Israel is the key to all end-time prophecy.

Keep your eye on Jerusalem


Jim Fletcher is a writer, researcher, speaker and director of Prophecy Matters (prophecymatters.com). He is also a member of the executive committee of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel (NCLCI), and author of It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). He writes online for WorldNetDaily; Beliefnet; American Family Association; the Jerusalem Post; and Rapture Ready. He can be reached at jim@prophecymatters.com

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  • Feb 8, 2016

    The Next White House and Israel

    Many of us are “issues” voters. In fact, who isn’t? Leftists like to tag conservatives as “issues voters,” then they do the same thing by voting for immoral candidates who support abortion, etc.

    But what kind of relationship will Israel have with the next president?

    That’s one of my issues.

    We can predict fairly easily what the Democrat will do, if one is elected. It will be at least four more years of Obama’s anti-Semitic agenda. The only Democrat currently running that has a chance of winning is Hillary Clinton, and the sleazy Clinton has a decades-long history of befriending the Palestinians. Part of her email scandal involves her exchanges with aids and advisors that show a clear hatred of the Jewish state. Just get a load of her exchanges about Israel with Sid Blumenthal.

    Clinton was also deeply involved in her husband’s pressuring of Netanyahu and Israel in the ‘90s. In short, she is an old-school leftist who would be very bad for Israel.

    But what of the Republicans?

    Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be much of an ideologue, and that would probably be a benefit. He has done business with Israelis and the relationship seems warm and genuine, so his experience there would no doubt be positive. No doubt he and Netanyahu would get along swimmingly.

    I heard Ted Cruz a couple years ago speak at a Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington. He sounded like a Likudnik, a real Zionist who is a genuine friend of Israel.

    Marco Rubio also seems to have genuine affection for Israel.

    Interestingly, I think it is the governors in the race—Bush, Christie, Kasich—who would be decidedly less friendly, but it’s a moot point because none will sniff the White House.

    Carly Fiorina I think would have made a good president, and as my good friend Matt Buff explained the other night on the “Israel Watch” radio program, Fiorina might get a shot next time. She certainly is friendly with the Israelis and Netanyahu.

    The only Republican candidate (now former) who would be indifferent at best (and probably hostile) toward Israel is Rand Paul. Thankfully, Paul will never get past the Senate.

    Presidential candidates usually trot-out their alleged support of Israel, then when they assume office, that support disappears. But John Kasich’s recent comments about Israel and the Obama Administration seem genuine, and genuinely impressive:

    “’Israel has given a lot of stuff back. They gave Gaza back. How is that working out? They have everything launching into Israel,’ Kasich said. ‘I don’t know how you get a two-state solution when people are walking into your country and stabbing people. I will say this: Recognize the State of Israel, guarantee their permanent security, stop launching Katyusha rockets into Israel, stop sending in people with knives to kill people in Israel — they went from rocks to knives now — and knock it off. And then, I think you can get to a two-state solution.’

    “Kasich asserted there will never be permanent peace and Israel should search for stability.

    “’Every day that you go by without there being major problems there, that is a win,’ he said. ‘And I can tell you, we are not going to bully Israel; it’s their survival. It’s just very serious stuff. It’s like – man, we want to survive.’” (Jerusalem Post)

    One thing is certain: if a Republican wins the White House come November, the dreadful damage done to our relationship with the Jewish state, by Obama, will be reversed.

    And that’s one big positive outcome of surviving eight years of the Marxist.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Feb 1, 2016

    French Folly

    The same week pitiful images emerged of French President Hollande greeting the fiendish “President” Hassan Rouhani of Iran, France announced it would formally recognize a state of Palestine, should brokered negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians bread down.

    Israel wasted no time issuing a statement about that.

    “The foreign minister’s statement offers incentive to the Palestinians to reach a deadlock,” an Israeli official said. “It is not possible to conduct negotiations or to achieve peace in such a manner.”

    This comes a few days after China’s president said essentially the same thing, and some European countries are condemning Israel’s methods in the West Bank, while the EU supports boycotts against Israeli goods.

    According to the Jerusalem Post, France’s foreign minister outlines the latest colossal blunder regarding diplomacy:

    "France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the two-state solution.”

    This international conference will commence in the summer.

    France left no doubt as to its intentions:

    “If this last attempt at finding a solution hits a wall, ‘well...in this case, we need to face our responsibilities by recognizing the Palestinian state,’ [Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius said.”

    Fabius used disturbing language that he is unaware contributes to a climate of anti-Semitism not seen in 70 years:

    "We see that unfortunately colonization continues and that recently, the Israeli prime minister went so far as to reproach the UN secretary-general for encouraging terrorism on the basis that he had reminded of colonization's illegality and asked that it cease.”

    Colonization. That means they believe Israel has stolen Palestinian land. Further, the UN’s Ban Ki-moon is immoral, in his view that the “occupation” gives the Palestinians the right to commit acts of terror. This is a repulsive and grotesque worldview, and one that will eventually condemn the international community.

    We who study Bible prophecy and who love Israel must never take our eyes off the focus: God’s unfolding plan is rapidly unfolding, and with an international conference about to convene, to condemn Israel and seek to force a Palestinian state, the endgame approaches.

    Ki-Moon has called Israel’s “settlements” as “provocative acts.” Can you imagine?!

    These aren’t stupid people, or people ignorant of history. They know Israel has displayed remarkable restraint, and they know Israel has given back 90 percent of the territory taken in the Six-Day War! Which proves they are driven by Jew-hatred. Let’s call it what it is.

    Now, tragically for those of us who grew up in a great nation, the United States political establishment/regime is also a foe of the Jewish state.

    Further from the Jerusalem Post:

    “The United States, European Union and the United Nations have issued unusually stern criticism of Israel, provoking a sharp response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and raising Palestinians' hopes of steps against their neighbor.”

    In part, the international community seeks to throw Israel to the wolves, in hopes the wolves will not come for them. This is also historical folly; all barbarians eventually eat the dupes.

    History will shame the international community for its role in abandoning Israel. And the God of history will have His reckoning.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Jan 25, 2016

    Why We’re Where We Are Part 2

    Last week’s column generated so much feedback, I knew another installment was necessary. Learning about our past helps us make better decisions about the present and to some extent, the future.

    As I’ve said before, I love to know why we are where we are. What are the roots and foundations of our present state? In this space, we are talking about the Church, and her understanding of Israel and the Jews.

    We live in a time when certain “evangelicals” are friendly with Marxists, certain “evangelical” leaders are engaged in interfaith dialogue with Muslim radicals, and too many “evangelical” leaders don’t like Israel (see Moore, Russell).

    Political networks have engaged with religious networks and media networks (check out the book Dupes sometime; eye-opening). But for our purposes today, let’s look at how liberal scholarship has ruined our seminaries, and turned out legions of pastors and professors who have in turn polluted churches and ministries with bad teaching. A common denominator among all these liberal theologians is a minimizing or even outright denial of Jewish history.

    Last week we looked at current change agents in the church, who are working tirelessly to blunt support for Israel. Sometimes they do it by calling Jesus a Palestinian. Sometimes they do it by hijacking Jewish history from the Bible and making it “Christian.”

    These efforts impact both how we see Israel, and how we see Bible prophecy. The latter is currently out-of-favor in many churches.

    The late, great scholar Oswald Allis wrote The Unity of Isaiah in 1950, and in the intro, recounted an interesting story. It seems that he once visited ministry friends in Germany and the story was told of a young seminary student, some 40 years before, who was instructed by his own professors/mentors to remember that no scholar anymore believed that Isaiah recorded the entire book that bore his name. But…he was not to reveal this to his congregation.

    The poor chap, in his first sermon, became confused and, in preaching about Isaiah, kept telling his congregation repeatedly that some other, anonymous writer had recorded Isaiah 40-66.

    (This because the scholars could not, would not believe in a God who can predict the future; they felt the far-distant prophecies could not be and were merely written history, after the fact. This single line of attack on the Bible is devastating to the faith of many.)

    Allis was making the point that if one does not simply read the Bible for what it says, there is no end to doubt. Interestingly, this kind of teaching has now reached full flower, as “doubt” is now pushed as a virtue by evangelical Millennial leaders, who do not want young people to be firm in their faith. This results in what Bob DeWaay has called a “theology of despair.” In the end, one cannot be assured of the faith, if various important doctrines are not wholly true.

    Oswald wrote:

    “Is it any wonder that they [congregants of the day] are confused and bewildered? Is it any wonder that they are tempted to leave Isaiah and many other parts of the Bible severely alone? Is it any wonder that Bible study is not on the increase but decidedly on the decrease in many circles in the Christian Church?”

    Remember, Allis wrote this in 1950! If we think the strange fire coming from Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley is new, let us think again. Each of these men minimize belief in Bible prophecy; an intended outcome of that is the marginalization of Israel. If the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Jews’ eternal possession of the Holy Land is in question…then today’s state of Israel is perhaps illegitimate and her national claims on the land are certainly illegitimate.

