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Weekly Update: a State constantly under siege

12 August 2022

Israel is often portrayed in the media as the aggressor. But it is important to remember that Israel is under constant siege, simultaneously fighting many asymmetric wars against enemies that threaten its very existence. There is no other state in the world subject to such constant attack. While no doubt (like every state) Israel makes mistakes, it is fair to say that Israel’s actions are always taken in self-defence, in response to attacks often intended to wipe it off the map.

The past few weeks have seen two brutal attacks on the State of Israel. A third is looming. In each case, Israel has been forced to respond, in a strong way.

The first was at the diplomatic level. As is well known, the United Nations recently established a Commission of Inquiry (“COI”) to investigate Israeli crimes and human rights infringements in Israel and the “Palestinian” territories. The COI has already decided that Israel’s “occupation” is the root cause of the conflict. During a recent interview with a notoriously anti-Zionist website, Mondoweiss, Miloon Kothari — an Indian human rights activist and one of three members of the COI — told the interviewer, “We are very disheartened by the social media that is controlled largely by, whether it’s the Jewish Lobby or it’s the specific NGOs. A lot of money is being thrown in to trying to discredit us.” Kothari’s outrageous comments were widely interpreted as antisemitic, and condemned by officials from countries across Europe and North America including: UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the United States. However, he was protected by the Chairperson of the Commission Navay Pillay, and UN Secretary-General Gueterres has refused to either remove Kothari or disband the COI.

The other attack on Israel came from its southern border. Early last week, the Israeli Defence Forces ramped up arrest operations in the northern West Bank against members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other armed Palestinians. Sponsored by Iran, the PIJ is a terrorist organization that aims to destroy the Jewish State of Israel. The Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate then had indications the Gaza-based terror group would attempt to launch an attack on the southern border. The indications grew stronger after the arrest of Bassem Saadi, the PIJ’s West Bank leader. Israeli took preventative action. The 66-hour battle between Israel and the PIJ in Gaza, dubbed Operation Breaking Dawn, ended with a ceasefire Sunday night has been touted by officials as one of the most successful rounds of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

A third attack is looming – also in the diplomatic sphere. The Palestinian leadership is preparing to seek full “recognition” of the State of Palestine in the United Nations in September. A State of Palestine is dangerous because it will be based on rejection of the legitimate existence of the Jewish State of Israel, and will inevitably become a hotbed of terrorism aimed against Jews. This move in New York is of course just symbolic, as the United Nations cannot recognize states (that is something only individual states can do). And in any event, political recognition of an entity as a “state” does not make it a State. Nevertheless, the fact that the UN Secretary-General and so many others are so keen to see a State of Palestine emerge on Israel’s doorstep shows how far other countries are prepared to go to appease Israel’s enemies, and fail to defend Israel’s legitimate interests and right to sovereignty.

None of these conflicts has been ended. We can expect the animosity towards Israel to increase, as the chaos, confusion and lawlessness in the world increase. These attacks on Israel are signs of the growing coalition of nations that will come up against Jerusalem, as foretold by the prophet Zechariah – all the more reason to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Prince of Peace. 

The Editorial team Israel & Christians Today



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Israel as Olive Tree | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #58

The olive tree is an old image describing the people of Israel. Not only the rabbinical tradition uses the example, it goes back all the way to the Holy Scripture.

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Zechariah 14:2-5

I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.