Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem  


 


Oct 24, 2011

In Love With Israel

For decades, the state of Israel has maintained strong ties with several countries that serve strategic interests. It is no accident that in those countries, many of the citizens feel an almost unexplainable bond with Jews, and specifically, the Jewish state.

Stefan Williams, studying now at Hunter College (John Jay College of Criminal Justice), was able to experience that bond with Israelis first-hand this year when he realized a dream and visited the country.

Born in Georgetown, Guyana (on the northeast coast of South America, bordered by Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela), Stefan immigrated to the U.S. when he was 11. Thrilled by the chance to live and study in America, Stefan didn’t have to wait long for that future bond to begin forming.

“At Lehman high school I met my first group of Israelis in the lunchroom and in my photography class where they came to visit our darkroom where we developed black and white film,” he remembers. “There were two somewhat random encounters but they sparked my interest in Israel.”

That spark became a flame when Stefan and his family made a fateful decision a year later to host two students from Rishon Lezion, Israel. It is the fourth-largest city in Israel, located south of Tel Aviv, and was the second farm colony established in 1882. It is that pioneering spirit that resonates with a young man like Stefan.

“From my hosting experience I just fell in love with Israel, its culture and its people. It was an amazing experience to actually see the individual faces of a nation that has often been portrayed by some in a negative connotation.”

The Williams family loved the experience and not surprisingly (as is often case in exchange programs), Stefan keeps in touch with his new friends.

“I have maintained a relationship with these guys via Facebook and occasional phone call. I had been promising them and myself to visit Israel someday, unfortunately it took me three years.”

Ah, but the wait was worth it, for he was able to see Israel in person, through the efforts of the America-Israel Friendship League (www.aifl.org). The group’s strong Youth Ambassador Student Exchange (YASE) program made it possible. In the lead-up, Stefan could hardly believe his good fortune!

“Traveling to Israel was an experience of its own,” he recalls. “A schoolmate from Lehman high school and I actually decided to go to Israel on the same flight. He was going to study there for a year and I was just visiting but since I didn't have an American passport I needed to apply for a visa. So we both went to the Israeli embassy in New York together, once to apply and second time to uplift our passports with our visas. I think at that point it became explicitly to me that I will be fulfilling this dream and actually going to Israel.”

Once in Israel, Stefan experienced what most first-time visitors feel (particularly Christian visitors): bliss. In fact, his excitement was so high, he was unable to sleep!

“When I first landed in Israel it was almost impossible to contain my excitement. Even though it was 6 a.m. when we finally arrived to my friend’s apartment, we were unable to sleep. So we went for a walk through the streets of Rishon Lezion where I got my first taste of Israeli food and culture. From there on it was just one amazing experience after another.”

Stefan’s “unbelievably welcoming” experience was enhanced by a visit to the Israeli resort town of Eilat, at the country’s southern tip.

“I can't even put in words the gratitude I have for these people who opened their homes and hearts to me. Today many of my friends in Israel are officers in the army and some have already completed their mandatory service and are beginning their studies for entrance examination to attend an Israeli university.”

Because of Stefan’s visit to Israel, he feels better-equipped to stand up for the small nation, so vital to American interests. Although he says there has been a “proliferation of anti-Israel sentiment” on campus, “The Hunter Hillel has done amazing work to combat the anti-Israel sentiment on campus but there is still a lot that needs to be done.”

The AIFL’s Charlotte Frank was a catalyst for bringing Stefan to Israel, and he remains ever-grateful:

“I am very thankful for the great work she has done because it was directly impacted my ability to become and stay connected to the YASE program.  When I first met Dr. Frank it was on one of her many visits to our high school in the Bronx and for me  it meant so much to see someone take time out of their extremely busy schedule to come to our school.” 

With friends like Stefan Williams, Israel is far from alone. The love is mutual.


Oct 17, 2011

Welcome Home, Gilad Shalit

In a world crippled by extreme cruelty, this week’s news that Gilad Shalit is coming home is an oasis. It is joy.

Shalit, the IDF soldier kidnapped five years ago by Palestinian terrorists, has been held in Gaza. A few days ago, the Israeli government reached a deal with Hamas for the return of Shalit—in exchange for the release of 1,000 terrorists from Israeli jails.

First, we wish the Shalit family much joy and long life together. This gift is rare, and we must pray for them as they receive their son.

