Why the silence?
Some have asked why I haven’t written for a while. The reason is that I had a long-standing bout with a lingering, hacking and wheezing cough that made life very uncomfortable. It effectively prevented me from working, carrying on a normal conversation, sitting, sleeping and other normal activities, including sitting and writing. While the situation is better, the coughing is not yet completely gone. I would truly appreciate your prayers for full healing and restoration. Thanks.
The Third Intifada – Is it here or not?
Anyone who is trying to keep abreast of events happening in and around Israel is, or at least should be, keenly aware of the constantly increasing violence that has characterized Jerusalem in recent weeks, and is now spreading to other parts of the country, both north and south. There are those who contend that this is simply a pro-“Palestinian” uprising that will fade with proper action, while others assert that the third “intifada” has already begun.
Realistically, the media here is constantly talking about the “wave of violence” that is affecting our society. Rock throwing incidents by so-called “Palestinians” against police and security forces has become the almost daily norm. Attention has been directed to the fact that most of the stone throwers, even though “masked”, are easily understood to be teens and youths. Every effort is made not to fire on the demonstrators and rock throwers, primarily to prevent the “Palestinian” Authority and Hamas trying to take advantage of the situation and gain media coverage in their favor, as they did during the summer’s Gaza War. Sometimes though, the circumstances justify firing upon those who threaten the lives of our forces or civilian population. The attackers were pursued and most were killed by our forces, but not before some Israelis lost their lives or were seriously, or critically, wounded.
For those who are receiving only a portion of the news, which is usually biased against Israel, the reality is that “teen intifada”, “auto intifada”, “stabbing intifada”, “rioting intifada” and everything else that is related to “intifada” is definitely upon us. There have also been a number of incidents, which appear to be increasing, where “Palestinians” drive their cars into light-rail stations, bus stops and “trampiadot” (specific places where people try to hitch hike), in an effort to run over soldiers and pedestrians and to kill and maim as many as possible. In some of the light-rail areas of Jerusalem, where a few such incidents have already occurred, concrete barriers have been installed, to prevent vehicles from getting into the area where the passengers are waiting. Fatal knifing incidents are on the rise and the attackers go after soldiers and civilians alike. Some have even thrown pipe bombs at security forces near the town of Zichron Ya’akov (north of Netanya and south of Haifa) and police are also investing reports that a gasoline bomb was hurled over the fence of a religious school in Haifa.
In addition, there have been demonstrations against Israel from “Palestinians” and certain Israeli Arabs, which disrupt traffic and end up having to be dispersed by the police and other security forces. Often, such demonstrations are called by those who live outside the areas of the demonstrations, who incite others to join them in their verbal and violent protests. Arab Members of Knesset are among those who try to incite the crowds and who tend to be extremely vocal, spewing forth a tirade of misinformation and lies, knowing full well that they have immunity from prosecution because of their status in the government. Those who incite the crowds are joined by leftist MKs and mainstream media in blaming Israel for every evil that exists in the Arab-Israeli conflict. These, in turn, are joined by politicians from “the West”, both European and American, in calling for a speedy return to negotiations between Israel and the “Palestinians” in order to implement the “two-state solution”. Such is the situation with the new foreign policy chief of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, who called for the establishment of a “Palestinian” state, commenting, in part: “It is not only the people of Gaza that can’t afford having a fourth war all the world cannot afford this”. What is missing from her statement is Israel and what was mysteriously added, by implication, was that the world was involved in the first three wars. I guess I missed that part. Whatever one may choose to call it, the situation needs to be handled quickly, effectively and with wisdom. Like a bad disease, it needs to be dealt with before its spreads and infects the entire body.
|Jewish-Arab coexistence about to explode.
