Sunday, July 31, 2011

And the Winner is … the Muslim Brotherhood!

By Earl Cox

All the dissent and uprisings in the Muslim Middle East recently have certainly made startling news and unprecedented history but, at this point, it seems that they have generated great drama and hope but no real change.

While it appeared that the people of the streets were demonstrating for democracy and freedom, so far the power structures remain largely intact. The people succeeded in ousting their authoritarian dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, but the results produced thus far are only promises of new elections at some future date.

When, and if, elections do take place in Egypt, it is likely that the old tyrant will simply be replaced with a new tyrant ― and the new tyrant will likely be the Muslim Brotherhood. This means the people will continue to be subjected to the oppressive Muslim law code known as Sharia Law.

Therefore, we have to ask, will the long suppressed Muslim people truly gain greater freedoms and be governed by democratic governments? So far, it does not appear that anything has changed for the better, but if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over the reins, all will likely return to the status quo or even get worse.

It all started in Tunisia, where the dissidents were successful in ousting their dictatorial Muslim leader, Al-Abidine Ben Ali. In Egypt, also, the revolutionaries succeeded in causing Hosni Mubarak to quit after his strict 30-year rule. But again, things have not really changed, with the military now running the show. While elections have been promised, what does that presage?

In my opinion, elections do not stand much chance of being fair in any Muslim country ― and especially not in Egypt where the hard-line Muslim Brotherhood is thought to be the dominant political power and probable winner. So, what greater freedoms have the revolutionaries gained?

In Yemen, in Bahrain, and in Libya, the Muslim leadership looks shaky. Demonstrations have been serious and widespread. But those leaders are fighting hard to stay in power, and they have not yet fallen. The suppressed peoples in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria have also taken to the streets in protest, making the anti-Muslim rule uprisings amazingly widespread, but there are still no governmental changes in these countries.

So who are the winners? From my perspective, it is certainly not the people but, rather, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Like all freedom-loving people, I would love to see Western-style democracy sweep over these dissatisfied Middle Eastern Muslim countries, but I am not holding my breath. Based on past history, Islam and democracy cannot co-exist, since basic Muslim laws do not allow freedom of opinion, speech or religion.

While we cannot yet emphatically state that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only winner produced by the “Arab Spring,” we know for certain that both Israel and the United States are the losers. Already, Egypt has broken its treaty with Israel by opening the channel for ships to freely enter Gaza delivering weapons into the hands of Hamas. These terrorists will use the weapons against the people living in southern Israel.

Muslim leaders have already begun to question why they are fighting each other rather than focusing their efforts on their common enemies, namely, Israel and the Jewish people. With the Muslim Brotherhood in charge, Hamas and Hezbollah will be emboldened to perpetrate additional terror against Israel and her people.

The United States is also a loser. Oil prices from the Middle East have jumped substantially since the uprisings began. This has had a significant impact on the American economy in many ways. In fact, we have even coined a new word which highlights one area severely impacted by rising gasoline prices. Instead of summer vacations, people are now planning “staycations” to save money.

Muslim Arabs have generally viewed the U.S. as the protector of certain corrupt Muslim autocrats on one hand and as the savior of their hated enemy, Israel, on the other. In fact, the U.S. bombing of Libya is being interpreted by many as an act of warfare against the people of Libya rather than as warfare against Moammar Khaddafi and his corrupt and cruel regime.

Many believe that the revolutionary fever raging throughout the Middle East will dwindle and fade because of the military opposition and the economic consequences of being in a state of turmoil. Others, however, believe that the revolutions will continue and eventually wipe out all the dictatorial dynasties in their path.

But will the people win in the end? I don’t believe so. Rather, the dictators will be replaced with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is hell-bent on destroying Israel and America.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Palestinian Leaders Always Whining and Complaining

With all the attention supposedly now focused on negotiations and “peace talks” between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, why is most of the attention going to the ending of Israel’s self-imposed 10-month construction freeze in the so-called West Bank and East Jerusalem? It seems to me that there are many more important issues for the Palestinian Arabs to be concerned about, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, putting an end to all the devastating Arab terrorism and to all their preaching and teaching hatred of the Jewish people, as well as working to establish a viable and democratic Palestinian government.