Charles Jacobs, a great spokesman for Jewish causes, had some great remarks about the Shalit release (www.peaceandtolerance.org):

“Gilad Shalit: Israel faced a ‘Sophie's Choice.’ This is an extraordinarily difficult and painful episode: Everyone knows that giving in to terrorism likely fuels more assaults. And everyone knows that there is an increased probability that other Israelis - and their parents, who are unknown and faceless to us now, will pay for this. But these other Israelis are abstractions today: they exist only in the future.  And as no one can see them and love them today, their interests are less spoken for. They only exist in our brains. For that reason, our hearts are unconstrained, and our hearts are with Gilad Shalit, and his parents. It's like a ‘Sophie's Choice,’ but with only one child in view and at hand. Israel chooses that one.”

In years past, negotiating with terrorists was not something Israel considered. I would argue, for those purists who would decry the Israelis doing it now…the situation has changed. There are so many threats coming at Israel, from so many directions, that I can see why the Netanyahu government went ahead and decided to bring Shalit home.

There were several ironies.

A German mediator worked with the provisional Egyptian government in brokering the deal.

According to the report from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

“The Israeli concern was that not exploiting the opportunity might endanger Gilad Shalit's welfare and future.”

In other words, perhaps the last window to bring Shalit home was closing. Israel understands very well that the Palestinian barbarians that do this sort of thing know what happened to airman Ron Arad, now missing almost 30 years. Thank God they are bringing Shalit home alive.

Among the 1,027 terrorists to be released are 27 women, including Ahlam Tamimi, who drove the homicide bomber to the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001.

I like the fact that the signer to this agreement for Hamas was Nizar Awadallah (Ahmed Jaabari, head of Hamas’ terrorist wing in Gaza, was present but did not sign). The fact that these two terrorists were there, and one signed the agreement is almost comical, since Hamas denies Israel’s existence. Who were they signing an agreement with, the Swiss?

Now, I would like to switch gears a bit for a minute, and quote Jacobs again, regarding the terrorism being waged against Coptic Christians in Egypt:

No one likes analogies with the unique events of the Holocaust, but surely last Sunday was like a Kristallnacht for the Copts: a sudden murderous assault on their religious community, with the participation of especially brutal Egyptian soldiers.  Some Muslims tried to stand with the Christians, but reports from the bloody scene describe how army officers could not stop low ranking soldiers, who may be more truly expressive of the ‘Arab/Muslim street,’ from beating and killing Christians.  Everything has changed for the 8 -10 million Christian minority, whose churches will likely continue to be set aflame. The Copts preceded Islam in Egypt, but now may well face the choice of having to flee their ancestral homes or be reduced to vassals. 

“And of course the ‘human rights community’ stays mostly quiet.  And where are the West's church leaders?”

I see linkage between these stories, Shalit and the Copts. Jacobs asks the most pertinent question: Where is the outrage from Western liberals, including Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and even Rick Warren?

There is no outrage, because the left is selective when pledging moral support for victims. “Oppressed” Christians are only found in the West Bank—Palestinians. Coptic Christians are on their own. Gilad Shilat? He was on his own when it came to appeals from the Christian left in America.

That’s one of the reasons Israel was forced to negotiate with terrorists. The world chose a long time ago to try and pacify the Palestinians.

The result is a terrorist community that is emboldened.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


Oct 10, 2011

The War on Bible Prophecy

In the heydey of Bible prophecy teaching, say, from 1970 until 1995, American scholars quietly seethed. Their dislike of anything that pointed to the Jews re-entry into history (and God’s provision for them) led them to resent the efforts of people like Hal Lindsey.

Certainly, there have been plenty of prophecy teachers who have fallen into the trap of “predicting” events and using Bible prophecy to do it. Yet this is completely irrelevant when talking about what the Bible actually says about the subject. It is a monumental tragedy that “prophecy haters” have been able to successfully lump Scripture with prophecy teachers and thus persuade people that the Bible itself is “wrong” about prophecy.

The effect has been to marginalize Bible prophecy at a time when it is more relevant than ever.

Ironic.

