1 May 2023

We’re Going Up to Jerusalem

(I am planning a tour group of Israel for Spring 2024, with Pastor Chris Quintana of Old Path Ministries. Message me if you’d like to go with us!)

Happily, in a week, I leave for another trip to Israel. It’s a great privilege to go even once. To go multiple times is sublime. I’ll have more to say about the trip later, but for now, I’d like to know what you the reader of “Israel Watch” lo these many years would like to see. What would you like for me to report on? What sites would you like to see presented in-depth? Email me your requests; we can’t get to them all, but we’ll take a crack at several.

A lot of people have asked if I am concerned about safety over there.

Not at all.

Short of a declared war, I would not hesitate to visit the Holy Land. The Israelis are the Cadillac of security. I even drive myself around with no problem.

Now to what is up today with the Jewish state.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, visited the border between Lebanon and Israel this week. His host was the fiendish boss of Hezbollah, Sheik Nasrallah. The meeting was mostly a propaganda opportunity and more Arab saber-rattling. In fact, Amir-Abdollahian said that, “Zionists only understand force.” He then spewed some more nonsense:

“I received accurate situation assessments from Nasrallah and confirmation that the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups are in the best condition they have ever been.”

He visited Maroun al-Ras, near the border. He, like Haman, Hitler, Nasser and countless other hoods, predicted the “Zionists” would surely “collapse.”

He should do stand-up.

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

“World Jerusalem Day rallies were held throughout Iran on April 14, 2023, and exploited by the Iranian leadership to express the Iranian Republic’s continuing support for the Palestinians. Meeting with senior state officials and ambassadors from Islamic states for Eid al-Fitr, the Iranian supreme leader praised the Palestinian ‘resistance’ to Israel and declared that the ‘Zionist regime’ would become weaker as the ‘resistance’ became stronger.

“The Iranian foreign minister held a telephone call with the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and with the chairman of Hamas’ political bureau to assure them of Iran’s support for the Palestinians.

“The Israeli Security Agency revealed that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force and Hezbollah were recruiting Palestinians from Judea and Samaria to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.”

Notice a pattern? The same empty threats. Well, not empty, but I would say toothless. They are toothless for one specific reason: God has promised in His Word that the Jewish people are eternal. I legitimately believe the Spirit is grieved if we as individual believers give in to fear. Fear is a man-made construct, stoked by the enemy. Fear is not from the Lord.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the heathen don’t rage.

At the same time the Iranians are issuing threats to Israel regionally, defense ministers and intelligence directors for Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Syria met to discuss the situation in Syria. Bashar Assad still assumes the title of president, but since the 2011 civil war erupted, he’s been a client-state of the Russians and Iranians.

While chiefs met to discuss specifically Syria, they were obsessed with Israel, claiming that the Israeli forces had killed two operatives. The efforts to hit Israelis in Judea and Samaria are real, no doubt. Over 160 attacks have occurred, with 50 percent of them being shooting attacks. And Jews have been murdered, for sure.

But even in this, we see the Palestinian terrorists’ weakness, along with their overlords. Israel remains strong as an ox, rebuffing any large-scale attack, which includes all-out war. The truth is, no one in the region can handle Israel. They might (and will, eventually) band together, but even in this past history shows us the Israelis are undefeated. The Iranians and Syrians and Lebanese can talk all they want about liquidating Israel, but notice that they haven’t done it yet.

Not for lack of trying.

If the evil leadership among the Palestinians didn’t continually keep things stirred up through lies, there’s no telling what kind of jewel the Middle East could become. On April 22, Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi spoke on the phone with Tamim ibn Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, for Eid al-Fitr. They discussed the Palestinian issue, and Raisi related to the ‘recent crimes of the Zionist regime against al-Aqsa and the unprotected [Ramadan] fasters.’”

Here’s a clue. They were referring to the famous Al-Aksa Mosque, situated on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. I can tell you from personal experience, no one is assaulting Arabs on the Temple Mount. No one is assaulting the Al-Aksa. These are giant lies. I’ve been there many times. The only people causing trouble, or getting barred from visiting, is Jews and Gentiles. I purposely delayed my trip until Ramadan is over, because during that month of Muslim observance, anyone not Arab has little-to-no chance of ascending the Temple Mount.

So who is the problem?

During these meetings that I’ve mentioned above, though, the leaders have tipped their hand. Their real goal is to “liberate the historic lands of Palestine.” That is the goal: eliminate Israel.

The Israeli Security Agency revealed that IRGC’ Qods Force and Hezbollah were recruiting Palestinians from Judea and Samaria to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel. According to the Agency, in recent months two Palestinians from Judea and Samaria, Yussuf Mansour and Marsil Mansour, had been detained, and confessed to having agreed to a request from two operatives, Huda Mahana and Muhammed Radwan (aka “Muhammad Bashir”) to smuggle weapons into Judea and Samaria and sell them, and to collect information about IDF activities and recruit other operatives for terrorist attacks.

Let me conclude for now by saying that even though the Palestinians are causing trouble, spurred by their hatred of Jews, we as believers should pray for them. It “feels like” the world overall has become too insane to last much longer. Eternity is coming for all of us, and the Lord doesn’t wish that any perish!