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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HATRED ON FIRE

I am seated in the airport on my way to Washington, D.C. watching news reports coming out of Pakistan. At least 126 children dead at the hands of Islamic militants. Their spokesperson states this horrific attack is "revenge" for military actions taken by the Pakistani military against their soldiers. Rebel soldiers killed equals the right to murder innocent children in the minds of these Islamists. Please understand what is happening, knifings in Jerusalem, hostages and deaths in Sydney, Australia, children murdered in Pakistan...these are all the same people using the same tactics. Whether it is Boco Haram in Nigeria, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, ISIS in Syria, Taliban in Pakistan or Hamas in Gaza, these are all the same people. They are driven by the same ideology, united in their hatred for the rest of us and committed to the same tactics. 

Today I will be with gathered my Israel Allies Foundation colleagues as we strategize how to raise awareness and activate Jews and Christians to stand with Israel against this onslaught. The U.S. Administration is putting constant pressure on the Israeli government to split Jerusalem into two capitals and to surrender more land to the control of the Palestinian Authority. Why do they believe the PA can be trusted at this time? Scores of attacks against innocent citizens have occurred over the last few weeks in Israel. An Arab leader in Jerusalem: "THERE IS A NEW TENSION IN THE AIR; ABBAS (Leader of the Palestinian Authority) WANTS EAST JERUSALEM BURNING". 

There is a growing threat around the world. Among the Islamists, hatred is on fire.

Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the leadership and people of nations where these attacks are happening (including America) and please pray for my colleagues as we strategize together this week.

Friday, August 22, 2014

TIME TO CONNECT THE DOTS

Sadly, there is no more chance to bring peace to Israel and Gaza than before. Hamas leaders now admit that they did kidnap and murder the 3 Israeli teenagers back in June. It was this act, along with the firing of thousands of missiles that initiated the recent conflict in Gaza.

Three weeks ago, a few of the thousands of rockets that have been fired from Gaza landed south of Jerusalem around Bethlehem and Gush Etzion. Shrapnel fell a short distance away from the bus stop from which the three teens were abducted in June.

Now NBC News has reported: "A senior Hamas leader has said the group carried out the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June — the first time anyone from the Islamic militant group has said it was behind an attack that helped spark the current war in the Gaza Strip. Saleh Arouri told a conference in Turkey on Wednesday that Hamas's military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, carried out what he described as a ‘heroic operation’ with the broader goal of sparking a new Palestinian uprising. 'It was an operation by your brothers from the al-Qassam Brigades,' he said. "

“A heroic operation.” The abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrach,19, Gilad Shaar,16, and Naftali Fraenkel,16, is a “heroic operation”in the minds of these terrorists. Hamas does not want peace; they want to destroy Israel…men, women and children.

So, let’s try to connect some dots:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the ones who beheaded American reporter Jim Foley this week and who are prepared to kill another, are the same people who have murdered hundreds of Christians and other religious minorities in the past few weeks. They have openly declared their intentions to wipe away Israel and the United States. This is real, war has been declared.

Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist movement in Nigeria which killed so many Christians and kidnapped hundreds of little girls is growing. They have already killed over 4,000 people.

Last March, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church. They fired guns on the ancient church and set parked cars aflame. Four people died. One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered-simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.
Please understand; The Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Boko Haram, the al-Qassam Bridades, Al Qaeda and scores of other Islamic Jihadi organizations are all the same people with the same intentions. Hamas is one of them. Hamas IS them!

Just today REUTERS reports: “Hamas gunmen executed 11 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel at an abandoned police station in Gaza earlier on Friday, Hamas security officials said. Shortly afterward Hamas killed seven more Palestinians  in a public execution in a central Gaza square on Friday, witnesses and a Hamas website said. The victims, their heads covered and hands tied, were shot dead by masked gunmen dressed in black in front of a crowd of worshipers outside a mosque after prayers, witnesses and al-Majd, a pro-Hamas website, said.”

Let me repeat, Hamas, both its goals and tactics are the same as all of the other Jihadists.
In today’s news cycle many reports are declaring that ISIS is a bigger threat than previously thought. Typically, the schizophrenic focus of the media has shifted away from Israel and Gaza to report the situation in Iraq. While the newest debate seems focused on the political optics of a golfing president, no connection is made to the fact that ISIS is but one battalion in a worldwide Islamic army filled with hatred for people of biblical faith, Jews and Christians alike. It frankly seems as if the worldwide media is incapable of connecting the dots. Or do they simply refuse to connect the dots?

Now is the hour for people of biblical conviction and faith to pray for our leaders, pray for truth to prevail, and above all, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DITTO, THE RETURN


Life often feels like another scene in the 1993 film Groundhog Day. Some things change, some things seem to never change.

I just finished a successful set of meetings with some of my Israel Allies Foundation colleagues. We gathered with State Legislators from around the U.S. at the annual American Legislative Exchange Council where we received broad support for our efforts to promote faith-based political advocacy for an undivided Jerusalem. We are fighting for Israel’s right to exist with Jerusalem as its eternal Capital at the legislative level to avoid the need to battle with military forces.

