26 Apr 2021

The Aggressiveness of Evil

Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City is a marvelous place. In modern times, it is the place where the British General Allenby entered in December, 1917, marking the end of Turkish Ottoman rule in Palestine.

A sparkling, new mall is located just outside the gate. Inside are cafes, a hostel where Mark Twain once stayed, and Christ Church, the oldest Protestant church in the Middle East. As always, birds chirp and the stone alleyways are the perfect acoustic.

Twenty years ago I visited an antiquities shop there, noticing (and coveting) a stone stamped with the mark of the 10th Roman Legion, the soldiers that laid siege to Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Unfortunately, in even such an historic and usually tranquil place, evil lurks. This week I read this from the Meir Amit Intelligence Center:

“On April 19, 2021, a crowd of about 50 Palestinians threw rocks and attacked Israeli passersby near the Jaffa Gate in east Jerusalem. The police detained six suspects who were involved in the attack, and they were taken for interrogation (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit.

“On April 15, 2021, al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, the official PA newspaper, condemned the so- called ‘Israeli aggression’ against al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan.”

I was struck by this because unlike a few hundred yards away in mostly Palestinian East Jerusalem, where clashes with police are more routine, the Jaffa Gate area of West Jerusalem is a beehive of tourist activity and peace. Just steps away is some of the priciest real estate in the world, the Yemen Moshe neighborhood.

Tourism has been greatly reduced in the past year of course, but still it is jarring to know that 50 Palestinian thugs gathered specifically at Jaffa Gate. It is a reminder that Arab aggression against Israel is with us until Jesus comes back. He is the only One that will bring peace.

The Palestinian community has been raised on a diet of hatred for Jews. Further—in a devilish development we are now experiencing in the U.S.—their media spew propaganda 24 hours a day. No Israelis are being “aggressive” during Ramadan at the Al-Aksa Mosque. In fact, the second Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount is a nest for terrorists and their rhetoric. The Israelis don’t harass them.

Here is another note:

“On April 13, 2021, the first day of Ramadan, before the end of the night prayer, Palestinians rioted at the Nablus Gate in east Jerusalem. The reason was allegedly the Israeli police decision, in view of the coronavirus situation, to place barricades to keep people from sitting on the steps to the Temple Mount compound during the month. The Palestinians threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and small explosive devices at a police position nearby and at buses driving past. The windows of a bus were shattered and a policeman was wounded by flying glass; two drivers and three passengers were also injured.”

These evildoers are about violence, aggression, and murder. It’s all Arafat was. It’s all Abbas is.

We err if we think we can appeal to peoples’ “better angels.” There is no such thing. I assume tourism to Israel will resume. I assume Jaffa Gate will again teem with tourists and their shopping bags and cameras. But we must realize that our only real task—beyond activism and even beyond education—is prayer for peace. Prayer that even one person will escape bloody injuries inflicted by the devil himself.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to Israel. At least in this life.

I used to think that educating people more was the key. If only they had the facts. But I hope you will join me in praying for peace in Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)