Share the truth, even if no one listens.
During the last 3 weeks, three important prophetic, Biblical holidays have taken place, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. The first two began as solemn events and culminated in the last holiday, which is a truly joyful celebration that lasts for eight days! All government offices and governmental organisations were closed, as were some big businesses. During this time, however, it became more and more obvious that world leaders and governments are losing their moral compass and are drifting far from reason and from principles underlying their own existence.
On 29 September, 2014, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the U.N. General Assembly. He addressed representatives of a world that seems to have lost its bearings, its perspectives and its understanding of what is right and wrong, or real and imagined, as well as who is a friend and a foe. The speech contained a number of truths, which capsulised major issues confronting Israel and our neighborhood, problems that are touching and affecting a multitude of nations around the globe. The beginning of his speech related to what he (and most of the world) referred to as “militant Islam” and “militant Islamists”, as well as to ISIS and Hamas as both being “branches of the same poisonous tree”. He shifted from ISIS to Iran, stating: “Make no mistake – ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war”, adding: “The fight against militant Islam is indivisible. When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it’s set back in every place. That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight. Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.”
Netanyahu moved on to deal with the Gaza war this past summer, referring to the thousand of rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli cities, the terror tunnels and the propaganda war that was being fought the same time, the use of civilian shields by Hamas, the execution of Gazan civilians who protested or voiced disagreement of Hamas, the placing of rockets in the midst of Gaza neighborhoods, where children live and play. He capsulized Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties: “Israel was doing everything to minimize ‘Palestinian’ civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and ‘Palestinian’ civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on ‘Palestinian’ television, always to enable ‘Palestinian’ civilians to evacuate targeted areas.” He contrasted the difference between Israel and Hamas during the war in these simple terms: “As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer: ‘Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles’.”
He touched briefly on the decision of the U.N. to investigate Israel, rather than Hamas, for war crimes, courageously stating yet another, blatant truth:
“[The] UN Human Rights Council has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned. Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime – Hamas is given a pass. The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works. By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions….The Human Rights … (that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same), the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices” – anti-Semitism.
Netanyahu then addressed an accusation made only a few days earlier by Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the “Palestinian” Authority, who stood at the same U.N. podium and condemned Israel with his opening lie – that “in this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the ‘Palestinian’ People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the ‘Palestinian’ people.” Responding to this accusation, Netanyahu stated, in part: “For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide. Genocide? In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy’s civilian population to get out of harm’s way? Or ensuring that they receive tons, tons of humanitarian aid each day, even as thousands of rockets are being fired at us? Or setting up a field hospital to aid for their wounded? Well, I suppose it’s the same moral universe where a man [referring to Abbas, but without naming him] who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a ‘Palestine’ free of Jews, Judenrein, can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
Just before concluding his speech, Netanyahu related to the overall Arab-Israeli conflict and to the situation in the Middle East, adding: “I’m ready to make [an] historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land. The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel. History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground. Because you see, Israel’s withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel…Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country. That’s why in any peace agreement, which will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise, I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself against any threat.”
He concluded his speech, pointing out that a new reality is necessary in the Middle East in order to resolve the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict, one which would be beneficial to all parties in the region. This new reality involves working with new partners from among the Arab nations, implying that working with the “Palestinian” Authority is not envisioned, inasmuch as it is made up of a partnership between Fatah (led by Abbas) and Hamas (a terrorist organisation).
While this may have been one of the most important speeches presented this year at the U.N., apparently, much of the mainstream media failed to give it recognition, either relegating it to a column or in the inner pages of a newspaper, or by giving it short shrift by taking a sentence here or there from his speech, or by ignoring it altogether. Some international media, on the other hand, recognized the importance and seriousness of the speech and gave it prime-time coverage, broadcasting it in full. The responses to Netanyahu’s speech were expected and not surprising – Israeli right-wing and left-wing factions took their respective stands, the “Palestinians” condemned the speech, even the U.S. voiced a degree of disagreement with regard to Netanyahu’s equating of Hamas and ISIS. In the community of nations, the representatives of the world continued to go about their business, relating to Netanyahu’s comments as just one more speech amongst a host of speeches that were presented at the U.N., with no immediately discernible changes in attitude or policy towards Israel.