    We err if we think the strange fire raging through our churches is new at all. It is quite old. Yet it has exploded in seemingly just the last few years.

    Allis (no friend of Dispensationalism, by the way) rightly understood that knocking the legs out from under prophecy would lead to knocking the legs out of everything else in the Bible, and that would leave individuals who succumbed to such lies bereft of any real faith.

    Further, even those denominations traditionally thought of as “conservative” have long housed destructive elements. Take the Southern Baptist Convention, for example. Anyone who thinks the great wars between the SBC’s conservative and moderate/liberal wings resulted in a conservative victory is misled. Liberals/leftists never go away; they simply lay low for awhile before re-emerging stronger than ever.

    Ralph Elliott’s The Message of Genesis was published by the SBC’s Sunday School Board in 1961. Elliott was in fact a radical who stabbed at the veracity of Genesis:

    “As will be noted later, when effort is made to interpret the creation stories, some of the roots has material going back to the early Sumerian-Babylonian period (3000-1500 B.C.).”

    The idea that the Bible was influenced by Sumerian myth is blasphemy. Do you understand that? Do you see what has been going on in our seminaries for 100 years?

    Is it any wonder then that popular teachers like Andy Stanley profess to accept evolutionary views of Genesis?

    And remember: if any or all of Genesis is in doubt historically, so is the history of the Jews and Israel. If it can be alleged that Abraham was myth, then one can say Israel has no modern right to live in the land once known as Canaan.

    Do you see how we have gotten to a point where people in the pulpits and pews deny basic biblical history and get away with it? Our churches are filled with peole who don’t know anything about the Bible. The secular corollary is to some degree those “man on the street” interviews in which students are asked who the vice president is and they haven’t a clue.

    Today most congregants are helpless in the face of attacks on Scripture. Congregational Scripture reading is a thing of the past, as hypnotic worship music and 15-minute “sermonettes” and self-help talks have replaced expository preaching. When a faith community eliminates real Bible teaching and preaching, that vacuum is filled with nothing good. It’s why today a teacher like Jen Hatmaker can recommend radical Marxists like Cornel West and no one blinks an eye.

    It’s why Andy Stanley can deny the infallibility of Scripture and not one nationally known evangelical leader will call him on it and demand accountability. Stanley only grows more popular.

    It’s why Fuller Seminary professor Tony Jones can say he no longer believes in Original Sin, and he gets away with it. No accountability.

    It’s why we are where we are.

    It’s why Israel is defamed, marginalized, and attacked…within the Church. I have come to the conclusion that because of where we are — deep into the last days, a quaint thought in much of evangelicalism — our efforts from here on out should be that of a rescue operation. Tell as many as you can about what is going on, teach Scripture, encourage Bible reading.

    If any of the Bible is not true, then all of it is untrue. And if that’s the case, we are all left with a theology of despair.

    If however Scripture is all true, then we must steel ourselves and hold on until the end, just as Jesus said.

    There is no going back.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Jan 18, 2016

    Why We’re Where We Are

    Usually, “Israel Watch” is devoted to topics that directly relate to the Jewish state, of course. But one of my hobbies is engaging in what David Horowitz calls “discover the networks,” which enables one to get the bigger picture. In other words, I am almost obsessed with learning why things are the way they are.

    In this case, what are the human agents of change that cause Israel to be a pariah on the international stage? We know the real backstory: the Bible predicts it. But because we have been given a front-row seat to the conclusion of history, I like to know how we got here.

    In the heyday of dispensationalism (I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, in the Midwest), fervor for Israel was everywhere. It grew from our reading of the Bible, although I wonder how many people actually loved/liked Jews, and how much of our Israel focus was because “that’s how you get to the end.” There was some good teaching and then some teaching that wasn’t so great. Personally, we were taught almost nothing about Jewish roots, the Holocaust, or even clear, concise information about Israel’s role in history.

    Having said that, I like to think that our churches then were light years ahead of mainline churches, in understanding the specialness of the Jewish people. Liberalism had infected our seminaries for generations (even within the SBC), and the liberal institutions were busy reimagining Scripture so that it was all about the Church.

    Classic Replacement Theology.

    I’ve outlined in this space before some of those influences, including the Darwinian philosophy that destroyed Europe, and the German Higher Criticism that deconstructed the Bible for millions.

    Yet it is most intriguing today to look at America, post World War 2. The rise of Fuller Seminary, Leadership Network, which spawned the Church Growth Movement, celebrity pastors, and today’s Christian Millennials.

    America today is thoroughly engulfed in really bad teaching in the churches. I always have to qualify that statement by saying there are still thousands of great pastors and churches out there. There are. But nationally, they do not have the voice that Rick Warren enjoys. The result is that the so-called Evangelical Industrial Complex (what I also don’t shy away from calling the Christian Illuminati) has a stranglehold on messaging and media, nationally.

    Go into any Christian bookstore chain. There you will find all sorts of bad books. It used to be that store managers would carefully look over the myriad catalogs they received from publishers, then when a company’s sales rep came in, the manager placed his or her order.

    That changed some time ago; now, sales reps by and large simply inform the manager what books will be shipped. In other words, in the old days, a manager could order some Charles Spurgeon, some good prophecy stuff, more Bibles, etc. Today? It’s floor and counter displays of Max Lucado, Joel Osteen, and Jesus Calling (a horrific book, which is also standard reading in most evangelical churches), etc.

    In a certain sense, the culture demanded it and the publishers provided it. But both are complicit in the grotesque offerings in Christian media today.

    And the networks all feed and feed off each other. Dr. Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (after the ERLC board got rid of the pro Israel Richard Land), wrote a book last year, Onward, which won Book of the Year from Christianity Today magazine. Now, a generation ago, that wouldn’t have happened. Why? CT for decades has been a left-leaning mouthpiece for all sorts of change agents. The magazine’s editorial staff/board doesn’t like Bible prophecy, young-earth creationism, or discernment teachers like Warren Smith or the late Ken Silva. So if Moore and CT are chummy, that doesn’t spell anything good for old-school evangelicalism.

    By the way, if you want a primer on Moore’s views of Israel, read Dr. Randy White’s piece here, which outlines how far the SBC leadership has drifted from pro Israel support. Then, if you have some hours to kill, check out Moore’s blog, “Moore to the Point.” Search for “Israel” and “Palestine,” and oh, you’ll see where he’s going with it.

    Bottom line: where Israel and Bible prophecy are concerned, almost all the top evangelical leadership today opposes them.

    Now, the old complaint that some prophecy teachers cried wolf one too many times is valid. Many prophecy teachers over the years have come right up to the edge of telling us that Jesus is returning next Tuesday at 3 p.m. They just have. That has helped glaze-over the eyes of countless people in the evangelical world, not to mention the mainline. They just aren’t listening anymore.

    However…overwhelmingly, these evangelical leaders don’t like prophecy teaching and Israel because they don’t like prophecy teaching and Israel. “Moore to the Point”: they don’t like Jews.

    Anti-Semitism is a scourge in the American church. It is also a very individual choice. One can be exposed to anti-Jewish invective and embrace it, or leave it. I chose the latter as a young person. Once, I was speaking in a church and during the Q&A, an older gentleman raised his hand and said that as a child, he was encouraged to stay away from Jews.

    “Why was that, do you think?” I asked.

    “I don’t know,” he said, obviously perplexed at the old memory.

    People teach others to steer clear of Jews because they buy into the old Middle Ages stereotypes: Jews are greedy; Jews start wars. Et cetera. Jew hatred is a spiritual sickness that afflicts individuals, who choose to allow the virus to remain within them. Many of them in turn influence others and the virus spreads.

    I can document plenty of cases of teaching from church leaders that points to a downturn in pro Israel support today. I think of Philip Yancey’s reference to Jesus as a “Palestinian rabbi.” This is of course false (First-century Jews knew nothing of a “Palestine”), and both a political and religious statement. Interestingly, Yancey’s false portrayal of the Lord came around the time Yasser Arafat was telling mainline church leaders in Washington that Jesus was a Palestinian.

    I wrote to Yancey and he was reluctant to concede my point that Jesus was never and will never be a Palestinian.

    Then there was the letter I received in the mid-‘90s from Maxie Dunnam, then president of Asbury Theological Seminary. I had asked him what he thought of Israel theologically, and he replied that he didn’t think modern Israelis were connected to the biblical Hebrews. This is a common theme among evangelical leaders today. Asbury is considered to be the most evangelical seminary within the United Methodist Church.

    In the last hundred years, American seminaries have been run by liberals, who do not place a premium on the sufficiency of Scripture. One of the natural outcomes of such thinking is a denial of much of Jewish history. For example, if you knew how many evangelical professors don’t believe the Exodus story actually happened…you’d be sickened. If you knew how many teaching materials relegate the Old Testament to semi-myth, you’d be enraged.

    This is how we’ve gotten to where we are regarding Israel and Bible prophecy.  The biggest evangelical ministries and churches shy away from these topics; they either find them embarrassing, controversial, or the pastors don’t want people to know what they personally believe about Jews and Israel.