Israel Hayom – 9 November, 2014
There may be a change in leadership in different places, but until there is a change in thinking, efforts will continue to be made to put pressure on Israel to give up, give away and eventually go away. These folks have their heads in lala-land and their political perspectives in never-never-land. They fail to understand the most fundamental of facts: the “Palestinians” are not intested in negotiation with Israel, but in the elimination of Israel. They are not interested in a “two-state for two-peoples solution”, but in a “one-state-for-the-‘Palestinians’-only-solution”. They don’t want co-existence with Israel, but no existence for Israel. The vehemently anti-Israel, Arab Members of Knesset condemn Israel at every opportunity and bite the hand that feeds them. They get paid well, are given vehicles at government expense, have their travel paid for and have immunity from prosecution. The head of the “Palestinian” Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, loses no opportunity to incite the Arab throngs, pushing his agenda to remove Israel from all of the territory that we captured in 1967 and encouraging the rioters and stone-throwers to defend the Temple Mount, when it is not under attack. Abbas is joined by the Imams in the mosques, who stir up their congregants to pursue a “holy war” to defeat Israel, as they contend that Hamas has done in the recent Gaza War, and urge them to fight to protect the al-Aqsa mosque, which doesn’t need protection. It would not be surprising if Hamas would seek to take advantage of, and identify with, the “wave of violence” and launch sympathetic attacks upon Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, points north and south, as well as locales in Judea and Samaria.
Responding to the recent spate of demonstrations that followed the police shooting of a man who made attempts to stab police through the window of their police car, as well as to the voices of the demonstrators urging the establishment of a “Palestinian” state, P.M. Netanyahu invited them to move there, stating: “To all those who are shouting against Israel and demonstrating against it – you are welcome to move to the “Palestinian” Authority or to Gaza, Israel won’t stand in the way…But, whoever stays here must know – we will stand in the way of terrorists and attackers. I have given instructions to use all of the means at our disposal, including passing new laws, including destroying terrorists’ homes, and other measures.” If he would only put action to his words.
Ayatollah Khamenei calls for the destruction of Israel.
If our home-grown events are not enough, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “tweeted” his nine-point plan for Israel’s destruction this past Saturday night and called for the arming of the “Palestinians” in Judea and Samaria (referred to as “the West Bank”), saying, among other things: “Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region.” The U.S. State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said that the United States “strongly condemned” the Ayatollah’s statements, adding: “The remarks are offensive and reprehensible and the entire international community should condemn such rhetoric. This rhetoric is, unfortunately, not new, but it’s not conducive to regional security either.” How many of us have heard the “entire international community”, or even a significant part of that “community”, condemn the Iranian leader’s remarks? The European Union had an excellent opportunity to respond to his statements, as did the totally useless United Nations. But, it seems that as long as a potential threat is against Israel, and not by it, the nations would prefer to keep silent. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said that Khamenei’s call for Israel’s destruction was “unacceptable and shocking”. But, apparently, not so “unacceptable and shocking” as to dissuade the U.S. from continuing its negotiations with Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. What really is “shocking” is that the U.S. considered the Ayatollah’s remarks as “shocking”. Where has it been for the last dozen years of so? The question that naturally follows is: What does a nation do when it views something emanating from another nation as “unacceptable”? Apparently, the answer is: Just create the impression of concern, make the statement and get on with business as usual.
“Disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging”
Those words were stated by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who attempted to distance himself and President Barack Obama from the comments attributed to an anonymous US official, who called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a chickenshit”. These words appeared in an October 28th article in The Atlantic,. The writer pointed out that the level of U.S.-Israel relations is at an all-time low and are moving “toward a full-blown crisis”, adding that “Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to [the writer] as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery’.” The last term describes a form of autism disorder.
When I was a child, I behaved like a child, thought like a child, spoke like a child. But, when I grew up, I put away childish things (well, at least for the most part). One childish trait was to try to insult others by calling them names. In that regard, we used to respond by saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.” Well, some continue to play childish games and are still involved in name-calling. This latest string of insulting epithets about Netanyahu is reflective of a greater problem – politics – which I cannot stand, whether it is governmental. organisational or private. When it seems that an impasse is reached in relationships, politicians, along with many others, revert to name calling. I’m surprised that they don’t stick their tongues out and say “nanananana”. For his part, Netanyahu did not get into the game, but affirmed that he would not be swayed from doing what he needs to do to protect the population of Israel.
The recent mid-term elections in the U.S. removed the President Obama’s congressional backing and transferred decision-making control of the legislative branch of the government to the Republicans. Although his presidency has now entered its “lame-duck” phase, Obama is, nevertheless, determined to have some kind of positive lasting legacy and will do everything in his power to exert his considerable presidential authority to accomplish his goal. How this will impact Israel, only time will tell and we’ll know soon enough.