The speech was, on the whole, a good one. Did it contain truths about what is happening in and around this little stretch of desert sand? Definitely. Personally, I would have like for him to leave out statements like his preparedness to make “an historic compromise” and that “any peace agreement…will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise”. Such a statement begs the questions: “To whom would we compromise on territory”, “Which territory would be relinquished” and “What will Israel get in return?” It is clear that the “Palestinian” Authority has little, if any authority, in Gaza. Even in Judea and Samaria (the region of the so-called “West Bank”), his influence, to whatever extent it existed before the Gaza War, was diminished in favour of Hamas. Netanyahu has not yet declared Abbas to be a “non-partner”, but the tenor of Netanyahu’s comments made clear that Abbas is not the person whose words we can trust or with whom we would want to sit at any future negotiating table. The failure to refer to Abbas by name in Netanyahu’s speech did not detract from the clear reference to him and to Abbas’s earlier speech vilifying Israel, which revealed the true color and character of the man and the attitude of those whom he purportedly represents.
Did Netanyahu’s speech contain all of the truths that needed to be said? No. Although much more could have been said, he hit upon the burning issues facing Israel, the Middle East and the world. The following day, Netanyahu spoke to the Jewish Federations of North America in New York and held up a picture of an impending execution in Gaza by Hamas. He explained what was happening this way: “Every time I come to the UN I try to tell the truth as it is. But here’s a picture I didn’t show in the UN yesterday. This is an impending execution. But this isn’t ISIS, this is Hamas…During the recent fighting in Gaza, right around the time that ISIS was doing its grisly deeds, Hamas executed dozens of Palestinians, just to impose fear and to force the population of Gaza into submission. it’s true there are some differences between Hamas and ISIS – for example ISIS beheads people and Hamas puts a bullet in the back of their heads. But to the victims, and the victims’ families, the horror is the same.” Did people understand what he was saying? It would seem that the answer depends on whether or not they were listening and whether or not they are interested in knowing the truth. Regrettably, people love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil and so they substitute a lie for the truth. Continually turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to truth allows for evil to prosper. Never is this more evident than when confronted with the eternal Word of Truth and when relating to the Jewish people, individually or as a nation. Isaiah’s words ring loud and are as clear to us today as when he stated them some 2,700 years ago: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
Within days after Netanyahu finished his time in the U.S., where he not only spoke to the U.N. and to the Jewish Federation in New York, but met with President Barack Hussein Obama, the new Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, announced: “A two-state solution requires the mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of ‘Palestine’.” One would think that this statement would be preceded or followed by another one, where the leadership of the “Palestinians” – whoever that might be – expressed wholehearted recognition, or at the very least, a clear, unambiguous willingness to recognise Israel. That, however, was totally lacking. Giving Swedish politicians the benefit of the doubt, it would seem that they are unfamiliar with the oft-repeated “Three No’s” of the third paragraph of the Kartoum Resolution, namely: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” Or, maybe we should remind them that no “Palestinian” state presently exists that can be recognised. On the other hand, maybe we should send letters from people all around the world, who have understood the statements of “Palestinian” leaders, as well as those of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, al-Qaeda and, of course, Iran, who have expressed exactly the opposite of what Sweden’s leadership apparently believes already exists.
|Israel Hayom Newspaper – 7 October, 2014
There has been no change in the famous “three No’s”, which were repeated by Mahmoud Abbas during the fading stages of the 9-month negotiations. Adding insult to injury, Sweden’s acceptance of a non-existent “Palestinian” state ignores the type of state that it would be – an arab-apartheid state, devoid of any Israeli, as stated by none other than Abbas himself in July of last year, just as the negotiations were about to begin: “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” Much more could be said about a lack of historical understanding on the part of Swedish leaders and their willingness to ignore present political realities, and, particularly, the fact that it is the failure to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist that has caused and prolonged the conflict since 1947. But, the above should be more than enough to put the situation in perspective. Following Israel’s criticism of Löfven’s statement. the Swedish Ambassador to Israel issued a statement, explaining that there was a misunderstanding and that what was meant was that Swedish recognition would only come about after negotiations and not as a result of a unilateral declaration of statehood.