As I’ve said before, huge damage was done to the teaching of Bible prophecy as the last seconds of 1999 ticked away. When the “Y2K” disaster didn’t materialize, many people checked-out from Bible prophecy teaching. Very tragically, the failed predictions of certain prophecy teachers (along with the delusional Harold Camping) were seen as an indictment of the Bible’s predictive prophecy. It didn’t help that Bible illiteracy in this country is at an all-time high.

And although there is a lot of nuance to this story, it is still generally true that as Bible prophecy teaching from our nation’s pulpits slid off a cliff, so too did solid support for Israel.

In my view, we are now approaching a crisis in the context of how the next generations view the Bible, and, specifically, Israel. There are several layers to this story—in fact, I’m investigating a major piece of this puzzle, and will report in detail in the coming weeks. To me, the thickest layer involves growing evangelical disenchantment with Israel. In short, the Palestinians are beginning to see a huge harvest from the seeds of propaganda sown in the past two decades.

In Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, we had two (officially) Southern Baptist presidents heavily involved in “peace-making” in the Middle East. Traditionally, the SBC has been a bastion of support for Israel, in a prophetic context, as well. Isn’t it somewhat ironic that these two men did more to damage Israel than perhaps any other presidents?

Carter virtually forced Israel to return the Sinai, which began a precedent for the now-failed “land-for-peace” idea. At present, Israel has pulled out of the Sinai, Gaza, and its southern buffer zone in Lebanon, as well as from administering the disputed territories in Judea/Samaria (the West Bank).

The result has been nothing but a dramatic increase in terror activity, because the Palestinian society has been radicalized by decades of anti-semitic filth. To this moment, the Arab world does not accept a Jewish state in its presence and this extreme xenophobia is a subject that leaders of leftist religion in America simply ignore. Just as they ignore Israel’s previous pullouts from “Arab land.”

Clinton, knowing that Yasser Arafat was one of history’s most notorious terrorists and mass murderers, plunged ahead in forcing Israel to negotiate with the PLO. The result was an unprecedented campaign of murder of Jews in the Holy Land.

One wonders what Clinton’s former pastor, W.O. Vaught, would have thought. And, evidently, the glittering trappings of the monolithic Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock didn’t help Governor Clinton prepare very well for shaping his biblical worldview in the context of international peace-making. Although no doubt Clinton heard often about the prophetic implications of the new Jewish state, established when he was two, he sold Israel down the river as often as he could, in his drive to establish a legacy.

I mention these two powerful men because they came from the Bible Belt, and from a biblically conservative denomination. It is no accident that they rub elbows with jet-setters and decision-makers the world over.

This brings me to the worldview of today’s evangelical leaders in America. By and large, they are concerned with how they are seen, whom they are seen with, and how influential they can become. Nowhere is this more visible than from the empire of Rick Warren.

Warren, who attended Fuller Theological Seminary precisely at the time the institution was disengaging from its embarrassing past—Dispensationalism—is a true globalist. He attends meetings at the Council on Foreign Relations, chats with Middle East dictators, and is honored by such august sources at TIME magazine. One can almost see the narcissism oozing from his pores. One wonders if he has trimmed James 4:4 from his Bible.

Warren decided long ago that the study of Bible prophecy is for losers. Traditional, old-time religion, and biblical literalism is for soft-minded morons (here I’m using the language of his protégés). Interestingly, those who maintain that there is nothing wrong with the old-time religion (such as discernment ministries, surely some of the most hated people around today) are now being labeled as “Pharisees” and worse by young Emergent pastors, who thirst for the same spotlight that has enveloped Warren in darkness.

What then can we expect of the sycophants he is now mentoring?

For those of you who don’t use the social network Twitter, I’m going to type the following “tweet” exactly as it appeared today, from Perry Noble:

“RT @RickWarren: If u fear the disapproval of Pharisees & their guilt by association tactics, people you could reach will die without Christ.”

Lots of things to unpack here.

Noble is pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, and a rising star among the Emergent crowd. I encourage you to check out his blog at www.perrynoble.com, and read several.

In his Twitter message, Warren is telling his adoring audience that mean-spirited “Pharisees” lump false teachers together, unfairly. Oh and by the way, they are also impeding the efforts to reach the lost with the power of the Gospel.

This is all a lie, but an effective one, because this message was “re-tweeted” to the max. When Warren gives marching orders, his soldiers’ boots become worn-out in no time.