With the failure of Obama’s domestic policies, it is natural and anticipated that he will turn his attention more to foreign policy and will try to avoid congressional approval wherever possible. The most obvious example of this is the upcoming deadline in the talks with Iran, which are present scheduled to conclude by November 24th. As noted by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes at the end of October, “Bottom line, this is the best opportunity we’ve had to resolve the Iranian issue diplomatically, certainly since President Obama came to office and probably since the beginning of the Iraq war…So no small opportunity. It’s a big deal. This is probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy. This is healthcare for us, just to put it in context.” Given the widespread dissatisfaction with “Obamacare”, such a comparison, as it relates to a “deal” with Iran, is frightening. Unlike Israel, who wisely concluded that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, it would appear that Obama’s perspective is that “even a bad deal is better than no deal”. And, the more Obama’s domestic actions and policies deteriorate, the more we can expect that his foreign policy efforts and compromises towards Iran will result in abandoning the fate of the Middle East to Iran. It would seem that this is the eventual goal, which is not necessarily in the best interests of the United States and is definitely not in the best interests of Israel. But, the reasonable understanding of Obama’s foreign policy over the last few years, and the willingness to forego making demands that Iran cannot accept, has been to get himself into the pages of history as the president who succeeded in restoring relations between the two countries. If he is unable to get Iran to see things from the point of view of the U.S., he will try to make the U.S. see things from the point of view of Iran. We’ll know by November 24th, which is the present deadline to reach an agreement with Iran. A “lame duck” who is powerful can be a very dangerous quack that could lead his country into turning its back on Israel. That is the wrong path to follow. U.S. Presidents will come and go. They may change their policies and could leave a positive or a negative legacy for the nation. But, God never changes. The gifts that He bestows and His calling of Israel remain the same, as does His statement: “I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you [literally: esteems you lightly or treats you as insignificant”] I will curse” (Genesis 12:3) The U.S. and most of the rest of the world is ignoring God’s Word and His dealings with the nations throughout history. If they continue to condemn Israel and act wrongfully towards her, they do so to their own peril. “Woe to them! For they [are going] the way of Cain, and for [personal gain] they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam and [will perish] in the rebellion of Korah.” (Jude 11).
Somewhere along the line, the Obama administration managed to deceive P.M. Netanyahu into holding off on the military option against Iran. Now, some believe that Israel lost its opportunity to take decisive military action to stop Iran from going nuclear. The Ayatollah and his minions fooled Obama and Obama and his minions fooled Netanyahu. Delaying an attack upon Iran’s nuclear facilities was not and is not in Israel’s best interest, but it could well be in the expected interest of the U.S., who would want to capitalise on Iranian oil and opportunities for investment in a “new Iran”. Is it too late for Israel to do anything except complain? Not really. It only requires clarity of thought, discernment and understanding of the times and a determination to protect Israel, even at great cost. The world won’t endear itself to us if we refrain from acting and it will condemn us if we do. So, if nothing will change, why should we act to endear ourselves to the nations at the expense and risk to our own population?
Red Village – the largest, all-Jewish community outside of Israel
We should not dismay. Once in a while, there are some articles that restore a touch of hope in a fallen world. Believe it or not, the largest, all-Jewish community outside of Israel, a community that comprises some 4,000 people, is in Red Village, which is located in … Azerbaijan. Where in the world is Azerbaijan? It was part of the former Soviet Union and is a Shiite nation that embraces its Jews. The Azeri society is multinational and anti-Semitism is not found there, at least not openly. The attitude of the country is expressed by the statement: “Why fight when you can trade?” The country itself has some 9 million people, of which about 15,000 are Jewish, and of those, about 10,000 of them live in the capital city, Baku. Jewish business thrives in Azerbaijan, which also has a Jewish parliamentarian. The country has strategic defense partnerships with Israel and is Israel’s largest supplier of oil. Just across the southern border of Azerbaijan is Iran. As Israel helps Azerbijian, so Azerbijian helps Israel, which has drones and could, possibly, launch operations just across the border from Iran. Now, there’s a thought.
And THAT is the way it was and the way it is, but not the way that it should be.
“The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (Psalm 11:5)
With all that is facing Israel these days, let us pray “that the LORD [our] God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do”. (Jeremiah 42.3)
Bless, be blessed and be a blessing,