Israel is under attack and victim of a new type of terror.
While the world hasbeen distracted by events in Paris, Syria and the almost daily horrors caused by ISIS, Jews have been dying daily in Israel. The Palestinians have launched an undeclared Third Intifada. This new and very deadly uprising has been caused primarily by the president of the Palestinian Authority—Mahmoud Abbas. His constant baiting and lies over the Temple Mount have provoked a spasm of blood and murder from the young Palestinian men and women that he leads.
Abbas has consistently claimed that Israel intends to cut Palestinians access to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque complexes. This is a lie and completely false. The Israeli government has no such aspirations, yet Abbas has continued to spew his hate-filled rhetoric resulting in the deaths of a significant number of Israelis.
Even worse, Imams from all over Gaza have preached from their Mosques of the need for Palestinian men and women to rise up against this perceived oppression in defense of Al- Aqsa using whatever means they can; cars, guns rocks or knives. This, they have been doing, in quite some numbers.
The Knife Intifada, as it has become known, is causing a political and social crisis within Israel. Jews have been run over and rammed to death by Palestinians terrorists in cars. Young children have been seriously injured by rocks thrown onto the wind shields of moving vehicles. Jews have been shot and killed, and unsuspecting men and women of a variety of ages have been stabbed, seriously injured or killed.
An old woman in her eighties was recently chased down by a knife wielding Palestinian man in his mid-twenties. When apprehended he said he was proud of his actions, as were his family as he was “resisting.” Truly nothing speaks of courage like the sight of a young man with a knife running down an old woman. Incredibly brave!
This Intifada is affecting the psyche of ordinary Israelis. They are used to feeling besieged from outside their borders, but to experience terror in their own neighborhoods day in and day out is beginning to have a profound effect.
Imagine no longer daring to look at your mobile phone as you walk down the street because of the need to stay alert in case you are attacked.
Imagine waiting for a bus at a bus stop and standing behind the bus shelter instead of in front of it for fear that you may be rammed by a car and seriously injured.
Imagine trying to only walk down the sidewalk toward oncoming traffic so you at least have some warning should a car stray from the road to try to kill you.
If you are a woman, imagine not wearing high heels anymore in case you have to run for your life.
Or imagine making sure that you don’t leave anything embarrassing in your home in the morning, in case someone else has to come back to your house that evening because you cannot.
Yet in surveys the overwhelming majority of Israelis remain determined that they will not look on every Arab as if they could be a terrorist. Israelis have determined that they will not stop going to work or to the gym, to the cinema or to restaurants. Many Israelis have determined that they will not lose their perspective amid this growing threat to themselves and their families.
Their spirit is reminiscent of the Blitz spirit seen in London during the 1940s. The fact that ordinary Palestinians are prepared to leave their homes and randomly attack Jewish men, women and children with complete disregard for their victims or their own survival—is as a result of the years and years of lies and hate with which they have been indoctrinated.
Through schools, mosques, social media and their own government, Palestinians of all ages have been fed a daily diet of hatred and lies toward Israel for almost seven decades. This message has now become a generational one.
This Knife Intifada has put the political leadership of Israel at odds with the leadership of the IDF. The Israeli Defense Forces believe they have a solution to this nightmare; a complete lockdown of all Palestinian areas. This would even involve Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem and Palestinian-populated areas of Judea, Samaria and Hebron for an indefinite period.
Israeli military and intelligence experts are of the opinion that the desired effect of a de-escalation of attacks will only be achieved by an ultimatum: Give up terrorism or be cut off from Israel and therefore die economically.
Netanyahu, while leaving this option open, is deeply fearful that a total lockdown on Palestinian areas will have a negative effect politically at home and internationally. (This is an under-statement.) IDF commanders are of the belief that if the Palestinian terror is not stopped it will continue to escalate to the point where the hand of Netanyahu will be forced to take action.
Netanyahu fears that if his hand is forced and the IDF’s plans for suppressing this wave of terrorism is implemented then it would be seen as a declaration of all-out war by the Palestinians and lead to a dramatic escalation between the two sides, ultimately ending in full-scale armed combat between them.
This would without question further deeply alienate Israel in the eyes of the world.
The awful strategic reality Israel faces is that with each passing year, most in the world seems to hate her more and more, irrespective of what she does or who is at fault. The fact that Palestinians are carrying out these horrendous attacks day after day on innocent Jewish Israelis is seen as irrelevant; it must be Israel’s fault somehow because of the “occupation” as the warped logic goes.
Israelis are isolated and they do stand all alone at this point. This situation will only get worse in the days, months and years ahead. Israel is becoming more hated by all and approaching the day when the whole world will come against her (Zechariah 12:3).
Ultimately God is going to allow Israel to go to such a place of international isolation and condemnation that they have no other option but to turn to Him and to cry out to Him for deliverance. This is a part of that process and this abandonment by the world proves that He is once again beginning to turn His attention back to dealing with Israel.
This means that the closing of the Gentile age must be close at hand.
Like no other time before, we should be praying for Jerusalem and the Jewish men, women and children that live within Israel’s precious God-ordained borders.
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3).
And, lest we should become arrogant, how long do we think it will be before radicalized individuals or groups within our own midst learn the lessons of this cheap, easy, asymmetrical warfare that the Palestinians are so effectively demonstrating, and will start attacking people in a similar manner within our own communities?