Warren is really a key in understanding the growing attacks on Bible-believing Christians, because he is a bridge of sorts between Christian academics and populists like Noble. Warren is able to distill academic ivory tower language and make it popular for the populist foot soldiers in the evangelical world that work 24/7 to denigrate the old-time religion.

Warren understands the issues and because he moves in both academic and popular circles, he carries the same message that people like Dr. Mark Noll have preached for years (first at Wheaton, where Rob Bell and others attended, and now at Notre Dame).

In his famous book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Noll obviously has a sauropod-sized bone to pick with Christian mental midgets who believe the Genesis accounts of creation, and Bible prophecy.

For 256 tedious pages, Noll bashes dispensationalists and creationists, who do not practice “careful thinking.” In order to be intellectual, in Noll’s world, one must be open to new ideas and progressive theology. This means, for example, those of us who cling to Israel’s supernatural role in modern history are harming the global community, because we are fomenting war in the Middle East. This view of Bible-believers is identical to that of Brian McLaren.

As evangelical appetites for Bible prophecy teaching wane, the hunger grows to understand and embrace the “Palestinian narrative.” This narrative means that the story being promoted now is that Israel oppresses the native Arabs. That is the story. It is a story, a narrative, being used to bash Israel from every quarter, every minute of every day. Israel’s many enemies, including evangelical leaders in the West, no doubt feel fresh and ready to witness the final assault on Israel’s sovereignty (the so-called “bi-national state” solution is every bit as diabolical as overt attempts to destroy the Jewish state).

A recent letter circulated by David Gushee and Glen Stassen, professors at Mercer University and Wheaton, respectively, displays the blatant nastiness coming from these quarters. In the letter, among other harsh charges, Gushee and Stassen write:

“American Christian Zionism as it currently stands is sinful and produces sin.”

Never have I heard such hate-speech and arrogance directed toward Bible-believing Christians!

Gushee and Stassen go on to show how biblically illiterate they are when they allege:

“We write as evangelical Christians committed lifelong to Israel’s security, and we are seriously worried about your support for policies that violate biblical warnings about injustice and may lead to the outcome you most fear—serious harm to or even destruction of Israel.”

Wipe your glasses and read that last part again. They actually believe that Israel can be destroyed. The exact opposite scenario—the supernatural preservation of Israel and the judgment on her enemies—is presented in the Bible.

Don’t be fooled either by those who claim to stand for Israel’s security and a Palestinian state. Those conditions are mutually exclusive.

Let me give you another example of where the “careful thinker” mind is among evangelicals today in the American Church.

Carl Medearis recently penned a blog in which he revealed the same worldview as Gushee and Stassen. Listen to these whoppers:

“One of the reasons Jesus was crucified was because of his refusal to embrace a nationalist agenda. But Christian Zionism blesses military action by the modern state of Israel, under the banner of ‘national security,’ including the demolition of Palestinian homes to pave the way for new settlements.”

(Talkback: Carl, Jesus wasn’t concerned about nationalist agendas.)

Here’s another gem:

“It’s true that there are elements of Palestinian society that do not want peace, no matter the price. They need to be isolated and dealt with. The same goes for elements of Israeli society that don’t want peace. The good news is that extremists are a minority on both sides of the conflict.”

This is false.

It has been thoroughly documented from numerous sources that there have been many thousands of terror attacks aimed at Israel, by the Palestinians, since Bill Clinton hosted Rabin and Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993. Extremists are not a minority in Palestinian society and, dear reader, they not only hate Jews, but they passionately hate Americans and display their venom following events like 9/11.

(By the way, the view of Medearis that Palestinian “extremists”—think Hamas—“need to be isolated and dealt with” is almost comical in its naivete. How does Carl propose to “deal with” Hamas, apart from the IDF? No one knows, including him.)

Medearis also alleges that Christian Zionists allow “obscure Old Testament promises” to drive our pro-Israel agenda. The promises are not obscure, except to one who has spiritualized-away plain meanings. The OT promises to the Jews bleed-through on nearly every page.

All this is why the film “Little Town of Bethlehem,” which promotes the Palestinian view of the Arab-Israeli conflict, has been screened at places like Wheaton College, Calvin College, Gordon College, Willow Creek Church, Bethlehem Assembly of God, and Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA.