Why are there no efforts or developments regarding these most important issues? Perhaps the Palestinian leadership is too preoccupied with whining and complaining about the Israelis building new residences on land in towns and villages rightfully belonging to Israel.

Everyone in the world should know and understand the obvious reason. The sad truth is that most of the world does not want to allow the Jewish people to maintain possession and control of their own land — land that was promised to the Jewish people by the biblical prophets from Abraham to Zechariah as “an everlasting possession.”

This land was prescribed as “a homeland for the Jews” by the League of Nations and by the British Mandate of the 1920s. This land was legitimately possessed by the Jewish people with miraculous victories in warfare in 1948 and 1967 against enemy armies that sought to destroy and annihilate them. From every perspective — biblical, historical and military — the land of Israel from the Jordan to the Mediterranean is Jewish land.

So, how can the leaders of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and other obviously pro-Arab nations rationalize that half of that land belongs to the Arabs? How can they be so na├»ve (or deceived)? Or, using other words, how can they be so biased? How can they be so ignorant? However, the main focus now is not on the past, but on the present — on the resumed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations or so-called “peace talks.”

But we have to ask the same questions: “How can anyone in the world believe that the Palestinian Arabs deserve to have their own separate state on Israelis land? And, furthermore, how can anyone believe that the Palestinians even want their own state on half of the present Israeli land given the fact that they have made such little progress in building their own economic base, establishing a functioning government, building and maintaining their own infrastructure, and establishing a functioning civil society?”

To believe the Palestinians truly want their own state, living peacefully side by side with Israel, people would have to ignore everything that the Palestinians have done (or left undone) since they signed the Oslo Accords back in 1993. They agreed in writing to stop their terrorism, to disarm and dismantle their militant terrorist groups, and to work to build a viable economy and a functioning democratic government in the territory they were occupying.

Everyone has to know that they have made absolutely no effort even to begin to fulfill any of those promises. They proceeded to sign four subsequent peace agreements, only to continue to fail to fulfill any of the terms of their signed agreements. So who can trust someone who continually lies to you? Who can believe that the Palestinians will ever change their spots? Who can believe they will ever want a Palestinian state on half of Israel’s land, co-existing peacefully with the Jewish people?

In addition, how is it that all these world leaders not only ignore that the Palestinians have not done what they promised, but also ignore what the present Palestinian leadership is saying? Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has stated over and over again that he will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state under any circumstances. He has said repeatedly that he will not be satisfied without being given East Jerusalem to become the capital of a Palestinian state. He has continually declared that he wants millions of so-called “Arab refugees” to return to live not only in the Palestinian state but in the Israeli state also.

Furthermore, how can all these world leaders ignore the glaring truth that Abbas has chosen to reject all previous peace proposals put forth by Israeli governments, including the dramatic proposals from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that were more generous than current Prime Minister Netanyahu will ever offer? And how can they overlook how Abbas has frittered away the entire 10 months of Netanyahu’s construction freeze with flimsy excuses in order to stay away from the negotiating table? How can anyone believe that Abbas is a leader with his heart set on peace?

We should add that Netanyahu has made it abundantly clear that he does not intend to reiterate previous offers made to the Palestinians by his predecessors. He has stated firmly that he will never relinquish East Jerusalem to have a divided city, nor will he ever relinquish the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. And first and foremost, he will not seriously proceed with negotiations until the Palestinians agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state — clearly the first step in any peace agreement. It’s so basic and elementary that it seems almost idiotic to have to spell it out on paper.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

The 9-11 Emergency Wakeup Call – Are we Hitting the Snooze Button?

For just over 42 years, Americans have dialed 9-1-1 to summon police, fire and emergency medical services. Ironically, Muslim jihadists created a great new national emergency in the U.S. on that very date (9/11), nine years ago. They notified all Americans, in no uncertain terms, that radical Muslim terrorists were on a quest to take down the mighty United States.

On 9/11, they commandeered four commercial airplanes and crashed two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, America’s primary financial symbol, killing thousands of innocent civilians in the process. Another one hit the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and another crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers heroically attacked the hijackers.

