” (Psalm 81:8).
Said God about His Son as heard (witnessed) by Peter, James and John: “…This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). Also see Psalm 2.
Said Jesus (Son of God, Son of David, Son of Man): “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation (some translations use the word trials) but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NASB; parenthesis mine).
The words tribulation or trials are broad in meaning and encompass turmoil, tragedy, and terror.
Those of us who are IN CHRIST can take courage.
Jew and Gentile—even Muslim Arabs—alike can have peace with God (sins forgiven forever) through Jesus and peace (of mind and heart) in this troubled world.
An immoral and cruel world. A terrified world trembling with turmoil, tragedy, and terror.
Jesus is coming soon to establish righteousness, justice, and peace in the Kingdom of God on earth. To make all things right!
(“He’s got the whole world in his hands” Do you remember the song?)
Are you ready? Will you greet him as your Savior? Or meet him as judge?
JESUS IS MESSIAH!