    David Gushee is a self-described “Christian ethicist.” In 2011, he and his friend Glen Stassen (then a professor at Fuller Seminary) penned an open letter to Christian Zionists, making the outrageous claim that we are “sinning” by our support for Israel! The duo also mentored such Millennial leaders as Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart, who are in turn promoting the Palestinian Narrative to young people.

    Last week, Gushee tweeted: “The culture wars now are a threat to academic freedom. How did we get here?”

    This is classic leftist misinformation. What he means is that conservatives are a threat to academic freedom. Yet it has been obvious for a half-century at least that leftist professors are the real threat to academic freedom. Hal Lindsey has remarked that when he was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ in 1961, Berkeley was already totally infected by Marxist teachers.

    Gushee sees the world in a certain way. His worldview is left. But interestingly, people like Gushee are gaining in influence in the evangelical world.

    But outright leftists aren’t the only ones. There are stealth campaigns having sway, as well. Check out the speaker lineup for the upcoming National Religious Broadcasters Convention, in Nashville.

    Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, will speak. In recent years, the Green family’s relationship with Jews and Israel has been…problematic. The flap over a Jewish person in a Hobby Lobby looking for a menorah, being told that the company doesn’t cater to Jews, caused the company some bad national press. The 2010 documentary hit piece on Israel, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” produced by Green’s brother, Mart, has been roundly panned by pro Israel supporters.

    I’ve asked Mart Green numerous times, including three times in person, to clarify his views on Israel and the Jews.

    I’m still waiting.

    This kind of influence at NRB is interesting to me. Not so longer ago, the late Brandt Gustafson was leading NRB, and he was pro Israel.

    Now, NRB still has pro Israel speakers, such as Kay Arthur. But the introduction of speakers with a different worldview is quite disturbing.

    Rick Warren will also speak. His closeness to Muslims is cause for concern; his 2006 meeting/fawning over Syria’s Bashar Assad, has never been adequately explained. He has also tweeted news items spotlighting Israel’s anti-missionary laws, and his close mentoring relationship with pro Palestinian Millennials like Cameron Strang tip Warren’s hand when it comes to Israel. And here I’m not even addressing his involvement with Leadership Network and Church Growth gurus/change agents like Peter Drucker.

    Writer Jon Acuff hangs with anti-Israel evangelicals.

    In his NRB bio, Jake Press (CEO, HelloMogo Inc.) is doing his part to introduce Jesus Calling to evangelical audiences: “He has been responsible for implementing strategy and deployment for top companies; experienced success producing the #1 book app, Jesus Calling; and most recently launched Disciplr.com as a co-founding member of the new tech brand.”

     

    As I’ve said, Jesus Calling is a Trojan Horse within evangelicalism, yet it has sold more than 10 million copies. Check out Warren Smith’s strong investigation of this book.

    My point here is that at all levels, including the Christian book publishing industry, anti-biblical worldview has pushed its nose under the tent and is becoming mainstream thought.

    This does not bode well for pro Israel support.

    What happens when I expose these networks within evangelicalism? I get attacked for being mean-spirited. I am told to stop naming names.

    The failure to name names is precisely why we’re in the position we’re in today.

    After a century of attacks on the Bible, from within the fort, one of the outcomes is a downturn in support for Israel. If you are a student who has been told that early Jewish history is really murky and might be in some part myth, then you are naturally not going to believe Israel has legitimate rights in its ancient homeland.

    That’s where we are today. The rising generation of evangelical leaders is turning away from Israel, and they do not at all embrace a correct eschatology.

    Next week, I’ll reveal more of these left-leaning networks that have so damaged the American church and in particular, pro Israel support.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Jan 11, 2016

    Netanyahu at War

     Most people have no idea the level of propaganda aimed at them each day via media. Assuming a reporter or anchor for the three main networks, or CNN is telling you the truth is, in my view, dangerous.

    I was surprised by the number of people I heard from who watched the PBS special, “Netanyahu at War,” which ran under the Frontline banner.

    The whole two hours was a propaganda piece that was birthed in the 1997 op-ed piece, “The Year of Hating Bibi.” In those days, Netanyahu’s first premiership, Bill Clinton loathed him, and many of the career losers cashing checks from the State Department are still around, “helping” Barack Obama, in the latest presidential failure to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians.

    Let me be clear: in my view, the overwhelming and obvious reason there isn’t peace has to do with the radicalization of the Palestinian society. For 25 years — 25 years — the Palestinian Authority/PLO has continued its “armed struggle,” which demands the disappearance of Israel. In that time, Israel has been forced by the West to play ball and pretend that the land-for-peace formula is based in reality.

    I have been saying for some time that as Oslo comes more sharply into focus as a colossal failure on every level…the international community will eventually double and triple-down, forcing Israel to accept a Palestinian state. That is the delusion of secular humanists, who at the end of the day check their vaunted intellects at the door in order to promote a fantasy. Why? Because in their heart of hearts, they loathe the same thing the Arabs do: a Jewish state in the Middle East. Even scores of Christians like and tolerate Jews, so long as the latter are either dead or vulnerable.

    But I digress.

    When I saw that Frontline was using hacks like Martin Indyk, David Axelrod, and Ben Rhodes to psychoanalyze Netanyahu, I knew the jig was up.

    If you have some information and knowledge of the situation, and watch the entire two-hour special, you will come away with the view that it is a Soviet-style propaganda piece designed to harm Israel.

    If you are everyone else, in a country where a majority voted a Marxist in as president, then you believe Netanyahu is a haunted, insecure egotist who has blocked the Utopian peace for a generation.

    Further, the depictions of Obama as a visionary, hopeful guy is stunning. At one point, Axelrod claims that he walked into the Oval Office one day and found the pensive community organizer-in-chief staring out the window.

    “What’s on your mind?” Axe gently queried.

    Obama answered by saying that he simply didn’t understand all the misreading of his good intentions toward the Jews. He also said* that he believes that of all the presidents, his heart is the most “Jewish.”

    (*I simply do not believe this conversation took place. I think it’s made up to advance a narrative that says Obama = Reasonable, Bibi = Crazy.)

    Look, we are living in territory no one has ever experienced. The American president lies with astonishing regularity, and public television exports the lie to the masses.

    For his part, Netanyahu has already called Indyk a liar. The former diplomat, who took millions from the Saudis, is another of Clinton’s and Obama’s interlocuters who makes things up in order to smear Israel. Indyk has a Ph.D. in international relations and — I say this with a straight face — my sixth-grader niece would do a better job as a diplomat.

    She believes in reality.

    In “Netanyahu at War,” Indyk recounts an alleged scene at the funeral of slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin: according to Indyk, he was standing with Netanyahu, who turned to him and claimed that if Rabin had lived, he’d have been known as a failure, etc.

    Netanyahu says the conversation didn’t take place.

    Sense a PBS pattern here?

    Now, PBS did feature the famous 1972 Sabena hijacking, in which Netanyahu led his counter-terror unit in successfully freeing the hostages. They even noted that Netanyahu charged to the front of the plane in shooting at the terrorists.

    But even this heroic action is framed as a trauma event that has turned the Israeli leader into a paranoid, bitter Zionist. A thinking person would conclude that, gee, that Israeli prime minister is a pretty brave guy, especially against our profoundly cowardly president.

    Overall, the premise of the special was predictable: a very smart and very compassionate international community has worked tirelessly to bring peace to the oppressed Palestinians, and if it weren’t for those Likud bastards, all would live in paradise.

    When documentary producers use Ha’aretz writers like Ari Shavit, and Americans from The New Yorker and The New York Times…truth-telling isn’t the point. Notice that even the title of the documentary, “Netanyahu at War,” portrays him as a warmonger.

    I encourage all pro Israel Christians to learn to pay close attention to such pieces, and think critically. Then you’ll see what is really going on.

    Jim1fletcher@yahoo.com


    Jan 4, 2016

    The Death of Oslo?

    “There will be decisive and important decisions regarding all forms of ties with the occupation, including security and political relations.” (The PLO’s Saeb Erekat)

    After 22 years of futility, due almost entirely to Palestinian mendacity and dishonest intentions, it appears to most people that the Oslo model is broken forever. Actually, many pro Israel folks have insisted from the beginning — when George H.W. Bush forced the Israelis to negotiate with their murderers — that the “land for peace” deal was fatally flawed and a non-starter.

    This was due mostly to the PLO’s Yasser Arafat and his duplicity. He never intended to engage in nation building, and spent his time inciting his people to hate Jews. Whole generations were raised on it.

    Now comes word that the PLO leadership (Mahmoud Abbas has not called for elections in years and remains a classic Arab dictator, albeit one without much power) that they are considering breaking ties with Israel.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “The Palestinian Authority leadership is expected to meet in the coming days to discuss the future of its relations with Israel, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.

    “Erekat said that he expected the meeting to take place before the end of this year to discuss previous decisions by PLO and Fatah bodies to suspend relations with Israel.