For the first time in my memory, people from Pentecostal backgrounds, Southern Baptist, and other conservative denominations are linking arms with mainline churches, Catholics, and voices from other religions, for one reason: promoting the Palestinian narrative. You would be stunned if you knew the associations, and how deep and wide the networking is, but I am going to tell you soon.

The War on Bible Prophecy is the same as the War on Israel. The left is gaining steam in this effort, and my concern is that conservatives are largely unaware. If we think that John Hagee’s visible efforts for Israel mean that a gigantic army for Israel exists in American churches, we are deluding ourselves.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 

 


 

Oct 3, 2011

Haters at it again

The ideological war opened-up by leftists who loathe Christian Zionism continues. Many Christian Zionists seem unaware of it, or its implications.

A letter from Glen Stassen and David Gushee has appeared on the Sojourners website, under the “God’s Politics” blog. Sojourners, of course, is the domain of leftist Jim Wallis, who enjoys bashing conservatives. Everyone peddles propaganda; the question is, whose propaganda is true?

Stassen is a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, while Gushee teaches at Mercer University. Fuller is an interesting subject. In his book, New Evangelicalism, Paul Smith outlines the movement away from inerrancy at Fuller; I highly recommend the book.

A quick bit of background. In the 1950s, Daniel Fuller, the son of seminary founder Charles Fuller, went to Europe to study under the heretical Karl Barth. The German scholar convinced young Fuller that the study of Bible prophecy is hopelessly flawed, and this corrosive idea was brought back to California. This kind of teaching infected other seminaries (such as Dallas Theological Seminary), and in fact, Fuller was the school Rick Warren attended.

If you want to know why American Christian pastors are no longer teaching Bible prophecy from the pulpit, the decline of the seminaries is a major reason.

Attacks on Israel, via anti-Christian Zionists in America, are dramatically on the rise. And in a corollary, notice the increased discussion (weekly) from young Emergent pastors like Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, and Tommy Sparger (read their blogs) who are lashing-out at “critics.” Their transparent dislike of Christian fundamentalists is, I believe, alarming. Again, read the language they use to lash-out at Bible-believing Christians.

In a recent blog on Beliefnet, Matthew Paul Turner went so far as to say he “hates” Christian fundamentalism. Not Muslim fundamentalism.

Christian fundamentalism. I think we all can distinguish between certain of those labeled Christian fundamentalists, and Christian fundamentalism. There is often a difference, but not to the Emergent guys. 

(By the way, Turner’s blog on Beliefnet is titled: “Jesus Needs New PR.” Cute, huh?)

In a March 31 blog posting (“What Christian Fundamentalism Leaves Behind: An Angry Blog Post), Turner wrote:

“And I still get angry. Mostly because I hate Christian fundamentalism. Hate it. I hate it because of my own experiences. I don’t trust it. I hate it because I’ve witnessed hundreds and hundreds of people being hurt by it. I’ve witnessed abuse in the name of God. I’ve witnessed pastors getting away with God knows what (and using God as an excuse or a crutch). And I could go on and on. I have a very hard time seeing the ‘good’ of Christian fundamentalist culture.”

For these guys, Joe Chambers is the enemy, not CAIR or Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

I have digressed to some degree, yet these issues are related. The guys who teach at Fuller, Mercer, and Wheaton have very similar worldviews to these young Emergents. The result is a move toward embracing the Palestinian narrative.

You need to thoroughly read the letter from Gushee and Stassen. And here let me urge you once again to get engaged with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The liberals/Emergents are beating our brains out with it, disseminating their messages like a flood. While Bible-believing Christians continue to produce paper newsletters and market themselves like it’s 1952.

I will be posting the Gushee/Stassen letter on Prophecy Matters (www.prophecymatters.com).

The ideological war on Christian Zionists (and, more widely, Bible-believing Christians in general) is robust, much more than I’ve ever seen. Ironically, the leftists in the Church present themselves as tolerant and loving. Yet everything I know about them proves they are haters. The term “hater” has become very popular with this young crop of pastors/self-appointed leaders, who defame and marginalize people they also label “Bible literalists.”

Here’s a link for you: www.bigisthenewsmall.com/2011/05/06/christian-haters/

The question for us is, who are the real haters?

You very much need to become informed about what they are doing.