Altogether, the number of innocent Americans killed was more than 3,000. The Muslim terrorists created an indelible emergency that Americans will never forget. Yet many people who know absolutely nothing about the teachings of the Koran claim that Islam, when practiced in complete adherence, is a peaceful religion. 9/11 proves otherwise.

Now, while we have still not fully recovered from that worst single-day loss of civilian lives in American history, a Muslim imam wants to construct a 13-story Islamic mosque and community center close to Ground Zero, the site of the destroyed Twin Towers in New York City. What is dismaying (and, perhaps, a warning to the world) is the near-total insensitivity of those Muslims toward the families of the 9/11 victims, as well as other Americans who oppose the construction of the mosque in that area. They have announced that they want to call it the Cordoba Mosque, named for the Muslim conquest

of Spain. At that time, the Muslims built a giant mosque over the site of a Christian church in Cordoba to celebrate their conquest and demonstrate the superiority of Islam over Christianity. Do they have the same purpose in mind for this new mosque — to celebrate Muslim superiority?

They claim that the mosque and community center will help heal the wounds opened by the terrorist atrocity, yet something is strange about their thinking and their values. Does it not also tell us something when the Islamic cleric in charge of the project charges that America created the conditions that provoked the 9/11 attacks? Furthermore, he endorses Islamic sharia law that greatly suppresses individual liberties, shamefully discriminates against women, and savagely punishes transgressors. That sounds like a grossly traitorous attitude toward our country and our way of life, yet somehow he enjoys favor with President Barack Obama and with the Jewish mayor of New York City.

It seems incomprehensible that these officials are okay with the idea of the construction of the proposed 13-story mosque so close to Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center towers stood. Of course, our American president has made overtures to Muslim royalty, given apologetic speeches to Muslim leaders, and castigated our Israeli allies for building on their own real estate. But how can he now ignore the desperate calls of the 9/11 victims’ families and friends, and approve the erection of such an offensive mosque near Ground Zero?

Interestingly, the same kind of Muslim arrogance and insensitivity has been demonstrated in Israel, where Muslims have built mosques right next to sacred Jewish and Christian sites, obviously to provoke. There is now a mosque right next to Golgotha Hill, which Christian pilgrims from around the world visit as possibly the sacred place where Yeshua was crucified. At regular intervals, the loud, amplified Muslim prayer calls effectively disturb the Christian visitors (by design). The Muslims also built a mosque right on top of the graves of the revered Jewish patriarchs in Hebron. And recently, they tried hard, albeit unsuccessfully, to build a new mosque right next to the revered Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

Of course, there are already a few hundred mosques in New York City, and some 20,000 mosques in religiously tolerant America as a whole. But there are absolutely no Jewish synagogues or Christian churches in Saudi Arabia and most other Arab-Muslim countries. Wouldn’t turnabout be fair play? Jews and Christians should be demanding to build a synagogue and a church right next to the Al Haj Center in Mecca. Obviously, nobody really needs another mosque in New York City. It is only designed to add insult to injury.

All this is simply a clear reflection of the intent of these insensitive Muslims, who are so drastically hostile toward Jewish and Christian “infidels” and have orders in their supposedly holy guidebook, the Koran, to either convert or annihilate us. That includes our countries, Israel and the United States, who are considered to be “The Great and Small Satans.” We don’t believe that anti-God, Islamic-originated storms will cease any time soon.

So, do we continue to hit the snooze button again and again or do we wake up and take seriously the threat that radical Islam poses to our American (and Christian and Jewish) way of life here is America and in all democratic countries around the world? Even IF the majority of Muslims were peace loving people practicing a peaceful religion as many claim, the fact remains that the radicals are presently in control of the Islamic faith. They are the ones being heard. They are the ones making the threats and carrying out acts of terror against innocent people around the world.

So, where are the majority of “peace-loving” Muslims? Why aren’t their voices being heard condemning acts of terror and calling attention to the insensitivity of those who want to throw salt in an open wound by building a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center? In America we once had a “silent majority.” Their strength was made known in the voting booth. So-called peaceful followers of Islam claim to make up the majority of the Muslim population but what good is it to be counted among the majority of anything if you are powerless?