    “’There will be decisive and important decisions regarding all forms of ties with the occupation, including security and political relations,’ he said.”

    Erekat of course is another of those corrupt Palestinians who owns a luxury home in Jericho, as his own people sink ever lower into poverty.

    Oslo was always a theoretical model, crafted by European and American diplomats who never understood the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. For one thing, they never came to grips with Arab duplicity and Arab rejection of Israel.

    But I have a prediction.

    As inane as Oslo always was, and in light of so much Palestinian mayhem…it is Israel that will be blamed, internationally. This is not a new thought with me, of course. But I predict further that a Palestinian state will be forced by the international community.

    Remember, the Bible doesn’t exactly mitigate against such a scenario. In Ezekiel 36:1,2: “Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession…”

    Notice the word “possession.” It isn’t merely that Israel’s enemies are claiming entitlement to the land. They possess it. And since this is in the midst of end-times scenarios, it at least is a possibility that this refers to a Palestinian state.

    From there, Israel will be in real peril, because another of the Oslo lies was that the Palestinian state would be demilitarized. All Israeli prime ministers have insisted on it. Yet, there is no way a sovereign Palestine would remain demilitarized, since a main aim of PLO leadership has been to secure territory from which to launch a “final attack.”

    Palestine would be armed to the teeth from a variety of sources.

    History has been inching closer to this outcome for two decades. Pro Israel sources have never wanted a Palestinian state, but I have a nagging feeling that the closer we get to the “final nail in Oslo’s coffin,” the closer we get to its fulfillment.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Dec 28, 2015

    Hezbollah, Schmezbollah

    The successful hit on the savage, Samir Kuntar, is having a ripple effect in Lebanon.

    The terrorist (actually, a Druze), who brutally slaughtered an Israeli family decades ago, was released from prison in 2008, in a swap for the bodies of IDF soldiers. It was a painful compromise for the Israelis, and controversial, obviously.

    Just as the terrorists released from Gitmo by the American president return to the jihad war against the West, so did Kuntar return to plotting murder. One has only to look at his photograph to see a demon.

    What’s most interesting about this incident, though (Kuntar was killed by a missile strike last week), is the damage done to Hezbollah’s image. Sheik Nasrallah, the chieftan of this community of killers, has been saber rattling, threatening retaliatory strikes against Israel. In point of fact, Nasrallah is scared.

    Of the Kuntar operation, Nasrallah said:

    "We have no doubt that the Israeli enemy was behind the assassination in a blatant military operation."

    Mind-boggling. What of Hezbollah’s “military operations” against Israeli civilians? What of the threat of tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel’s population centers in the north?

    Interestingly, Kuntar, the Hezbollah operative, was killed in Damascus. Hezbollah has been fighting on the side of the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad. The chaos in Syria and Iraq are actually shaking the confidence both of Hezbollah and Iran, which has lost a stunning number of fighters in these conflicts. This struggle between Sunni and Shiite Muslims is an internal conflict that has sucked-in much of the international community.

    What it really shows us is that Israel has the capability of defending itself in a manner so sophisticated, it causes terror leaders to saber rattle…from caves and other hideaways. Nasrallah is like a mole, living underground and way from the light, where he could be killed at any moment.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “In January, according to foreign media, an Israeli air strike in Syria killed six members of Hezbollah, including a commander and the son of its late military chief, Imad Moughniyah, near the Golan Heights.”

    The truth is, Israel could destroy Hezbollah and Hamas relatively quickly if need be.

    The five-year civil war in Syria, which has now drawn-in Russia, is serving to keep these inter-family fights in the spotlight, showing everyone that in fact, Israel has nothing to do with their bloodlust. It also serves to highlight how much they love killing each other. If one were to take Israel out of the Middle East, it would still be a profound disaster and bloodbath.

    Just know that when Nasrallah threatens retaliation against Israel (which actually has not publicly claimed responsibility for Kuntar’s death), he is a desperate man.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Dec 21, 2015

    History Underfoot

    It was announced this week that a stone slab was discovered near the Galilee, bearing Hebrew letters. It proves that there was a Jewish presence there about 1,500 years ago, well after the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century. This means that there has been a Jewish presence in the land for at least 3,000 years.

    Earlier this month a clay seal was found in Jerusalem, bearing the name of King Hezekiah.

    The stone slab was discovered in the village of Kursi, which is where Jesus healed the demon-possessed men and sent the demons into swine.

    The clay seal find was announced as an example of First Temple artifact. Dating back to the eighth century B.C., the seal is a clear link to a major biblical character.

    Also this year it was announced that a 3,300 year-old Egyptian coffin was found in the Jezreel Valley. Various civilizations passed this way.

    A few years ago, I examined ruins dating back to the days of Abraham, in Jerusalem’s Old City, then had dinner that evening only steps away, in a 1,000-year-old building that was once a Crusader fortress.

    Yet no archaeologist has ever uncovered evidence of an ancient “Palestinian” civilization. No one denies that there are presently “Palestinians,” but the very term is a political one, created only a few decades ago. It was designed to fool people into thinking there has always been a Palestinian presence in the land, making their claims equal to that of the Jews.

    Less than 20 years ago, the fledgling Palestinian Authority posted on its website examples of Palestinian culture and history. It was pitiful in the extreme. A few dresses sewn by Arab women, and images of currency from the British Mandate days, from Palestine. Yet the languages on the currency were in English, Arabic, and…Hebrew. In those days, anyone living in Palestine was a “Palestinian.”

    Today, of course, the invention of the identity does fool millions, who either don’t know history, or have short attention spans, or both.

    One of the most murderous men in history, Yasser Arafat, routinely denied Jewish history in the land. Grotesquely, he was and is helped in that endeavor through Western political and religious leaders. Bill Clinton hosted Arafat in the White House 13 times, even though the President’s pastor had years before urged him to never abandon Israel.

    Self-identifying Christian leaders like Philip Yancey have referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian.” When called on it, they double down, as Yancey did in the 90’s when I wrote to him about it.

    Through all this, we know that no amount of proof will satisfy a Jew-hater. Jew-haters, from CAIR and the PLO, to American religious leaders, will not acknowledge the Jews. Notice how the Palestinian Authority and various Arab governments will not recognize Israel.

    We who believe the Bible know the truth, and one day, even Israel’s enemies will acknowledge her.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Dec 14, 2015

    Why Your Efforts Are Important

    This week I read an article about Pastor Don Long, of Faith Christian Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It seems that the reverend noticed that a city flag display (each year Fitchburg sets up international flags for some months in the city center) no longer included the blue Star of David — the flag of the State of Israel.

    City managers told him the removal wasn’t intentional, but intentional or not, it was a statement. Especially in light of the fact that the Israeli flag was replaced with the flag of the United Nations, a body infected with anti-Semitism. As most readers of this column are aware, the UN issues resolution after resolution condemning the Jewish state, and doesn’t allow Israel to sit on the Security Council (but does include terror states!).

    This was too much for Long and his congregation. The pastor spoke up at a council meeting, with passion:

    “Until last year the flag of Israel was part of the international flags flying in the center of our city. On our many visits to Israel over the past 10 years we have told Israelis about our city — and their flag being displayed. This has given them great encouragement and hope. Fitchburg has a long history of good relationships with the resident Jewish community… Therefore I am not just interested in issuing a complaint, nor to just ‘correct’ this by putting up the flag of Israel. I want the City Council to go on record that the flag of Israel represents a section of the citizens of Fitchburg who are very much a part of our history, and therefore that flag should be a regular part of our yearly international display of flags in our city.”

    Lo and behold, the council agreed and the decision has been reversed. I spoke to Long this week and he said something very profound:

    “I think another part of this is that if we as a church simply let that happen, then we are part of the growing anti-Semitic feeling in the nation. We had to take action.”

    This is really important, because it shows that will and resolve can make a positive impact. Because Faith Christian Church found the anti-Semitic slight unacceptable, something was done about it. This is a model for others, including the current weak evangelical leadership at the highest ministry and denominational levels (although Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, recently blogged that one of the problems in our world is the marginalization of Israel. Kudos to Dr. Floyd for such a bold statement).

    Much has been made of Donald Trump’s statement this week that as president, he’d seek a ban on Muslims entering this country. The outcry has been fierce, and Trump has been roasted in the media — both liberal and conservative.

    One can argue about Trump’s ideas, but on this issue, he has refused to back down. I mention this because it shows us that sometimes, simple resolve and will can effect change. No one knows what’s going to happen with the national election next year; many are predicting Trump won’t even win the nomination. However, here is the truth: Donald Trump might be sworn-in as the nation’s 45th president in early 2017.

    The moral of that story? Out-will our opponents. In the context of pro Israel advocacy, refuse to believe our enemies who claim that Israel will cease to exist, or that our efforts are worthless.

    Far from it.

    The Lord of History is keeping watch and keeping score.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Dec 7, 2015

    Goodbye, Germany

    When talking about Israel, one always asks: which subject today? Or this hour? There’s so much to cover!