More to come in the weeks that follow…if the Lord tarries.

jim@prophecymatters.com

 


 

Sep 26, 2011

The Vultures Gather

Just now, Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application for full statehood, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

(By the way, it’s sad that Ki-moon, as a South Korean, would shake hands with a terrorist and consider such a move. The South Koreans know something about facing-off against a totalitarian regime, and the presence of 50,000 US troops keeps the North Koreans at bay.)

Of course, everyone is talking about Abbas and the Palestinian power-play in New York. I’d like to talk, however, about some of the things that brought us to this place.

At about the same time Abbas was appearing at the UN (on the heels of Ahmadinejad’s speech to the same body. Isn’t the world insane?), Bill Clinton was telling Foreign Policy magazine that the one to blame for the failure of the peace process is…Benjamin Netanyahu.

No one knows better than Clinton what a huge lie that is. He spent a good portion of his presidency having affairs and pushing for a peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, so pronounced is his narcissism.

After the Camp David talks in 2000 broke down between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat—dashing Clinton’s last real chance at a legacy—the American president knew who had scuttled any chance for peace. He later expressed astonishment at the lengths the Israelis were willing to go to seal a deal. After he left office, he felt comfortable enough to lay the blame at Arafat’s feet.

No one knows better than American presidents just how diabolical the Palestinian leadership really is.

We live in a world in which huge lies are told by the left and, incredibly, to great effect. So hated is Israel that vast numbers of people actually believe this game is between the brutal Israelis and the oppressed, innocent Palestinians.

In part, Clinton told FP:

"That's what happened. Every American needs to know this. That's how we got to where we are," Clinton said. "The real cynics believe that the Netanyahu's government's continued call for negotiations over borders and such means that he's just not going to give up the West Bank."

FP writer Josh Rogin also revealed:

The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won't accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.

This is an astonishing lie. The Palestinians have never recognized Israel as the Jewish state, and they have never stopped incitement to violence among their own people.

These are obvious things.

And for all of Clinton’s renowned intellect, he shows that he clearly does not understand Scripture:

"The two great tragedies in modern Middle Eastern politics, which make you wonder if God wants Middle East peace or not, were [Yitzhak] Rabin's assassination and [Ariel] Sharon's stroke," Clinton said.

So he is blaming A) Netanyahu and B) God. The chutzpah of change agents like Clinton is indeed breathtaking. (By the way, I strongly urge you to get a copy of Richard Minister’s masterful book, Losing Bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror. Prepare to be scared and enraged.)

We also have learned in recent days of the intense pressure that Clinton’s wife has put on the Israelis to apologize(!) to the Turks for last year’s flotilla fiasco.

Closely associated with the Clintons’ animus toward Israel are their friends on the Religious Left.

In what I believe is a coordinated effort, leftists in the Church are now ramping-up the rhetoric against Christian and Jewish Zionists. Front-and-center is Brian McLaren, whose disdain for Zionists puts the lie to his carefully crafted, peace-loving persona.

Now that the Palestinians have become emboldened by the calculated groveling toward the Muslim world by Barack Obama, their friends in the American Church are coming out of the woodwork. When McLaren approves of hate-speech against Zionists, he signals his sycophantic protégés in the Emergent community to follow suit.

Obama, it is rumored, will veto the Palestinian bid for statehood, but this is only window-dressing and only temporary. The pieces are being put into place for a catastrophic attack on the Jewish state and Obama and his leftist friends will not only openly turn on Israel soon, but on her friends as well.

We all know that is primarily Christian Zionists. We are also being demonized from growing circles within the Church.

In the midst of all this, I’d encourage you to get a copy—or several—of Paul Smith’s new book, The New Evangelicalism (you can order from The Word for Today, http://twft.com), which traces the sorry slide away from the Bible at Fuller Theological Seminary, and how that played-out with folks like Rick Warren, Billy Graham, and the son of Fuller’s founder, Daniel Fuller.

Your eyes will be opened, and you will then understand why a powerbroker like Warren (who is hugely influencing young Emergent pastors like Perry Noble and Steven Furtick) can schmooze with Syria’s butcher, Bashar Assad, as he did in five years ago (www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53030).

There are many things going on besides the Palestinian power-play at the UN, but all are connected. Many fronts are opening-up against Israel and her supporters, and you should beware. I have said it many times and will say it again, loudly:

American Church leaders and ministries are speeding toward abandoning Israel (if they ever supported the Jewish state) and embracing the barbaric Palestinians. It is happening and it will get worse.