Despite the reality of the situation facing Israel, the British House of Commons overwhelmingly supported a motion on Monday, 14 October, urging “the government [of Great Britain] to recognise the State of Palestine”. The motion that was actually voted upon declared “This House urges the government to recognise the State of Palestine alongside Israel, as part of negotiated 2 state solution.” The vote itself is non-binding on the government, but its significance looms large as it appears that the “Palestinian” narrative of “occupied territory” has been accepted by those who voted in favour of the motion. Prime Minister David Cameron abstained, along with other high-ranking government officials, and more than half of the members of the House of Commons did not participate in the vote. Nevertheless, there is concern that England’s preparedness to accept a “Palestinian” state will spark other countries to follow suit. Malcolm Rifkind, the Conservative Intelligence Committee chairman, who also served as the Conservative foreign secretary during the years 1995-1997, warned against approving the motion: “We are told that 135 members of the United Nations – many of which have relatively little connection with the Middle East, although some have a great connection – have recognised “Palestine” as a state…That has had no effect. It has received 24 hours of publicity but has had no marginal, massive or significant impact on the course of history. There is a great risk that today we will make ourselves feel important and that our own frustration will lead us to vote for a motion that will not have the desired effect and will perhaps make the problems that need to be addressed in reaching a two-state solution more difficult to deal with.” (my emphasis) He added a note of reality into the discussion, by arguing that the “Palestinians” lacked the essential infrastructures that are necessary for a state, which lack is due, in part, to the political divisions existing between Fatah (Abbas) and Hamas.
Another sobering truth was added by Labour-Cooperative Member of Parliament, Louise Ellman, who defended Israel against those who accused us of not being interested in peace. In her words: “It should be remembered that while peace negotiations were under way following the Oslo negotiations, in one month alone – March 2002 – 80 Israeli civilians were killed and 600 injured in targeted suicide bombings on the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon, in a concerted attempt to undermine and destroy that peace process. No wonder there is concern among the people of Israel; they know that during those peace negotiations … terror groups sent by, among others, Yasser Arafat, were targeting, killing and maiming Israeli civilians. The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza – a correct, unilateral withdrawal – was followed by rockets, the terror tunnels, and more and more death.” (my emphasis)
As I read through the various speeches in support of the motion, what became increasingly clear was the verbal attacks and condemnations against Israel, most of which ignored history, as well as realities on the ground. All of the arguments against Israel that were made since the collapse of the failed negotiations, as well as during the Gaza War, were repeated. The myth of the “Palestinian” people is being believed by an increasing audience and is now clothed with the aura of reality. Those who should know the truth have opted for a lie and those who choose to ignore historical, well-documented facts, have knowingly or unwittingly agreed to deny them. I grieve for countries like England and Sweden and for those who may follow in the wake of the far-reaching puddles that they have created. There cannot be ambivalence over Israel and the Jewish people. Words and actions of individuals, as well as nations, will be judged and met by either blessing or cursing, whether stated politely and eloquently or crudely and with arrogance. Monday’s vote signalled another wrong turn for England and what remains of the British Empire, on which the sun has begun to set.
How should we respond to actions and statements like those of Sweden and England? We need to continue to speak the truth. Even if no one listens today, there may be one more that listens tomorrow and maybe one more after that, and so on. One man waged an ultimately successful, 26-year fight to abolish the slave trade in England and 20 years later, his efforts led to the abolition of slavery in most of the then British Empire. He succeeded by speaking truth. When truth is revealed, the lie tends to lose its force and validity, until it is seen and understood for what it is and is no longer accepted, but rejected. Light dissipates the darkness and can change not only attitudes, but lives, including lives of those who formerly sought to destroy Israel.
My son’s friend was attacked in Jerusalem.
A very close friend of my oldest son was attacked by a group of arabs while in his car in East Jerusalem. Attached is a link to the story, in English, but the translation could use some improvement. His friend’s name is Uriah (pronounced “Oori-yah”) Stavi (stav, in Hebrew, means fall/autumn). The English translation mentions “in the fall” or refers to his last name as “Autumn”, both of which are absolutely wrong for purposes of translation. They should mention him by his last name in Hebrew, Stavi. As you can see, he made it out (thank you, Lord, for this little miracle), but his car was severely damaged. That’s the reality of life here, particularly in neighbourhoods that are anti-Israel whose residents want anything but “mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence”. Maybe I could have the article translated into Swedish.
End of the holiday season … until Hanukkah
Today ends the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succot). It is a special day, when those who are spiritually thirsty are given an opportunity to drink. A little faith will be much rewarded. It is, indeed, the “great day of the feast” (John 7:37-39).
“These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another” (Zechariah 8:16)
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor” (Eph. 4:25)
“Do not let kindness and truth leave you” (Proverbs 3:3)
Bless, be blessed and be a blessing.