It is high time for the “peace-loving Muslims” to use their voices, their power and their strength to promote that which is right and good and considerate over that which is hateful and evil and destructive. Anything short of an all out, united and world wide condemnation of the actions of radical Muslims is the same as cowardly condoning those who commit despicable acts of terror. There is no middle ground and no straddling the fence. IF there really are any peace loving Muslims, they, too, will fall victim to the radicals. Islam is rising. Beware!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bible prophecy on target.

How close are we to the end of time as we know it? According to Bible prophecy, we could be very close. Actually, the Bible does not say that the world itself will end, but that this “time” or “age” will end and a new time or age will begin.

So we need to ask: what has happened in the last two years to contribute to this “end times” progression? Well, the election of the current American President focused on “change.” But it appears that both the old and the new administrations are following the same route to attempt to fix the problem of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict—that is, to force a two-state solution.

The pursuit continues, in spite of the clear reality that for 60-plus years this highly heralded two-state solution has run into insurmountable obstacles. It has not worked and will not work until the Muslim Arabs accept Israel as a sovereign state and recognize her right to exist. The Muslim Arab mindset of hatred for the Jewish people goes back some 4,000 years to the rivalry between Isaac and Ishmael.

But Bible prophecy tells us that one day this hatred is going to erupt in an attempt, through war, to destroy the Jewish nation and people. This event seems to be more and more imminent.

The world community has failed to acknowledge the biblical significance of the State of Israel. The fulfillment of biblical prophecy about the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland and the rebirth of the ancient nation of Israel virtually launched the “end times.” Nor do world leaders seem to understand that their policies in regard to present-day Israel have accelerated the end-times events that the Bible describes.

The leaders of the world’s nations don’t even realize that we are living in a most important time in prophetic history. Ironically, even most Christians and Jews, who base their religious beliefs on the Bible, don’t really comprehend Bible prophecies either. Most Christians and Jews don’t seem to understand the biblical significance of the nation of Israel—or of the Middle East, Russia, Iran, the European Union and other nations of the world. Most of the priests, reverends and rabbis believe that the biblical end-times prophecies are allegorical, not literal.

The Vatican and the World Council of Churches have joined the international political community in calling on Israel’s Jewish people to leave and give away to the Palestinians part of the land that God gave to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as an everlasting possession. This view, of course, is in direct opposition to God’s divine policy as revealed in the Bible—unless, of course, the majority of the Palestinians are of Jewish descent as discussed in a recent (fall 2009) Jerusalem Post Christian Edition magazine article.

The international Quartet, made up of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation, are willing to sacrifice the best interests of the nation of Israel for the sake of peace. But they should know that serving up Israel sacrificially would not bring peace to Israel or the rest of the Middle East. The “land for peace” efforts previously tried have only brought more violence and disorder because of the unabated mindset of Muslim Arab hatred for the Jews.

True to form, much of the United Nations continually raises its fist against Israel. The demand is always on the table for Israel to commit to the formation of a Palestinian state as soon as possible and freeze all Jewish settlement construction. The world in general seems so completely biased that it ignores the Palestinians’ failure to make any substantive efforts to implement what they promised in signing the Roadmap agreement several years ago.

The first step in the agreement was for the Palestinians to halt all their terrorist activities against Israel and for their leaders to disarm and dismantle all the terrorist groups. Not only has this first step not been taken but neither has anything else been implemented which the Palestinians have promised to accomplish. Yet President Obama, Hillary Clinton and U.N. leaders want Israel to give the Palestinians a state anyway, even though they have broken their word and have not yet created the stable infrastructure necessary to warrant the creation of a state.

All this global pressure on Israel has only led to increased animosity toward Israel from other nations in the Middle East, most prominently Iran. The whole world knows that the leader of Iran has incessantly declared his intention “to wipe Israel off the face of the map.”

Interestingly, Bible prophecy describes this very Middle East scenario and places it in the framework of the “end times.” The prophet Ezekiel clearly declared that in the end times, Persia (today’s Iran) would form a military coalition with Russia and several other Arab-Muslim nations, with the intent of annihilating the Jewish nation. This Iranian-Russian alliance is already in place and, with Iran boasting of its nuclear weapons development, a nuclear attack on Israel is, in my opinion, likely.