The vultures are gathering.

 jim@prophecymatters.com


Sep 19, 2011

Too Many Enemies

Amazingly, the UN’s “Palmer Report,” detailing the investigation into last summer’s “flotilla” incident—in which Israeli commandos boarded a “humanitarian” ship bound for Gaza, to check for weapons smuggling—is actually favorable to the Jewish state.

Sadly, though, but now routine, its release has been buried by the media (as outlined by Honest Reporting, www.honestreporting.com) as Turkey’s increasingly bellicose Prime Minister, Erdogan, continues to use harsh rhetoric against Israel.

And in one of the “small” incidents this past week, Israelis living in the town of Netiv Ha’asara had to deal with sniper fire from Gaza. I have friends in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo who dealt with the same thing a few years ago, this time from Bethlehem.

It is obvious to all, even their supporters, that the Palestinians are not fit for a state. They do not embrace even basic humanitarian values, and do not value life. I am still waiting for American mainline churches to denounce the brutal murders of the Fogel family in March. They are silent about any violence directed at Israel, including the continued imprisonment of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

According to a story from the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

“A spokesman for the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine nicknamed Abu Jamal claimed that operatives belonging to his organization had begun sniper fire attacks. He said the organization had previously carried out sniper attacks. He added that it had been carried out "thanks to a modern, advanced, precise weapon" the organization received, which could hit a long-range target and did not endanger the shooter. It was also, he said, thanks to the training the operatives had undergone in precision shooting, concealment and evasion.”

Another encounter nearby around the same time illustrates the wide gulf between Israel and her supporters, and the Palestinians and their supporters.

An IDF patrol was hit by mortar fire, and in the response, Khaled Ahmed Abu Sahmoud, a member of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) was killed. He was the commander of the east Khan Yunis unit.

The Arabs have been launching terror raids and campaigns against Jews in that land for 100 years, intensifying them in the lead-up to World War II, and making almost daily efforts since 1948. No other country in the world (the UN has about 195 members) has ever dealt with such threats, so consistently. Yet Israel’s critics continue to chatter about what the Jewish state does wrong.

Do the critics mention that the IDF made the decision in 2002 to send soldiers house-to-house in Jenin, looking for Hamas killers? Do you understand my point? Just like the Lebanon War of 1982, rather than flatten whole Palestinian villages from the air—and thus save their own troops—the IDF commanders made the decision to send troops into harm’s way, to prevent civilian casualties.

As I always do, upon visiting Jerusalem this summer, I stopped at the military cemetery at Mt. Herzl, where 22 IDF soldiers are buried. They were killed in Jenin.

Silence from the Left.

As a Christian (and all my Jewish friends, here and in Israel, share the same sentiment), I am grieved, truly, at Abu Sahmoud’s death. One casualty in world history, he was still known to God, and it is a horrific tragedy that terrorism caused his death. Does the Left think of or remember his family?

The Iraqi soldiers who were put through the meat grinder by Saddam Hussein in the Gulf Wars, so he could use them as human shields…does the Left think about them? I know they don’t think about Jews murdered by terrorists, but do they think about the fact that policies they embrace (appeasement and negotiations with terrorists) embolden the terrorists and result in more killing?

As for Israel, they have too many enemies. Politicians. Armies. Diplomats. Media figures. Terrorist-murderers.

Most people pay some attention to the big picture, to the negotiations and to the Palestinian threat to attain statehood from the UN.

I think a lot about the casualties on both sides, even the terrorists. And I think almost continually about my Israeli friends, who have by far too many enemies.

jim@prophecymatters.com

  


Sep 12, 2011

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel

My friends at Encounter Books are innovative and informative. Their “broadsides” collection of pamphlets, in the tradition of the Founding Fathers, offers booklet-size position papers that are terrific for understanding our world, especially geopolitics.

Michael A. Ledeen has written Obama’s Betrayal of Israel, and I’d urge you to get a few copies and pass out to friends. I read my copy this morning after hearing about the Egyptian mob that stormed Israel’s embassy in Cairo.

We have Mr. Obama to thank for this. His sycophantic speech in Cairo a few years ago let the radicals know that the White House would stand-down if the Muslim Brotherhood came to power.

Which has now happened.

Only this morning, a statement was issued that Obama is “very concerned” about the situation. What is he concerned about, that Israel will actually keep its embassy in a sea of hostility?

