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Light will prevail over darkness

8 December 2023

Commencing last night, the Jewish people are now celebrating Hanukkah – the “Festival of Light”, in which they recall the Maccabean defeat of the tyranny of Seleucid empire and the rededication of the Temple in the 2nd century BC.

The world is now experiencing another battle between light and darkness.

The violence on 7th October was intended by its perpetrators (Iran, Qatar and their proxies Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others) to unleash not only a kinetic war, but also a dark, ideological war to destroy the Jewish nation again.

As early as 8th October, there were massive calls throughout the West, by a strange but now familiar alliance of Islamism and secular Marxism, for the liberation of Palestine “from the river to the sea”.

That, of course, is a call for a global jihad – the genocide of Jews. It is incredible that the Presidents of Ivy League universities in the United States like Harvard do not wish to understand that. Then again, maybe it was predictable.

Like the Maccabees, the response of the Jewish people was to seek to survive, so that Israel can be the light to the nations that it is called to be.

In doing so, Israeli leaders face an incredibly difficult dilemma: how to destroy Hamas and release the Israeli hostages (still about 140 innocent persons are believed to be held by Hamas), while also keeping innocent civilian casualties to a minimum?

Since Israel sent ground troops into Gaza several weeks ago, every moment of every day the Israeli commanders are trying to destroy Hamas, while limiting Palestinian loss. Eliminating Hamas terrorists has meant, tragically, that thousands of Gazan civilians have been killed, and the infrastructure has been largely annihilated. For the next decades, lawyers will debate whether or not Israel’s response was “proportionate” or “excessive”.

In the meantime Israel has no choice but to go forward in its war of defence. In the coming days and weeks will make Israel’s choices will be even more complex, as the urban fighting will continue in the limited and densely populated confines of southern Gaza, to which many Palestinians have fled. There is no doubt that Israel is doing all in its power to comply with international humanitarian law. Yaakov Lappin at JNS explains this as follows:

“As the IDF focuses on the next stage of its ground offensive in southern Gaza, its approach to minimizing civilian casualties in Gaza will continue to be marked by a combination of technological sophistication, strategic evacuation planning, close monitoring of civilian movements and adherence to international laws. These efforts reflect a concerted attempt to balance the military imperative of dismantling the Hamas terror army in Gaza against the need to minimize collateral damage as much as possible.”

This war was not just a result of immediate causes, but a repetition of an old pattern of Palestinian/Arab behaviour based on rejection of the very existence of the Jewish people as a nation in their midst. If you want to understand the Palestinian mindset, read the excellent essay at Mosaic by Shany Mor entitled “Ecstacy and Amnesia in the Gaza Strip”. Mor describes three wars (1948, 1967 and 2000) that defined the Palestinian predicament:

“Three generations. Three different wars. Three different modes of combat. All three times, the wars were preceded by grandiloquent pronouncements and popular excitement as well as broad intellectual support. And all three times, as soon as or even before defeat appeared, the excitement and frenzy were excised from collective memory, so that the event came to be remembered as a case of pure cruelty by the hand of the Israeli other. That’s the root of the Palestinian predicament in a nutshell.”

The current conflict, which was brewing for years, shows all the signs of the same pattern: Palestinian/Arab ecstasy and exultation about potential annihilation of the Jews, followed by Israeli response based on the use of force, resulting in catastrophic loss for the Arabs leading to further profound sense of victimhood.

In human terms, it is impossible to see any way to break this tragic cycle of violence and destruction, in which neither Israelis nor Palestinians, Jews nor Muslims, are winners.

Thankfully, we can be confident that redemption is not only possible, it has been promised. The Lord will change the hearts and minds of all in the land. One day, there will be peace from Egypt to Assyria, and the people of Israel will live together in harmony.

Only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can solve this conflict, that has become truly a global battle between light and darkness, for the hearts and minds of all people.

Let us pray with increasing fervour that His Son who is the Light of the world will intervene and redeem our broken and dark humanity, in a miraculous way.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


Ecstasy and Amnesia in the Gaza Strip
Three catastrophes, all marked by euphoria at the start and denial at the end, have shaped the Palestinian predicament. Has the fourth arrived, and is the same dynamic playing out?
> Read more..

IDF pushes deeper into Hamas strongholds as Gaza battles rage
The Israeli military killed senior Hamas intelligence operatives in a strike on a central command center.
>Read more..

How the IDF is reducing civilian casualties in Gaza
Israeli operations in the strip are guided by a smart map updated in real time via a range of data sources, from cell phones to aid groups.
> Read more..

Israel: UN chief’s tenure ‘danger to world peace’
Antonio Guterres’s request to activate Article 99 of the U.N. Charter constitutes support of the Hamas terrorist organization, charged Israel’s top diplomat.
> Read more..

Families of hostages blast increased gas deliveries to Gaza
“This fuel may take us another step away from rescuing and releasing the kidnapped.”
> Read more..

 

Jerusalem will never be divided

All rockets fired at Israel by Hamas carry the name of ‘Al-Quds’, the Arabic name for Jerusalem. Jerusalem has always been the center of attention, not only in the media, peace negotiations and the current war, but also in the Bible. Ultimately, in the end times, the battle is about Jerusalem.

In this interview, Rev. Oscar Lohuis shares his thoughts about the current situation in Israel. How are the neighboring countries affected by their own decisions regarding Israel? How are we as Christians supposed to bless Israel, and what are the Biblical prophecies telling us?

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

1 John 1:5-10

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

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