The Bible calls this scenario the Gog-Magog War. However, the prophecy goes on to declare that the God of Israel will intervene—and this will begin with the coming of the promised Jewish Messiah. Remember, nothing is as sure as the promises of God in the Scriptures. Armed with these facts, would you agree that Bible prophecy is on target?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Distortion and Deception Consistent Tools Against Israel

Flotilla fight still festering? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The world’s nations and their media won’t let it lie. Now, weeks after after the Turkish flotilla’s attempt to break up Israel’s blockade of ships bound for Gaza, the world media are still condemning Israel for killing nine so-called “peace activists” on board a ship supposedly bringing “humanitarian aid.”

It seems to be no problem to the world that these media accounts are a purposeful distortion of reality. When it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict, it seems easy for the world to believe a lie. Distortion and deception are consistent tools and, sadly, effective tools, in the hands of the international media who always seem to champion the Palestinian cause. Not surprisingly, the world media again rushed to their biased judgment about the Gaza flotilla fight — blaming Israel but saying nothing about the hostile actions of the Turkish terrorists.

Here is an interesting sampling of world reactions. The New York Times wrote, “There can be no excuse for the way that Israel completely mishandled the flotilla incident.” South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel “to show our strongest condemnation of the attack.”

China’s Foreign Ministry declared, “We were shocked by the Israeli attack, which led to severe casualties, and we condemn it.” The Swedish Port Workers Union said, “Our workers will now refuse to handle Israeli goods and ships.”

Amnesty International stated: "It begs credibility that the level of lethal force used by Israeli troops could have been justified. It appears to have been out of all proportion to any threat posed." Apparently, the Israel naval inspectors should have allowed themselves to be beaten to death, rather than defend themselves.

Obviously, the Turkish flotilla was a pre-planned fight. The group of six ships were headed to Gaza to supposedly bring humanitarian aid” to relieve the effects of the blockade imposed by Israel on the Hamas-led population of 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs. The Turks certainly knew that Israeli naval inspectors have been boarding ships bound for Gaza for four years now, inspecting them for military weapons and equipment before letting them dock and unload other cargo. In this case, the naval forces inspected five of the six ships in the flotilla with no trouble. But when they boarded the sixth ship, they were assaulted by a group of some 60 armed Turkish terrorists. The battle resulted in nine terrorists killed. Twelve Israelis were wounded, several of them seriously.

Video released later by both Israeli and Turkish sources showed the Turkish activists wearing protective gear and carrying clubs and knives to confront the naval forces who came aboard the ship. When the Israelis came on deck, they were attacked and severely beaten. The terrorists snatched the guns from many of them and attacked them with their knives. The photos showed some bleeding Israelis being taken by a mob into the belly of the ship. So the Israeli troops opened fire on the terrorists to free their captive comrades.

The international media accounts of the conflict brought widespread condemnation of Israel, as already indicated. Of course, those harmed Israel’s already-battered image around the world. And wasn’t that the obvious intent?

Israelis do not want conflict with their neighbors. They simply want to live in freedom, peace, and security, just like people from other free and civilized nations. But this Gaza flotilla fiasco painfully illustrates once again that Israel is held to a strange and different standard by the nations of the world — a number of them obviously anti-Semitic. We ask: What would the United States do, or what would any other nation do, if they faced such terrorist attacks? Frankly, I don’t think any nation would act any differently if it was faced with the same kinds of threats.

I want to remind everyone that it is because of G-d, and not the Gentile nations of the world, that the Jewish people have returned to their ancient homeland and that their biblical nation has been re-established. It is also because of G-d that Israel has continued to exist and thrive for 62 years now, despite the numerous efforts by enemy neighbors and others to destroy the Jewish nation and people. God Himself has said in the Bible that this tiny little piece of the earth’s vast land belongs to the Jewish people “forever.”

But the nations do not pay attention to what the Bible says about Israel. To them, Israel is simply the big trouble maker in the Middle East, and the great obstacle to peace. According to all reason and truth, the world has it backward when they paint anti-Israel terrorists as peace activists and Israeli troops as murderers.