    This week, I’d like to discuss the profoundly immoral stance of the international community regarding Israel’s legitimacy.

    It was announced today that Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeirer said the country would back the European Union’s labeling of products made in “the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.” You’ve probably heard of this boycott effort, led by international leftists who hate Jews and hate Israel.

    Pathetically, Steinmeirer was quick to add that “Israeli” products (those produced inside the dangerously small Israel proper) would continue to be sold in Europe and, thank you, Frank-Walter, those products will get “preferential market access.”

    How kind.

    Further, the German Foreign Ministry said “there will not be an Israel boycott in Germany.”

    As if this parsing suffices. The bottom line is that Steinmeirer has perhaps forgotten a little historical footnote called the Holocaust, in which, among other things, Jews within the Reich were first imperiled through economic boycotts. Signs were put up in the shops of Jewish owners, warning German citizens not to do business there.

    We know what happened after that.

    Making a distinction between Israel proper and the Disputed Territories might help the Germans sleep better at night (amid their nightmares of murder from 70 years ago), but it simply in reality drives home the point that they are immoral.

    For decades, the PLO and the wider pan-Arab world worked tirelessly to depict Israel as illegitimate, itself a “Nazi state.” Incredibly, the world fell for it. Now, in a lame attempt to appear even-handed, Germany’s leadership extends one economic hand to the Jewish state, while working to tie the other one behind Israel’s back.

    Produce and goods that come from the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean must be partitioned, in the minds of international elites, who prefer to try and pacify the genocidal Arabs, who would, were they to succeed in their millennia-long goal of exterminating the Jews, come after the Europeans next.

    (Or perhaps they already have! The attacks in Paris and the encroachment of Islam in every European country — fully 30 percent of Brussels is Muslim! — signal that the invasion has begun.)

    It’s especially galling that the Germans would deny they are boycotting Israel, even as they boycott Israel.

    Interestingly, Israel is thriving and has the best security in the world, while Old World Europe is a dying ember and even the U.S. is being remade in the image of the false god in the White House. Both communities are in rapid decline.

    Yet Israel remains.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz termed the EU label measure ‘disguised anti-Semitism.’

    “A spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Post on the telephone that the federal government is reviewing the Post query. Merkel has said she opposes boycotts of Israel but has not issued a public statement on EU product labels.”

    Merkel of course is the delusional leader of Germany working around the clock to flood the country with Middle East refugees — many of whom will finish-off the once-proud German nation once they are in place and their terror cells are operative.

    Europe’s madness is hard to watch, inexplicable and terrifying.

    The only thing that separates us from the hapless and clueless Europeans is 300 million privately owned guns.

    If found it ironic that Germany’s stance on boycotts did not include Gaza. You’ll recall that 10 years ago, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, leaving much business infrastructure for the Palestinians, who promptly burned it all to the ground. Yet civilized Europe still tries to appease the Death Cult.

    Soon and very soon, Europe will enter into a new Dark Age, for myriad reasons involving their view of Israel and Jews.

    America will hardly be in a position to rebuild the Continent, then, as we did two generations ago.

    I suggest we boycott Europe — travel and goods — and invest instead in Israel.

    Long live the Jewish state.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    30 Nov, 2015

    Too Painful to Think About

    My friend, Lela Gilbert, has a fascinating interview with Iddo Netanyahu this week.

    he American journalist, who lives in Israel part of the year, is an extraordinary interviewer. In this piece, she sits down with the brother of the prime minister and the engrossing interview shines a spotlight on what moral clarity looks like.

    Speaking of the Paris attacks, Iddo said:o:p>

    “The question is really not about these particular incidents’ happening, whether in Paris, whether at a specific nightclub, or in some other place. The question is how to stop them.

    “French headlines reported that President Hollande said, ‘We’re at war.’

    “So if you’re at war, then you have to find out who the enemy is. You have to define the enemy. And you have to actually wage war. And I think people in the main understand that there is an enemy and who the enemy is. The problem is not so much with the population. The problem is with its leadership.”

    Netanyahu, the youngest son of Zionist legend Benzion Netanyahu, knows better than most what it takes to meet and defeat jihadist threats. As a member of Israel’s feared and famed counter-terrorism unit, Sayeret Matkal, he took part in many operations, and of course, lost his brother in the Entebbe raid. His reasoned analysis of where we are oozes with clarity of thought and moral conviction. In particular, he addresses the baffling tendency for Westerners to stick their heads in the sand when confronted with the glaringly obvious thread of jihad:

    “Self-delusion, in not wanting to understand dangers, is so strong in us because it’s painful to admit to processes that are threatening our cherished world, and sometimes taking action can be even more painful.”

    Although our world today is chaotic and unsettling, those of us who are believers (and in particular, supporters of Israel) must use these opportunities to show people that the Bible predicts, over and over, a coming, chaotic countdown to world history.

    Think of the theological delusion a century ago, in American churches and seminaries, when the embrace (incredibly) of Darwinian philosophy led many to believe a better world was being created, by men. The slaughter of World War I was a wakeup call, and World War II finished off the notion that man can improve himself to any real degree.

    Yet there are still those in the American Church “leadership” community who believe they are building a sort of theological Utopia, a “Kingdom Now,” so they work their “peace” plans day and night. Their ignoring of realities is contributing to the problem. Would that they would read the Iddo Netanyahu interview and act accordingly.

    Just this week I read another inane Twitter message from Shane Claiborne, in which he was endorsing the idea that we should wholesale bring in Syrian refugees and resolve to play video games with the refugee children. Because welcoming all with open arms is what “Jesus would do.”

    Would He?

    The level of naiveté in the international community is mind-boggling. I happen to think that something else is going on the dithering by leaders and even the rank-and-file.

    Sure, individually, we don’t want to think about the dangers affecting us personally, but we also willfully ignore dangers to our fellow man. While I suppose there are vetting procedures that would allow for a limited amount of Syrian refugees (for example, women and children), in a broader sense, the international indifference to the murder of Jews is more sinister. It is a willful disdain for Jewish life.

    I was thinking about this this week, in light of the incomprehensible policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is demanding that her countrymen welcome a staggering number of Middle East refugees.

    Why?

    Why would a national leader of a modern society knowingly bring in a dangerous element? How will Germany manage the coming jihad within the country’s borders?

    I don’t think they will, and therein lies a possible reason for the confusion and historically bad choices.

    Could this be Divine retribution for the Holocaust? I know many Israelis who to this day refuse to visit Germany.

    Certainly some of the German people and even leadership have repudiated the nation’s sins in the Holocaust. Yet, by all reports, anti-Semitism is all-too-alive and all-too-well in Germany right now.

    Sadly, there is no indication that Europe will seriously oppose the existential threat now within the borders. Again, read Lela’s interview with Iddo Netanyahu for more insight into that.

    Israel recently shared intelligence with Germany that thwarted an outdoor attack. And even with the menacing Obama in the White House, Israel and America at a strategic level are still close, and none of us have any idea just how close those ties are behind the scenes.

    For what it’s worth, here’s how I see things shaking out, at least on a general level: Europe is lost. America will be invaded, but will largely repulse the jihadists, who once again have underestimated the American people themselves, set quite apart from our own dangerous leaders.

    And Israel?

    Israel will not only survive, but thrive. That is Scriptural, and you can take that to the bank.

    Her sons and daughters can now defend themselves, after millennia, and with their God going before them, their thinking is clear and just.

    Without that reality, the future would be just too painful to think about.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    23 Nov, 2015

    The Lighthouse

    I spent the weekend at a board meeting for a pro Israel group and while there, we saw an early screening of a new film that spotlights the desperate situation Middle East Christians are in, due to ISIS.

    It wasn’t about Israel, but at one point, a Christian who fled torture in Egypt told a hair-raising tale of riding a jet ski into Eilat, the southern resort town in Israel. That wild ride saved his life. He said it was the only safe country in the Middle East for Christians.

    Israel is also celebrating anniversaries now related to the efforts to bring Jews home from Africa decades ago.

    As it has since its inception, the Jewish state is a haven for the oppressed, and this is a value we have shared with Israel.

    The film was very sobering and while I don’t advocate bringing refugees into this country (the only thing that matters is that ISIS will use those efforts as a Trojan Horse), I would encourage American Christians to send money that is desperately needed to provide refugees with basic needs.

    The world is close to desperation as the chickens have come home to roost due to lunatic policies by the West. Our own national leaders have imperiled all of us.

    This weekend, I also read a story in the Times of Israel about Iran’s Revolutionary Guards practicing storming and conquering the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They’ve actually gone through dry runs for this purpose. Can you imagine?

    As I’ve long said, the trigger for the end times events to cascade over civilization will be the attack on Jerusalem, from a global confederation. We live in a time when the American president is openly allied with…Iran…while Israel fights a desperate battle against terrorists from all directions.

    The fact is, as Islamist demons rampage across the Middle East, both Christians and Jews are in the crosshairs. And as they seek to destroy Christianity in the Middle East (where it started), Israel is also in the crosshairs. At the board meeting, one member told of just coming back from 10 days in Israel.