Obama’s claim that American support for Israel is “unbreakable” is either disingenuous or naïve. And I don’t think he’s naïve. As I often tell liberals in the Church, one cannot—at least in the current climate—claim to be “for Israel’s security” while at the same time advocating for a Palestinian state. The Palestinians are thirsting for the liquidation of Israel, so it is illogical that one is both “pro Israel and pro Palestinian.”

Interestingly, as Ledeen points out, “Israelis certainly get the picture. In a recent poll, only 4 percent of Israelis said they thought President Obama’s policies are supportive of Israel.”

You see, the people who actually live in the region, and defend themselves daily against Arab terrorism, understand what the American liberal Church evidently does not: the Palestinians want all of the land. This is expressed over and over in their publications and speeches, and now, as I pointed out after my recent trip, they are even selling t-shirts that say “Free Palestine,” and depict a map without Israel at all.

Question for the left: why do you think the Palestinians would live peacefully with Israel?

Ledeen’s broadside gives compelling evidence that this president is not only not interested in Israel’s security, he telegraphs to the world constantly that he is bent on the country’s destruction. Ledeen points out that Obama “personally attended” a ceremony awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson. She is the former UN official who “presided over the Durban conference in 2001 that denigrated into an angry hate rally against Israel, America and Jews.”

In 1970, Yasser Arafat’s PLO was limited in scope. So the lifelong terrorist enlisted the help of the North Vietnamese in developing strategies for winning over the West in his drive to exterminate Israel.

No less than Ho Chi Minh himself, along with General Vo Nguyen Giap schooled Arafat in the art of propaganda. A key factor in Arafat’s subsequent success was his adoption of the tactic of presenting the Palestinians as a “liberation movement” (which resonated with the American left from the beginning, after its own education in such from the Soviets). One can track, then, the gradual acceptance of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, three years before Israel’s acquisition of territory during the Six-Day War! I’ve never heard a liberal respond to this amazing tidbit).

No less than Ronald Reagan, early in his presidency, decided that formally recognizing the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people was in everyone’s best interests.

When his own vice president assumed the top job several years later, Arafat was rescued from oblivion in Tunisia, cleaned-up, and presented to the Israelis as their negotiating partner. No doubt the killer, in his homemade paramilitary uniform, could scarcely believe his luck. It’s been downhill ever since.

Another inconvenient truth for the left is the fact that UN Resolution 242, which was drafted just after the Six Day War, calls for Israel to give up “territories,” not “the territories.” This important-but-overlooked clause would allow Israel, in any settlement, to retain some of the territory captured, for security purposes.

But the PLO/PA, and their supporters in the West will have none of that. They claim that Israel is to surrender all the territory. That is false, but it is effective propaganda. Further, Israel has already surrendered more than 90 percent of the territory, ceding the Sinai to Egypt 30 years ago(!), pulling out of Gaza in 2005, and leaving the buffer zone in Lebanon in 1999.

What has that gotten the Israelis? More venom! More demands!

Of course, the left is dismissive of such facts. The left is also dismissive when the facts are documented.

Mohammad Dahlan, Fatah’s (the political wing of the PLO) leader in Gaza, said that “Arafat would condemn [terrorist] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things.” Of course, you can imagine what he meant by “honorable things.” (Hint: murdering Jews).

My critics on the left, in the Church, accuse me of being “uninformed” and by that they mean that I have not talked to Palestinian Christians in the land.

That is a false charge, and you’ll have to do better than that! When a Christian contact in an Arab town told me several years ago that I was buying trinkets from young men who were terrorists (by night), I began to realize what we are dealing with.

I’ve also spoken to many Palestinian Christians who insist on anonymity because they are afraid of the Muslims. Overwhelmingly (though they are no fans of the Israelis), they prefer life under Israeli administration, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that their families don’t live under the threat of murder for not towing the Muslim line.

And the left’s Palestinian friends, such as Naim Ateek, brand Christian Zionists as more dangerous than Hamas! Isn’t that incredible?

In any event, I predict this situation will grow worse. The American Church leadership is turning on Israel. At the same time they deny they are turning on Israel.

It seems Ho Chi Minh influence extended far beyond the bearded Egyptian terrorist who took their instruction 40 years ago.

jim@prophecymatters.com