In the weekly radio news broadcast I co-host called “Front Page Jerusalem,” we will continue to tell the story of Israel from a biblical perspective, seeking to tell the truth and expose the lies and deceit of Israel’s enemies.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Netanyahu Draws Strength from the Bible

Interviewer Larry King put the question to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on CNN last week: “You live in the center of a hostile world. Are you ever able to relax?” To which the Prime Minister replied: “Yes, Sir, I am. Every Saturday on our Sabbath, I have a day off. So every Saturday, I take an hour and a half to read the Bible. I draw enormous strength as well as relaxation from this quiet time.” He added that sometimes he spends this time with his 15-year-old son, who incidentally won the national Bible knowledge contest in Israel this year.

As Christians, we are greatly encouraged by this admission. It is great to know that the Prime Minister of Israel faithfully spends time in the Bible, since we believe it is vitally important to understand Israel — past, present and future. The divine influence of the God of Israel is the key to the history of the Jewish people and their nation, Israel. And some credit has to go to Dad, also, for his son’s exceptional knowledge of the Scriptures.

Netanyahu was the featured guest on the “Larry King Live” TV show, which is seen all across America on CNN. King started off with the question, “Why can’t you and the Palestinian Arabs get together?” The Prime Minister answered, “The basic problem is their failure to recognize our Jewish state.” He continued, “I am prepared to make peace with the Palestinians as we did with Egypt and with Jordan. I am prepared to have a demilitarized Palestinian state existing next to Israel. And I am prepared to meet with the Palestinians without any pre-conditions.”

King added, “So you do favor having a Palestinian state?” Netanyahu answered, “Yes, but not a state that will keep firing rockets and missiles into our land. It will have to be a de-militarized, peaceful state. And of course, they will have to recognize our state.”

When asked if he would sit down and negotiate with Hamas, Netanyahu replied: “I will sit down with anyone who will recognize our state. As you know, Hamas has refused to do that. They are true terrorists who even terrorize their own people in Gaza.” He added, “I want the world to look at what we have done in the past few years to help the Palestinians in the West Bank. We have helped them in so many ways economically that their economy is now thriving.”

Of course, interviewer King brought up the recent Turkish flotilla episode, after which most of the world media blamed Israel for the deaths of nine Turkish attackers. The Prime Minister explained that Israel has been checking ships off the Gaza coast for military cargo for a long time now and has never before had any incidents like this one. There were six ships in this group, he related, and they had no trouble with the first five. Only the sixth ship caused trouble. There was a special group of 50 to 60 militants on that ship who viciously attacked the Israeli Coast Guard men when they boarded to check for weapons cargo. “Our men had to defend themselves,” Netanyahu explained. “What would you expect them to do?”

King mentioned that incidents such as the flotilla attack harm Israel’s image around the world — and that has to be troublesome to Israel. Netanyahu stressed that there is a big difference between the world’s perceptions and reality, saying, “Israel has suffered oppression ever since its independence, and we have never had one day of real peace, yet the world continues to see us as oppressors.” He then added, “But we are a people of peace. We have always wanted peace with our neighbors, and we still do. The truth is, they do not seem to want peace with us.”

Next came King’s questions about Iran. He asked, “How much do you fear Iran’s intentions to destroy you?” The Prime Minister replied, “We have learned from history to take seriously their calls to destroy the Jewish State.

King continued, “Would you attack Iran?” Netanyahu answered, “We will always reserve the right to defend ourselves. We will always keep all options on the table.” He went on to say, “Iran is the greatest threat to humanity today. It is important to the whole world that we do not have the most dangerous weapons in the world fall into the hands of the most dangerous people in the world.... We cannot trust Iran to be peaceful.”

King asked Netanyahu his age, to which he replied, “60.” King then asked, “In your lifetime, do you think you will see peace in the Middle East?” The Prime Minister answered: “I will say yes, with conviction. Not in all of the Middle East, but I think we will have peace with the Palestinians.” He stressed, “It will take a lot of courage. We are ready now, and we hope that the Palestinians will soon also respond with the same courage.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Israel’s Roller Coaster Decade

The International Jerusalem Post (English edition) recently published a most interesting review of Israel’s ups and downs in the recently ended decade. Author Liat Collins did a great job with this significant historical review.

