On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. Zechariah 12:3
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Israel was created as a state in 1948, after the United Nations had agreed that the Jews should have a homeland after the Holocaust. Britain gave away a large part of the allocated territory to the Palestinian Arabs (Transjordan - now Jordan), and refused to relinquish control until forced out. Israel has a population of Jews ( religious and secular, recently immigrated and native born) plus Arab people from various places and Christian communities such as the Armenians.
Israel is the only Western style democracy in the Middle East and is thus open for scrutiny and criticism by the World's media and politicians while her adversaries are not.
One unknown Israeli recently expressed an Israeli perspective. Dear World
The "Palestinians" is a term used to describe the Arab people led by Yasser Arafat until his death in 2004, who claim to have been displaced by the Israelis. The truth is nowhere as simple as this. Yasser Arafat was the leader of the P.L.O. (Palestine Liberation Organization) a terrorist group. Arafat himself was a noted terrorist until he changed his strategy and the public image of his organization. The PLO was based in Jordan* until they caused so much trouble that King Hussein drove them out. They then went to Lebanon and virtually destroyed it in a religious civil war with the Christians. (* Jordan was originally Transjordan, the land given to the Palestinian Arabs, cut off the territory set aside as the Jewish homeland by the United Nations) We forget these things so quickly. Throughout the "Peace Process", Mr. Arafat and his organization have refused to remove from their constitution the objective of, "the destruction of Israel". The Palestinian Authority is not democratic, and freedom of information and action are brutally suppressed. Palestinians have died for selling their homes to Jews. During the first "Intifada" over 1000 Palestinians were brutally murdered by fellow Palestinians for alleged "collaboration". Many had "their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides", as commanded in the Q'ran; verse 34 of chapter V, "The Table"
Amnesty International has recently accused the P.A. of widespread human rights abuses in silencing dissent.
In the past six years the Palestinian Authority has detained dozens of persons for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression" "Human rights defenders, journalists, religious figures, writers, government officials, trade unionists and academics have all been detained as prisoners of conscience . . . They are almost always detained outside the law and are often held incommunicado."
Yasser Arafat's real name was Rahman Abdul Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, the nephew of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the Nazi era. Uncle Husseini assisted the Nazis on condition that they would murder all the Jews in Palestine once they had won the war.
The myth that Yasser Arafat's Palestinians seek peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbours should be dispelled a look at the P.A. website, or even to the badge on the shoulder of Yasser Arafat's uniform, which shows a map on which Palestine has completely wiped Israel from the map. (The official P.A. school curriculum and school books contain crude anti Jewish propaganda and distortions of History as well as Geography books which show Israel replaced by Palestine)
It should also be noted that an Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler's "Mien Kampf" is selling extremely well in the P.A. territory. (See also Holocaust and bear in mind the World War II links between the Nazis and Yasser Arafat's family.)
Please remember that it is not possible to make broad generalizations about any group of people in this situation. Not all Arabs and not all Muslims hate Israel. See www.arabsforisrael.com for surprising some testimonies.
Many Palestinians are Christians, some by tradition and other by faith. They are terrorized by the P.A. and also share with their Muslim neighbours, the inconveniences such as the security boundary and checkpoints of Israel's counter-terrorism measures. P.L.O. gunmen regularly force Arab Christian families from their homes, in places like Biet Jala, and use the homes to fire on Jewish neighbourhoods such as Gilo. When fire is returned, the wrecked Christian homes (religious pictures prominently displayed) are filmed for Western TV news. On October 22 2001 it was reported that PLO gunmen in Bethlehem were purposely shooting from churches and holy sites to invite return fire which would gain Christian sympathy and provoke harsh criticism of the Israelis. Consider also the siege of the Church of the Nativity in 2002. These tactics have been successful in turning ill informed Church bodies against Israel, rather than the real wrongdoers. These bodies include the American Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. These bodies have been writing to the White House urging sanctions against Israel! (Do you belong to a church that is affiliated to these bodies ? Pray for a revelation for these men who are "calling evil good, and good evil". ) Some Palestinian Christians appear to sympathize with the PLO line. This may be due to force of propaganda or an understandable need for self preservation, or to the "Replacement Theology" held by some churches. Also, God has marvellously delivered some Palestinians from a life of terrorism and bondage to militant Islam. See the story of Walid Shoebat and others. Extreme violence and intimidation is used against Palestinian Christians, resulting in the reduction of the number of Christians in Bethlehem from a large proportion to a small minority. Pray for them!
The Israeli Arabs and Palestinians who are not followers of Palestinian Authority leadership (Fatah, Hamas, HizbAllah or whoever) are in a difficult position, concerned with making a living rather than overthrowing the Jews. It must be difficult for them not to get drawn into conflict on the side of fellow Arabs. Indeed, some have died in the recent troubles. There has been a large increase in the number of Palestinian Arabs, who are entitled to, taking up Israeli citizenship.
There are also Palestinian communities who are voicing their concern about being handed over to Palestine Authority control. We have met Palestinians who recognize that they would be better off under Israeli government. PA rule is corrupt and those expressing disagreement may be invited to an interview at the police station from which they might not re-appear for days, weeks or months. In mid January 2001 it was reported that "collaborators" had been executed by firing squad on the orders of Yasser Arafat. Any Arab in local government is at risk of being branded a collaborator due to his interactions with Israeli government. In the first Intifada, the P.A executed many of its own people in a reign of terror, and the process is being repeated.
It should also be remembered that not all Arabs or Palestinians are Muslims or Muslim fanatics. There are fellowships in Israel where Jews, Arabs and Christians worship Yeshua / Isa / Jesus in harmony. However, these groups face opposition including firebombing.
Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq attempted to destroy Israel at birth. The reasons appear to be largely rooted in Islam (see below). The Arab nations are always treated with deference by the West due to their joint control of so much of the World's oil. In times of conflict a reduction in oil supply quickly brings Europe and America into line.
In the turmoil of 1948, while Israel absorbed Jewish refugees from surrounding Arab lands, those Arab lands refused to absorb a similar number of Arab refugees from Israel. These refugees were kept in camps to be used as political pawns against Israel. This refusal of the Arab nations to absorb their brethren was in spite of oil wealth and a land area five hundred times that of Israel.
It is interesting to find that, historically, the Arab nations have not always been implacably hostile to Israel. One national ruler welcomed Israel home to the neighbourhood in a speech at the UN. Even more interesting is the explanation from the Muslim Yemeni authorities why they allowed their 43,000 Jews to be airlifted to Israel in 1949-50 in "Operation Magic Carpet"; "God expelled the Jews from their land, and God has been appeased and has restored their land to them. Who are we to challenge the Divine Will?"
For expert analysis of Arab/Islamic terrorist activity see www.danielpipes.org
Islam is the force that unifies the Arab nations (plus non Arab nations such as Iran and the Indian subcontinent) against the Jewish state of Israel. The conflict is religious more than political, although politics and the use of the Western TV news media is proving a more effective weapon than military aggression. Islam draws many non-Arab nations into the struggle against Israel, and each of these is represented in the United Nations. Muslim immigrant communities are exerting more and more influence in nations in the European Union. Russia is making uneasy alliances with its Muslim neighbours (ex satellite territories of the USSR) which can only reinforce its Anti-Semitic historical tendencies. Islam has "Five Pillars of Wisdom", we are told, but it actually has a sixth which is not mentioned. This is Jihad (Holy War) which demands that the whole World should come under Islam. The world is divided into "the House of Islam" and "the House of War" and that war includes the literal use of the sword to bring nations to submission. Particularly unacceptable to Islam is any territory which it once held but now does not (such as Israel). Muslims are forbidden to make peace with non Muslims (Christians are the next target after the Jews) . However, it is acceptable to make a truce with an enemy that can not be defeated at present, in order to attack once in a stronger position.
Click on Islam for a look at some popular misconceptions.
This Quartet comprises the USA, the EU, the UN and Russia. UK's prime minister Tony Blair is exerting considerable leverage to see the latest initiative implemented.
The plan to obtain peace in the Middle East is known as the Road Map, and President George W Bush appears to have thrown all his strength behind it. Sadly, it appears little different from previous peace plans like Oslo, apart from a rigidly imposed timetable and disregard for Israel's security.
The USA is involved in the Middle East for various reasons, not all concerning the selfless pursuit of peace. The USA is often labelled "Zionist" by Israel's enemies and has a large Jewish community, but the actions of its government seldom favour Israel when oil prices rises are threatened by the Arab producers. (The same can be said of the UK and other nations). President Clinton sought to end his presidency with World acclaim for having achieved "Middle East Peace". The World saw how accomplished he was in ensuring his own political survival, and he was intent on gaining a peace deal however unjust the terms. He pressed Israel to accept the "land for peace" deal which gave the PLO what it once sought by terrorism. Political success in the USA is closely linked to the "feelgood" factor among the voters, for whom gasoline prices are more important than the safety of a little nation of Jews round the other side of the globe.
Although USA has military links with Israel it has not proved a loyal ally. When Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew, "blew the whistle" having discovered that the USA was not sharing promised intelligence data but was passing data on Israel to her enemies, he was prosecuted and jailed for life. No spy for a friendly power has ever been sentenced to life imprisonment in the USA; nor have spies for the USSR. He is being punished for showing up the USA as false friends, and for embarrassing the politicians.
Happily, the George W Bush administration appears to be taking a more enlightened stance, maybe due to the sharp lesson of 911 but hopefully more due to the genuine Christian beliefs of George W Bush himself. (Pray for him) However, the Quartet mentioned above is worrying. Fellow Republican James M Inhofe demonstrated a clear grasp of the issues in his statement to the Senate on March 4th 2002.
The United Nations should be ensuring peace and justice for all men and nations. In practice it is manipulated by all the large players and alliances to further their own prestige and self interest. While often proving powerless in the face of gross abuses of human rights by dictators it censures Israel for acts such as deporting terrorists. Israel appears to have no friends willing to offend the Arab / Islamic nations by opposing such motions. It may be observed that that there is now a very large number of these nations (including breakaways from the former USSR) and they all have a vote however small they are. It is not hard to imagine the armies of the nations coming against Israel, as prophesied, on grounds that sound right and moral while based on lies and propaganda. These armies will probably be wearing pale blue UN berets. But the word of the Lord concerning Israel (Zechariah 12) says, " . . I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try and move it will injure themselves . . . . . . On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem." Let us pray for our nations, that have forgotten the ways of the Lord, that we may not see our young men (and women) being sent off to fight against the armies of the Living God!
(Incidentally, the Israel headquarters of the U.N. is located on the Hill of Evil Counsel.)
The European Union is seeking to establish itself as a major player on the World political stage and has recently agreed to set up a military response force. There is concern about this weakening NATO and weakening links with the USA. It is rather early to foresee the way this will develop concerning future involvement in conflict between Israel and the Arab world, but the EU policy revealed so far appears seriously anti-Israel and Anti-Jew. France has very strong Arab links and Neo-Nazism is not far below the surface in some European nations. The EU could easily draw us into the "Middle East" conflict on the "wrong side". There is so much that needs to be explored concerning Europe that it has its own page; Europe ( See also Babylon)
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