    “On the northern border, with Lebanon, the houses just across the border don’t have windows; they are housing missiles that are aimed at Israel; 150,000 missiles!”

    As I’ve been saying for some time, Israel is not going anywhere, and in fact has been promised Divine Protection.

    Not so for the rest of mankind, in the short-term. Divine Retribution for centuries of mistreatment of Jews will make the next few years quite desperate. I encourage all of you to ready yourselves and your families spiritually, first, and then do what you can to provide physical protection.

    I’m not sure, because of our unique geography, that we will face situations as terrible as those faced by Christians in the Middle East, but I am certain terrorists are among us.

    As we prepare ourselves, let us continue to both pray for and look to the Lighthouse.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Nov 16,  2015

    CUFI, 2.5 Million Strong!

    I admit to being passionate about Israel advocacy. It began for  me 20 years ago, when I met the peerless Avi Lipkin, in Dallas. He helped me learn to pronounce the name of a new Israeli politician arriving on the scene: Net-ahn-yahoo.

    Since then, I’ve been to innumerable conferences, traveled to Israel several times, and engaged in pro Israel work where I could. Todd and Terry were kind enough to allow me to write the “Israel Watch” column and, gosh, that launch was almost eight years ago!

    One of the biggest thrills has been meeting and befriending the leadership at Christians United for Israel. I met David Brog, the executive director since 2006, a dozen years ago in Washington. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Shari Dollinger, and speakers Victor Styrsky and Randy Neal.

    I know we shouldn’t get hung up on numbers alone, but look, CUFI’s membership rolls are mushrooming. They are adding hundreds of thousands of new members each year, and that is stunningly impressive. The database now stands at 2.5 million!

    Readers of “Israel Watch” routinely ask me where they should put their money, and I can give CUFI my highest recommendation. The work they’re doing on behalf of the Jewish state and Jews worldwide is that important.

    CUFI is expanding operations and programs, launching a new initiative against the diabolical BDS campaign, and adding new campus chapters. Their many events around the country give attendees valuable information and encouragement.

    There are unprecedented challenges facing Israel, but also the country’s Christian Zionist friends. Several pro Israel groups do terrific work, and I know most of them. CUFI is as good as it gets.

    We all have our favorite things, and mine involves events where I can learn something. Note the benefits to hosting a CUFI “Standing With Israel” event:

    “Hosting a Standing with Israel event at a church in your area can have a tremendous impact on your community. Christians will learn how you can tangibly and effectively stand with Israel, and you will be sending an encouraging message of hope that the Jewish people have seldom heard ‘you are not alone.’

    “CUFI has made hosting a Standing with Israel events  very easy for you.  All you need is a church, minimal AV support, and to get the word out to your community.  CUFI will get the word out to other CUFI members in your area.

    “Christians United for Israel offers speakers for your Standing with Israel event.

    “All of our CUFI Regional Coordinators are professional speakers who have extensive experience on Christian Support for Israel.

    “Possible topics (we will tailor to your needs):

    “Biblical Support for the State of Israel

    Developing A Night To Honor Israel for you community

    A Middle East Briefing

    “Supporting Israel on College Campuses (or Anti-Semitism on today's campuses). This topic will be covered by the CUFI On Campus Director, Andrew Summey

    “All topics have the option for a multimedia presentation.”

    Is this a free ad for CUFI?

    Yes, it is. I’m that impressed with them, and again, I encourage you to check out their site, which is their heart. Get involved as you can.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Nov 9,  2015

    When the Good Guys Ruled

    It’s probably no coincidence as we approach the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah that archaeologists have uncovered a remnant of a remarkable time in Israel’s history.

    About a hundred years before Christ, a Jewish rebellion against the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes produced some of the most amazing leaders in Israel’s history. The Maccabees, a family originating from Modi’in (near present-day Tel Aviv), rallied an army that defeated Antiochus. Thus the Jews were sovereign in their land until the Romans emerged decades later.

    Just one — one of hundreds — remarkable thing about visiting Israel is seeing ancient history swirl around the present day and even the future. A couple examples come to mind: Israel’s governing body, the Knesset, is made up of 120 members. Why that number? Because the Jewish leadership council during the Babylonian exile 2,600 years ago numbered 120.

    Also, no matter where new construction starts, great care is given to making sure an archaeological treasure is not harmed. A few years ago I was strolling down a street in Jaffa and noticed the street was torn up. Thinking it was some paving problem, I asked someone. “Oh, no,” came the reply. “They’ve uncovered some ancient site.”

    I know other countries have archaeological sites, but certainly Israel is unique in this regard.

    Hearing of this week’s announcement of a fortress used by Antiochus reminded me of the sublime times I’ve walked around Jerusalem’s Old City. There are still places just outside the city’s walls where one can imagine some amazing treasure just waiting to be uncovered.

    No one knows where the tombs of David and Solomon are, but significant sites have been uncovered on the southern end. David’s palace sits atop an ancient community that slopes downhill, overlooking the modern Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan. One can imagine David here, looking down on a beautiful young woman bathing on her roof.

    According to the Times of Israel:

    “A section of fortification was discovered under the Givati parking lot in the City of David south of the Old City walls and the Temple Mount. The fortification is believed to have been part of a system of defenses known as the Acra fortress, built by Antiochus as he sought to quell a Jewish priestly rebellion centered on the Temple.

    “Antiochus is remembered in the Jewish tradition as the villain of the Hanukkah holiday who sought to ban Jewish religious rites, sparking the Maccabean revolt.”

    It is absolutely incredible that in our day scores of people around the world seek to erase Jewish history from the Holy Land. Some in the religious community even refer to it almost exclusively as “the Holy Land” so that they don’t have to say “Israel.”

    And yet we continually see evidence of Jewish history uncovered in their ancient homeland.

    I love that this new site is being opened to the public on the evening of December 6, the beginning of Hanukkah this year.

    May the memory of the Maccabees be remembered in all their glory. And may their memory inspire today’s generation of Israelis, who are facing their own Antiochus.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Nov 2,  2015

    The Death of Discernment

    The political ascension of Justin Trudeau in Canada is proof positive that international geopolitics can change on a dime, and our short-term views of Israel’s circle of friends go up in smoke.

    Remember, Canada’s Stephen Harper has been a staunch friend of Israel for the better part of a decade. But only days ago, he lost an election to the suave, young Trudeau, whose father, Pierre, also led the nation decades ago. The Trudeau’s spent so much time in the tabloids for various indiscretions, it’s little wonder that Justin is very much a product of a younger generation. He is a polar opposite of Harper, and as he assumes power, everyone knows he will view the Jewish state much differently.

    According to CIJ News:

    “During the election campaign, Trudeau pledged to change Canada’s foreign policy by espousing a more ‘balanced’ approach in the Middle East.

    “The Canadian Palestinian leadership which publicly sided with the ‘Palestinian Intifada’ (also called ‘al-Quds Intifada’ and the ‘Knife Intifada’), expressed its hope that the 10 newly-elected Liberal Muslim members of parliament succeed in their efforts to reform Canada’s foreign policy.

    “Rashad Saleh, the Secretary of Fatah movement in Canada, who called his supporters to vote for Omar Alghabra, the Liberal Party’s candidate, gloated over the ‘ousting of the right-wing Conservative Party and the racist government that was more Zionist than Netanyahu’s government.’ He emphasized that ‘we have to rebuild the relations [with the government] and the Canadian – Palestinian committees in Parliament.’”

    Easy prediction: Justin Trudeau will be no friend of Israel.

    The new Canadian leader is much more out of the mold of his mentor to the south, and at 43, he has a lot of time to govern.

    Remember, too, he has a European mindset: diplomacy and appeasement is the order of the day. And with Europe being overrun with Middle East refugees, many of them jihadist Trojan Horses, there’s little doubt Trudeau will adopt similar suicidal policies.

    But he is far from alone in the Lack of Discernment Department. Young American leaders and their mentors in the religious community suffer from the same profound, astonishing lack of discernment that bedevils their political friends.

    Jon Huckins, co-founder of the Global Immersion Project, tweeted this week a message that is a hallmark of too many of his peers:

    “Israel's excess force on Palestinian children decried http://aje.io/y7vk //My heart aches. Breeding generational cycles of violence.”

    Mind-numbing. As Israel struggles to stop savage murderers, Western dupes like Huckins blame…Israelis!

    Excess force? Think of this: scores of Palestinians are roaming Israel, brandishing knives dipped in poison, guns, bombs. Some are using cars to ram Israelis on sidewalks.

    No such attacks are perpetrated by Israelis against Palestinians.

    And Huckins claims Israelis are brutalizing Palestinian children?

    Is he serious?

    It’s just a personal opinion, but no, I don’t think he is. I don’t think he seriously believes this inversion of truth. But it does serve the agenda he and his friends follow in demonizing the Jewish state.

    His friend and mentor, Lynne Hybels, also tweeted a message this week:

    “@lynnehybels moral equivalence is not wisdom. given conflicting narratives, we need to seek the truth and reject what is false.”

