Nov 27, 2017

Coddling the PLO

As with all visitors to the Holy Land, I saw many fascinating things on my first trip to Israel, now many moons ago.

As I think about this year, as it ends, I remember walking through Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. This year is the centennial of course of the British taking the holy city from the Ottoman Turks, which set today’s backdrop in motion.

Early Zionists felt that this event, when General Allenby dismounted and strode through the gate, would be the trigger for a quickly cascading series of events that would end with a modern Jewish state.

We all know though that other events can intervene, and intervene they did. A world war threw one monkey wrench into the machine, but it was perhaps dwarfed by the quagmire the Brits found themselves in as they mediated disputes between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

It was in this period that oil was found in Arabia, thus setting in motion an atmosphere in which the West decided to placate the Arabs…often at the expense of the Jews.

Another thing I saw on that first trip was “Orient House,” an east Jerusalem quasi-headquarters-embassy for the Palestinians. It was illegal for the PLO/PA to operate in such a way during the early years of Oslo, so periodically it was shut down.

But the Arabs are nothing if not relentless. That is the key to their “successes,” both diplomatically and by way of terrorism.

They were also helped immeasurably by their Western friends, particularly in Washington D.C. The contradictions were also difficult to watch, too.

Ronald Reagan’s White House agreed to recognize Yasser Arafat and the PLO as the true representative of the Palestinians. Yet in 1987, Reagan also signed into law legislation that there would never be a PLO office on U.S. soil.

One wonders whether George H.W. Bush ever really disliked the PLO, and his successor hosted the blood-soaked Arafat a staggering and shameful 13 times! Barack Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, at least in terms of facilitating a network in Washington, are well documented.

The PLO/PA opened an office in Washington seven years after Reagan used his pen. This established the lawlessness of Bill Clinton’s regime.

This week, the Trump administration has announced that this office might be shut down, due to the PA attempting to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against the Palestinians.

Though we might wish that Trump would do more to support Israel (the whole business of not moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is a murky story that I’m not convinced is Trump’s fault), he is infinitely better to Israel than any of his predecessors.

According to the Times of Israel:

“Trump administration officials in recent days have been leaking like sieves about plans to relaunch the peace process as soon as next year. The Palestinians until now have been game — Zomlot, the PLO envoy to Washington, has been effusive in his outreach to Jewish groups, the media and American politicians about Trump’s ‘ultimate deal.’ They have put on hold bids to join international agencies.

“Nuh-uh, the Palestinians now say. Closing the office ‘is unprecedented in the history of US-Palestinian relations, which could have serious consequences on the peace process and US-Arab relations, as well as serves as a blow to peacemaking efforts,’ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas’ spokesman, said over the weekend.”

In reality, this is more game playing by the Palestinians. Push, pull, push, pull. They say they will in good faith be involved in the “peace process,” then do things to scuttle it.

I believe the PLO leadership has never been about state-building or their people. They are for themselves. Maintaining luxury lifestyles.

Whether their Washington office is closed for a bit or not, that self-absorbed mindset will continue as long as the West allows it.




Nov 20, 2017

Evil Alliances

The Germans never seem to get it.

From Middle Ages Catholic anti-Semitism, to Martin Luther, to Hitler. Now with anti-Semitism raging across the globe, Germany is hosting a contingent of Iranian business leaders.

From a Jerusalem Post report:

“A German forum to promote business and banking in the Islamic Republic of Iran, featuring politicians and government bodies, slated to begin on Wednesday, faced sharp criticism from human rights experts and an NGO seeking to stop Iranian terrorism and its illicit nuclear activity.

“Ulrike Becker, a spokeswoman for the NGO Stop the Bomb, said: ‘This banking forum is scandalous. German bankers and politicians in Frankfurt are rolling out the red carpet for a regime which is responsible for the flight of millions [of refugees] from Syria and Iraq.’

“Becker said the 5th Banking and Business Forum Iran Europe, which runs from November 15-16 in Frankfurt, seeks to lift financial restrictions against business with Iran.”

Germany’s Angela Merkel, of course, has flooded her own country with refugees driven out of their countries by the Iranians and their proxies in Iraq and Syria.

Israel just announced this week—yet again—that it will not allow Iran to camp along its northern borders. The fact that Iran, in public, has announced its desire to wipe Israel off the map, makes Germany’s overtures to the terror state all the more troubling. Yet we live in a time when nation states clearly signal that they do not care about Jewish lives. This is a fact.

Whether it was the recent American evangelical lauding of Martin Luther (for Reformation Day), or my frequent conversations now about an unwillingness to hear positives about Israel, among evangelicals, it is clear that Jewish life is cheap to most. Germany’s powerful European economy causes most countries to stand-down in the face of the Iranian business summit.

A few voices cry out:

“Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow for The Israel Project, based in Washington, told the Post that ‘Iran hasn’t stopped being a threat to international peace and security. It’s a pariah state, ruled by a fanatical mullah regime with malign nuclear ambitions, and should be isolated as the world’s largest exporter of terrorism.

“’Key sectors of the Iranian economy are controlled by the IRGC [Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps], the country’s driving force behind Islamic extremism, war crimes in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and annihilationist threats against the state of Israel,’ she said. ‘Rather than attending cushy meetings in the West, Iranian officials should be indicted for crimes against humanity.’

“Lenarz added that, ‘If you do business with the IRGC, you sponsor Tehran’s aggression abroad and violence against their own people.’ Large European banks have avoided business deals with Iran because of the volatility of Iran’s financial system. Oberbank, a mid-size Austrian bank, established business ties with Tehran in September. Michael Busser, a spokesman for the State of Hesse, did not immediately answer a Post press query. The German Green Party declined to comment.”

I have noticed though in my years of Israel advocacy that when one tries to win friends for Israel by using data and statistics, little headway is made. It is only when a biblical case is made—and the receiving heart is warmed to Jews—that any real friends are made for Israel.

The banking and business forum in Germany is but one example of indifference (hostility?) toward Israel and Jews worldwide. I maintain my view that even American evangelical leaders don’t care one whit about Israel. They just don’t.

This is due to many factors: a resurgence of Calvinism; the rise of “social justice” Millennials; aberrant theology taught in seminaries; evangelical “celebrities” who themselves are not biblical.

A principled leader would boycott the forum in Germany. And denounce it publicly.

Yet, as a long-time Southern Baptist deacon once explained to me why he voted for Bill Clinton: It’s good for the economy.

The world has lost its way. It has lost its moral bearings, if they were ever in place to begin with.

It is repulsive to think of the German government lavishly hosting those fiends from Iran.

But then again, we know that Gog/Magog will soon be a reality.