She started by saying: “It was not a real good decade in Israel. It was actually a roller coaster ride of highs and lows.” She went on to say that all the Arab terror attacks tended to bring the Israeli people together, but that the withdrawal of all the Jewish people from Gaza tended to pull the nation apart. Her review definitely mentioned more downs than ups, and more lows than highs, sad to say.

In the vein of Collins’ article, I feel it would be appropriate to review what our Christian-based organization, Israel Always, has done over the last decade to try to fulfill our purpose of blessing and helping Israel. We rode the roller coaster with the Israeli people, but we also feel that we have been faithful to our task.

After having the privilege of serving as a senior communications officer for four United States presidents in the White House in Washington, D.C., I felt that God wanted me to use my retirement years and all my resources to bless and help Israel. Our first effort was to put up several large billboard messages in Israel to let the Israeli people know that many Christians in America respect and support them in their chronic conflict with their Arab-Muslim neighbors. This got us off to a good start, and helped us to meet many appreciative Israeli citizens and leaders.

Our next major effort was to begin producing and broadcasting a weekly radio program called “Front Page Jerusalem.” We wanted to communicate to America and the rest of the world the truth from the Israeli perspective and to try to counteract the pro-Arab bias that most of the international news media project in their reports from Israel. We were able to enlist more than 100 radio stations across America to broadcast this weekly one-hour program, as well as to get it on the Internet for an expanded worldwide audience. “Front Page Jerusalem” is produced in Jerusalem, and it has been going strong every week now for six years. It is reaching hundreds of thousands of people across America and around the world.

Israeli leaders have cooperated with us wonderfully to help get the Israeli perspective out to the world. Each week, some busy official serves as our special guest on the program. His interview is then followed by a panel discussion by other top Israeli media spokesmen, often including Jerusalem Post editor David Horowitz.

Author Collins mentioned the hundreds of rockets and missiles that have been launched into Israel by Hamas from Gaza, “where Jewish communities once grew flowers, fruit and vegetables.” Our concern for the innocent and defenseless Israelis under such inhumane attacks led us to raise money to provide some 50 portable concrete bomb shelters, which were place in strategic locations in Israeli territory near the Gaza border. These locations included schools, bus stops, shopping centers, and other places where people gather. We don’t know exactly how many lives these shelters have saved or protected from serious injury, but it’s many.

American evangelical Christian leaders have long promoted the biblical injunction to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” We have always encouraged such prayer support in all our meetings in America and in our media communications. Then, in 2005, we reinforced this support by organizing a Christian “Prayer Warriors” team to pray for Israel at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. We had a Christian presence at the Wall, praying along with the Jewish people, for eight hours every day, seven days a week, for the entire year. All of the team members who participated in this special prayer vigil felt that it was a privilege and an honor to help support Israel before God in this way.

When Hezbollah launched its warfare against Israel, we were able to take a team of Christians up to the northern Israeli territory to pray for the military and for the affected people there. We also made a few visits to Hadassah Hospital to pray for former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

We were delighted when MK and Rabbi Yuri Shtern organized the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus. It was great to hear him express his appreciation for the numerous Christian organizations and people who are working faithfully in Israel every day to help the Israeli people in numerous ways. We were sorry when he passed away, but we hope that this good spirit of trust and cooperation will continue unimpeded.

As Christians who are not citizens of Israel, we have been careful not to express any criticism of the Israeli government and its elected officials. But we have been keenly concerned about the developments in the so-called “peace process.” We understand how deeply all Israelis want to live in peace with their Arab neighbors. But beginning with the Oslo Accords back in 1993, and continuing through four more Palestinian signed peace agreements, it has been disappointingly obvious that most of the Palestinian leaders still do not want peace with Israel. They do not want to give up their animosity and terrorism, and they do not want an independent Palestinian state peacefully co-existing side-by-side with the Jewish state.

As evangelical Christians who honor and believe the Bible, including the Torah and the Tanach, along with the Brit Ha’dosha, we affirm the writings of the biblical prophets who declared that all the land of Israel was given by God to the Jewish people as “an everlasting possession.” That translates into the view that none of the land of Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank) should be handed over to the Arabs for them to have a separate Arab state there.