    Sounds good, doesn’t it?

    The problem is, while Hybels claims to abhor moral equivalence (for example, seeing the Palestinian “reasons” for committing acts of violence, because, after all, they suffer from Israeli violence), she always sides with the Palestinian Narrative. Hybels decries the “Occupation,” and a whole litany of alleged abuses by Israel. This includes claims of stealing water from Palestinians, home demolitions, and land confiscations.

    She never—never—presents the Israeli side with any sense of fairness. Her rigid talking points, which fit like a glove with the talking points used by the PLO, teach young people a false history.

    That’s why guys like Huckins go after Israel. They know they’ll suffer not an iota of danger. Much easier in the short-term to do that rather than challenge the jihadists rampaging across civilization.

    A showdown is coming between Islam and The Rest of Us.

    The appeasement and moral weakness of Justin Trudeau, and his friends in the political, media, and religious communities are helping that reality take shape.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Oct 26, 2015

    The Old Lion and the Jews

    I recently read a fascinating book, Churchill’s Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft. The British icon (I think of him as the second greatest man in history) had a complex view of Zionism, but author Michael Makovsky notes that by the end of his life, Winston Churchill was a committed Zionist (He died in 1965 at 91).

    Churchill, as early as 1906, advocated for a Jewish state. He understood the concept and supported the Jews regarding Big Picture items, yet in 1921, he committed 75 percent of Palestine to an Arabian prince, and he was silent at the time the Balfour Declaration appeared in 1917. He pushed for closer relations with the new state of Israel after 1948, but did little to help the fledgling state fight off vicious invading Arab armies. Perhaps he was exhausted from winning World War 2!

    Churchill agreed with 19th century Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who said: “The Lord deals with the nations as the nations dealt with the Jews.” This calls to mind Joel 3:2—“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”

    For his part, Churchill was not afraid to confront anti-Semites in British government, just as he had not been afraid to confront appeasers who cowered before Hitler. Makovsky relates this in Churchill’s Promised Land:

    “Churchill liked to judge which events were historically significant and which were not, and both early in his career and near the end of it he declared the restoration of a Jewish state in the Promised Land to be of exceptional historical significance. Eventually, Zionism became very dear to him and integral to his worldview, and he supported it at great political cost, contributing to his unpopularity among his colleagues and other members of the political and government establishment.”

    I think in the story of Churchill and Zionism we can see how the Lord works through history.

    It is enormously difficult for many of us today to watch national and international leaders get it so wrong with regard to Israel. It is dismaying to watch the White House and European capitols capitulate to Muslims, and denigrate Israel in the process. We long for a Churchill.

    But that is not how history is unfolding. In fact, we see the Lord’s hand. One hundred years ago, in the pre-Jewish state days, there were enough leaders in the British government to be friendly enough to the Jewish cause that the road was paved for the state a generation later. Churchill played an integral part.

    Now, however, as we see history wind down, we long for another Churchill. If he were on the horizon, or already with us, though, the Lord’s redemptive plan would not be near.

    It is a bitter thing to live in an era in which government leaders capitulate to murderers and those who want to use nuclear weapons to kill us all (it defies logic, doesn’t it?), but the fact is, we no longer live in Churchill’s time, when men and nations had the fortitude to oppose evil.

    Now, we see the stage set for the things the Lord has promised us: His people in their ancestral land, surrounded by demonic enemies, will soon be totally alone. At least in terms of allies and friends of influence.

    It is then though that He will roar from Zion and fight for His people.

    It would have been fun and magnificent to live in the time of Churchill. The old lion was inspiring.

    Yet we as people of faith look forward to the end of history, and to the appearing of the Lion of Judah.

    Men, even great ones, are still men. That is why we need our Redeemer.

    And He is coming soon.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


    Oct 19, 2015

    Israel’s Options

    No country in history has dealt with a Terror War as long as Israel. Since the first large wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine in 1882, Jews have been considered the enemy by the Arabs.

    The so-called Pan Arab Nation, stretching of course across the Middle East, has had a fanatical hatred of the Jews and Israel, from the beginning. Jordan’s first King Abdullah was an exception; he was prepared to make peace with Israel when he was assassinated outside Al-Aksa Mosque in 1952. His grandson, the current king, could take some cues from Grandpa. Today’s King Abdullah has recently joined in the incitement game, shifting blame for his governing failures to Israel.

    My friend, Kay Wilson, an Israeli who was hacked with a machete by Palestinians and left for dead, recently picked up an elderly Arab hitchhiker, who was thirsty in the desert. He cursed his fellow Arabs for murdering Jews and Kay posted a pic of the two of them, smiling, on Facebook.

    Not all Palestinians hate the Jews.

    But too many of them do.

    From the Iranian nuclear ambitions, to the knifing and shooting attacks that have erupted in the last several weeks, Israel finds herself besieged. When one considers the sheer scope of the Terror War against Israel, it is truly astonishing.

    Consider the fact that Hamas last year had a sophisticated tunnel system in place, ready to spring terrorists on unsuspecting Israelis…in their homes and businesses! Israel was able to literally uncover this plot in the nick of time.

    Next, imagine you are headed to the shuk to shop for fruits and vegetables, ahead of Shabbat. You are turning a corner in a neighborhood you are long familiar with, when all of a sudden a young Arab man in nice jogging clothes produces a knife and tries to kill you.

    Now, wrap your mind around the fact that you watch the evening news and hear of Sheik Nasrallah’s latest threats to use Hezbollah’s rocket stockpiles to rain death down on the Jewish state.

    It’s enough to make one question the international community’s sanity.

    Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu has great experience thwarting terror. It is a way of life for Israelis.

    For the most part, they have opted for surgical strikes against Hamas, and the rest of the killers. Frankly, concern over international condemnation has caused Israel to show too much restraint. Summer wars against Hamas, cross-border commando raids, diplomacy, preparation for conventional warfare…all these things are routine planning for Israel.

    There have been myriad proposals over the years, and even the Arabs know Oslo long ago was a failure.

    I propose a plan.

    Population transfer on a large scale is not going to happen in today’s world. However, I believe the Israelis should implement a limited population transfer:

    Send the Palestinian Authority to Gaza. Dismantle all governmental structures in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, etc. Bulldoze Saeb Erekat’s home in Jericho. The same with Abu Mazen in Ramallah. Load all the ministers and corrupt hangers-on onto trucks and ship them to the Gaza Strip, then seal it off.

    In this way, the two main terror entities, Hamas and the PA, will be pinned between mighty Israel and Egypt, which almost equally loathes the thugs.

    I believe that while international condemnation would certainly be forthcoming, Israel would however be left alone to clean its streets of terrorist scum.

    Under Ariel Sharon’s premiership, the IDF came relatively close to targeting top PA leadership. When Israel fails to do so, it loses its deterrent effect. Netanyahu has been even more restrained.

    Restraint means one thing to the Arabs: Open Season on Jews.

    This is unacceptable.

    Remove the terror masters, and then see if over the course of the next generation Palestinians decide to behave and join the civilized world.

    It’s their only chance.

    jim@prophecymatters.com


     

    Oct 12, 2015

    The Third Intifada

    How long, Lord?

    In a better world — in a moral world — there would be international outcry over Arab violence toward Jews in Israel. A rash of stabbings has now spilled over from Jerusalem and Palestinians are committing acts of violence all over Israel.

    Look at what’s happened only in the past few hours:

    •Two young men were arrested after throwing rocks at a bus in Jaffa.

    •The IDF stopped a vehicular terror attack near Ma’aleh Adumim, the lovely Israeli community on the east side of Jersualem

    •A terrorist stabbed an Israeli in Petah Tikvah.

    This on the heels of murders of an Israeli couple while they were driving with their four children; and stabbings and murders in Jerusalem’s Old City. Some of the attacks were perpetrated by Palestinian women.

    And through it all, what is the Palestinian “leadership” doing? Just this: saluting terrorists for “defending” the Al-Aksa Mosque.

    The mosque they refer to sits on the Temple Mount, where the Palestinians deny there was ever a Jewish presence!

    It is an unconscionable lie that Israeli Jews (or anyone else) is attacking or intends to attack Al-Aksa. Why would they?

    For the longest, going back to the days of the evil Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians have fabricated Jewish attacks and used the lies for political gain. In the process, thousands of innocent people have been murdered or maimed.

    I have friends in Ma’aleh Adumim, Peta Tikva, and elsewhere. Also Jerusalem. Many times I’ve walked through the Arab bazaar in the Old City, where now stabbing attacks are taking place.

    There are concerns that a Third Intifada (What the Palestinians call an “uprising,” but which decent people call orchestrated violence) is here. I have maintained my belief that barring an all-out war, I always feel safe in Israel. Honestly? If I were there now, I wouldn’t hesitate to go out, even to the Old City, but I’d watch my back. The narrow alleys of the City lead to other, darker and narrower alleys.

    According to the Jerusalem Post:

    “Fatah leaders who met in Ramallah on Wednesday ‘saluted’ the Palestinians for ‘rising to defend their al-Aksa Mosque and confronting terrorist settlers.’

    “The members of the Fatah Central Council, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Palestinians to ‘preserve the popular nature’ of the current protests ‘as part of a comprehensive national strategy to avoid sliding into the Israeli square.’”

    Abbas, that fiendish scum, gives speeches at the UN, and the international body, including the U.S. leadership, is fully aware of his incitement against Jews, and the violent rhetoric he uses when addressing the Palestinian people. He and his henchmen keep the people whipped up in a frenzy of Jew hatred and even anti-Western attitudes.

    In my opinion, the Palestinians not only don’t deserve a state, they don’t deserve even to be at the negotiating table, nor do they deserve any such consideration so long as they perpetuate war and hatred.

    In the West, Obama is a menace toward his own people, and especially to the Jews of Israel. His leftist secretary of state, John Kerry, cares no more for the Jews than did his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, whose friendliness with the PLO goes back decades.

    A woman in Kiryat Gat was confronted by a rifle-wielding terrorist when she tried to close her front door on Tuesday. Liat Ohana said she thought her life was over when the man barged in and began shouting at her in Arabic.

    The terrorist realized he didn’t have a magazine in his gun, so he grabbed a knife from the woman’s kitchen. He tried to stab her as she and her mother ran to safety.

    This reminds me of the epic film, “Judgment at Nuremberg,” when Spencer Tracy’s character, one of the judges, gave a moving speech near the end. He referred to the value of a “single human life.”

    That was another time.

    I wonder what Obama thinks of the single human life almost snuffed out in Kiryat Gat this morning? Does he care?

    I do not believe he does.

    Otherwise he would not prop-up a terror regime in Ramallah, and he would not pressure the man he considers to be his nemesis, Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Netanyahu said today that Israel is in the midst of a “wave of terror.” According the Post, Netanyahu remains stalwart:

    “’The goal of terrorism is to sow fear and the first order in defeating terrorism is to be level-headed and resilient, both nationally and personally.

    “’We have known worse times than this and we will also overcome this wave of terrorism with determination, responsibility and unity,’ Netanyahu said.

    “’Civilians are at the forefront of the war against terrorism and must also be on maximum alert,’ Netanyahu said.”

    Frankly, terrorists have been waging psychological warfare for generations, going back to the early days of Jewish pioneers in Palestine, in the 19th century. Growing ever more sophisticated they now employ a vast network to help them, including Western political and media leaders.

    Another component in this war are the useful idiots like Shane Claiborne, the hippy leftist who claims to be an evangelical, from his perch at the “Simple Way” ministry in Philadelphia.

    A few days ago, when the U.S. military accidentally hit an Afghan hospital (run by the group “Doctors Without Borders”) and civilians were killed, Claiborne tweeted about how we are killing people in these countries.

    This anti-American invective, couched in humanitarian lingo, is the same psychological warfare being waged against Israel, which has the most moral army in the world.

    Terrorists know they can count on the morally weak and immoral useful idiots, who give them cover to do their evil.

    For Claiborne and his “Black Lives Matter” friends, one wonders if they truly value any life, anywhere.

    The terror masters in Ramallah are of the same ilk as those in the U.S., who rage against Israel 24/7. And their own country, where they are safer and more prosperous and freer than any citizen in world history.

    It is sickening beyond belief that Palestinians murder Jews in Israel, and world leaders are silent.

    We live in a different world than any of us grew up in, and we haven’t seen the worst of it, yet.

    A person who would be silent in the face of anti-Semitism and the murder of Jews would be and will be silent when the terrorists come for you.

    Remember that.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com


    Oct 5, 2015

    Netanyahu’s Silence

    Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is a polarizing figure, through no fault of his own.

    This week, Netanyahu spoke before the UN’s General Assembly. At one point, he paused for a dramatic 44 seconds, looking right and left, indicting those sitting in the international body that loathes Israel.

    He referred of course to the international acceptance/acquiescence to the Iranian “deal.” Countries right and left are happy to throw Israel under the bus — Iran’s leadership for more than a decade has threatened to wipe Israel off the map — not appearing to understand that the Iranians will also come for them.

    The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz captured it all perfectly:

    “But most dramatically, he rebuked the membership of the very institution where he was speaking — the United Nations — for tolerating Iran’s relentless threats to destroy the Jewish state and ‘rushing to embrace’ the regime. ‘Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country, murder my people. And the response from this body, the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here,’ he charged furiously, ‘has been absolutely nothing. Utter silence. Deafening silence.’”

    Horovitz then made an interesting point, saying that the Prime Minister “Like a biblical prophet, Netanyahu had come to warn, to chastise, and to indict.”

    Although Horovitz probably does not see all this exactly as prophetic, he also noted that Netanyahu (and by extension, Israel) is “isolated.”

    Yes.

    Now, let us examine for a minute some of Israel’s internal enemies.

    Since an Israeli couple was shot to death by a Palestinian terrorist this week, there has been a rash of stabbings in Jerusalem’s Old City, with more Jews being murdered by Palestinians.

    Let me be clear: these Palestinian terrorists, up to and including Mahmoud Abbas, are scum. Vermin. They are permanently immoral, and yet the world (including some evangelical Christian leaders) ignores these killings and condemns Israel.

    In fact, astonishingly, the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of murdering Palestinians…the terrorists who murdered Jews!

    Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad and Hamas expressed delight by the attacks.

    I stand with Israel and the Jewish people and shout that the murder of Jews is not only unacceptable, but there will one day soon be a reckoning. I loathe Jew hatred and oppression more than anything else, and if the world sits on his hands, the world condemns itself and I want no part of them.

    Isolated? Israel is isolated in terms of this planet’s human beings. But she is not isolated in the most important ways. And while we await the justice that is swiftly coming from God, we link arms and stand with the Jewish state.

    Let us be isolated together.

    jim@prophecymatters.com
    www.prophecymatters.com


    Sept 28, 2015

    Bibi and the Russians

    Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Russia a few days ago, to meet with the Bear, Vladimir Putin, whose forays into territorial expansion remind one of Uncle Joe Stalin in his heyday.

    Netanyahu, of course, is rightly concerned about the Russians/Soviets meddling in the Middle East, helping prop-up client states like Syria. It seems some things never change, as the Russians have long coveted a warm-weather seaport in the Middle East.

    Publicly, it sounded like Netanyahu and Putin would meet as pseudo-allies, in an attempt to sort-out the mess and carnage that erupted in Syria in 2011. Since then, in order to remain in power, Bashar Assad has shoved his own people into the meat-grinder, as he grapples with “rebels” attempting to overthrow him.

    What we are now all dealing with (and the influx of a gigantic number of refugees will ensure that ISIS has sleeper cells in the U.S.) is the product of Barack Obama’s dreadful capitulation/helping hand to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo in June 2009. That address gave a green light to jihadist groups to send the Middle East up in flames, as dictators toppled like dominoes.

    Syria is a byproduct of Obama’s disastrous policies.

    According to the AP:

    “A senior Israel military official says the country has set up a joint mechanism with the Russian military to coordinate their operations in Syria.

    “The official says Thursday that teams headed by each of the militaries' deputy chiefs will hold their first meeting in two weeks. The teams will discuss coordination of aerial, naval and electromagnetic operations around Syria.”

    I imagine that while Netanyahu would of course not be purposely belligerent with the Russian Bear, I also cannot imagine him being subservient like Obama. The U.S. President, who is chummy with Marxists everywhere, let Putin know from the beginning that he was no Reagan. This gave Putin enormous latitude in gobbling up former Soviet provinces. It also gave Putin new energy to assert Russian interests in the Middle East. Remember, this has been a decades-long game between the East and West.

    When Jimmy Carter pried Egypt away from the Soviets, it registered as a major turning point away from Russian strength in the region. Similarly, whenever Muslim dictators in the Middle East wanted to jerk America’s chain, they would remind the West that they could easily flip “loyalty” back to the Marxists overnight.

    Netanyahu is a man’s man, as is KGB operative Putin, and the two of them surely had a very frank discussion. In other words, Netanyahu isn’t going to roll over with the Russians asserting themselves in Syria.

    There’s another element to this, a prophetic one.

    “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.’” (Ezekiel 38:10-12)

    Remember and take note: IF Gog is in fact Putin, he hasn’t been sitting around for years planning to attack Israel. It is the Lord Himself who puts the thought into his head rather late in the game. There is a trigger for the aggression; at present, we can’t be precisely sure what that trigger is, but it is specific and causes Gog to look at tiny Israel.

    No doubt, in his own way, Netanyahu told Putin to keep his mitts off Israeli interests. No one believes Putin would pay much attention to the gathering dangers against the Jewish state, but perhaps for pragmatic reasons at the moment, he will not make a move.

    We know though that at some point, a Russian leader will do just that.

    At that moment, there is no amount of talking and visiting from an Israeli premier that will deter Gog.

    jim@prophecymatters.com

    www.prophecymatters.com