We did nothing to oppose the Israeli governments when they were offering to give most of that land to the Arabs. However, we have to admit that we are pleased to see the new prime minister standing strongly in support of God’s biblical mandate and refusing to surrender this land.

There is one more personal word I would like to add. I would like to publicly express my great gratitude to Mrs. Ariella Doran, the owner of the Jerusalem Gold Hotel in downtown Jerusalem. She has been such a gracious hostess and a generous friend to so many Christian groups and individuals during their visits to Israel. She gave special treatment to our “Wall Warriors” prayer groups, and she has provided much unselfish service to my wife and me during our many extended stays.

We pray that our God will continue to bless her abundantly for her special service to Him and to His people.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Obama’s Nobel Surprise Award

Yes, the world was certainly surprised when they heard that United States President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The predominant world reaction was, “What for?” Most commentators felt that the prize is premature, because Obama has not actually accomplished anything yet to bring about peace anywhere.

A better word than “surprised” for us Christian supporters of Israel would be “stunned.” We gasped in disbelief. My first reaction was to ask, “Has the world gone mad?” And my second question was, “What does this mean for Israel?”

I consider this award to be a devastating blow to the state of Israel in her battle to protect Israelis from an Iranian nuclear attack. It seems to be a ruse to silence Obama from supporting an Israeli attack against Iran and the terrorist Ahmadinejad regime. How can the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize support such an attack and possible war? Of course, we already know that Obama would never support such an attack anyway, because it would be action against a Muslim state. The award provides strong support for Obama’s biased Muslim appeasement efforts.

But that isn’t all. The Nobel Peace Prize could also serve to trigger a devastating domino effect in favor of the world’s effort to eliminate Israel and to destroy the West. The next crippling step could be for OPEC to change from the U.S. dollar to the euro as the monetary standard for purchasing oil. If this happens, it will send the U.S. into a tailspin toward bankruptcy. Then China could possibly step up to demand payment of America’s debt. And when America cannot pay, the U.S. and the world economy could be in serious danger of collapse.

Actually, the Obama award generated mixed reactions from national leaders all over the world, with many shaking their heads. The Nobel committee virtually admitted that the award was not for Obama’s peace making accomplishments but, rather, for his goals—which include forging a Middle East peace, ridding the world of nuclear weapons, and halting climate change. Whatever happened to awards for deeds?

Many commentators, especially conservatives, shrugged that the Nobel Prize was simply an expression of the leftist ideology of the Nobel people, just like that of the people of the United Nations. Others declared that the award was “a kick in the leg” of former President George W. Bush, who the leftists detest because of his war against terrorism, the war in Iraq and his opposition to global warming.

Jewish American columnist Charles Krauthammer declared, “The award is a farce! They've gone overboard, over the top!” He asked, “Where has Obama brought peace?” And he added, “We need to bring the Nobel Peace committee to be on ‘Saturday Night Live,’” a popular TV comedy program.

Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh also could not believe Obama was lauded in such a way, when “he is intent on destroying his own country as a superpower.” He added, “How now can he send more troops to Afghanistan?”

Conservative media also drew attention to the fact that the Nobel decision was made way back in February, when Obama had been in office only two or three weeks. Certainly, he had not accomplished anything by then.

The Nobel people indicated that Obama had pushed for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But what effect has he had on either side? Virtually no progress has been made deserving of any award. And of course, everyone interpreted his Muslim appeasement statements in his Cairo address last summer to be strong confirmation of his pro-Arab and pro-Muslim bias.

Many are also still asking why the supposedly peace-promoting Obama said nothing to support the masses in Iran recently when they demonstrated against the fraudulent election of the Muslim tyrant Ahmadinejad. And why hasn’t this peace-promoting president ever condemned this same Muslim tyrant for the many declarations of his plans “to wipe Israel off the face of the map?”

At the same time, why has Obama so often and so strongly railed against the relatively minor issue of continued construction of Jewish homes in the so-called “settlements” in Judea and Samaria? And how can he continually pressure Israel to freely give the Palestinian Arabs land for their own state when the Arabs have deliberately defied every so-called peace agreement they have made with Israel over the past 16 years?

Never before in history has there been a greater need for prayer for the peace of Israel by those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
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