Still in the afterglow of progress made I'm headed home after ten days, listening to CNN's reporting as I await my plane in Dallas, Texas. This network, along with the majority of the worldwide media seems intent upon framing the current Israeli operation in Gaza as a conflict between two governments.

On the one hand, Israel is a sovereign nation, a member state of the United Nations and a country that is a world leader in technology, medicine, agriculture and manufacturing. It has a diverse culture, religious freedom and democratic rule.

Hamas on the other hand is a terrorist organization and is not a legitimate government in the traditional sense. They have violently broken every “humanitarian cease fire” brokered so far in this conflict. The so-called “governing leadership” of Hamas does not even reside in Gaza, their leader, Khaled Meshaal, lives in luxury in Qatar while the Gazans live under the tyrannical rule of multiple Islamic factions loosely governed by Hamas. Instead of building infrastructure that would improve Gazan life they build extensive tunnels from which to wage war against Israel.

While Arab leaders strangely remain mostly silent, protestors, fueled by unbalanced reporting in Europe are attacking Jews in the streets. Rather than addressing the realities of the situation, both the U.N. and the U.S. leadership seem fixed upon temporarily stopping the conflict without addressing the underlying issues.

All the while, the latest humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza that was agreed to last 72 hours only lasted less than 2. And “why?” you may ask. The answer is obvious, as has been the case in every other brokered cease-fire in this conflict, as soon as it began Hamas and its coalition of terrorists killed two Israeli soldiers and kidnapped another. This is what terrorists do. Why do we expect differently?

It is high time that the U.S. Administration quit pressuring the Israelis to accept cease-fires until they are finished dismantling Hamas’ capacity to fire missiles into the State of Israel and to slip terrorists into Israeli communities to murder and kidnap.

Sane people never want the devastation to families and individuals war brings. At its core, war is evil; its very nature is the antithesis of Judeo/Christian values. May this conflict end soon.


Please pray for peace in Gaza. Pray for the peace in all the Middle East. Pray especially for the peace of Jerusalem.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

THE ENEMY ABOVE

The principle problem Israel faces as it seeks to protect its citizens within its own borders is not the enemy it faces on the ground, rather, it is the enemy it faces in the air. No, Hamas does not have an air force; the enemy in the air is the international meddling promoted on the airwaves around the world.

In a recent article, José María Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain stated: “Israel's problem lies largely in the international community. At minimum, Hamas leaders know from their own experience that Israel fights with one hand tied behind its back: Israel cannot respond intensely because it would be accused of "disproportionality;" Israel cannot inflict neither much damage nor many enemy casualties because it would be accused of crimes against humanity; Israel cannot take too much time for its military response because nobody wants to see how horrible all wars are.”

Israel must constantly defend its people and property while the rest of the world debates its right to exist. Its leaders must weigh every step, every action and every response to attack against how it will be portrayed by the worldwide media. No other nation in the world is so constantly scrutinized as it seeks to protect its citizenry.

Never has a nation been treated with such insolence as has Israel. They are constantly threatened and attacked. While the Israeli government and people are not without flaws, there is no moral equivalence between a rocket fired toward a town with the intent to terrorize innocent people and a retaliatory, precision airstrike of a rocket launcher in Gaza that has purposely and continually been fired toward homes, schools and synagogues.

While both Israelis and Palestinians alike must ultimately examine the “man in the mirror”, assess their own positions and find a way to live near one another in peace, the attempt to frame terrorism and military retaliation in defense of one’s nation as morally equivalent must stop.


Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all the surrounding lands and peoples.

Monday, July 21, 2014

DRILLING DEEPER

The worldwide media almost never puts news stories into sufficient context. The result is a barrage of “urgent” stories that are superficially covered, only to be replaced by the next news flash. A great example is the article published by CNN yesterday under the Headline: “As death toll rises, fighting between Israel and Hamas lights up Gaza skies”

The report outlines many of the events in Gaza over the last couple of days. Buried toward the end of the article is the following: UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) admitted Thursday it found 20 missiles in one of its schools in Gaza and suggested the missiles belonged to Hamas, which is using U.N. sites "to commit a double war crime by targeting Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinians civilians."

While the UNRWA officials did “strongly condemn” the find, there is more to this story than a discovery of a few weapons.

The Qassam rockets used by the Palestinians are over seven feet in length and weigh just under 200 pounds each. There were twenty of these “hidden” in a school run by the United Nations. Does anyone actually believe that twenty rockets, each with a warhead containing 22 pounds of explosives, were secreted into the school and stored without the complicity of those managing the school? In other words, were not the UNRWA personnel involved?

How does this not become a major story? Imagine a private school in your town storing this kind of military weaponry to be used to terrorize, maim and kill innocent civilians. Now imagine that your local government (Hamas in this case) in complicit cooperation with the United Nations was behind it.

It is no longer sufficient to casually trust the general news media’s capability to get the story right.


Pray for truth to prevail and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Monday, April 14, 2014

THE DOTS CONNECT

It is time to connect the dots.

What does a lunatic in Kansas have to do with the United Nations, or the Middle East Crisis or a growing coalition of disparate groups such as universities, media sources and large corporations? The answer requires thinking beyond a headline or two. It will not be easy to accept. Once understood, actions must follow.

So what is the connection? Jews. To be more specific…hatred of the Jews. An angry 73 year-old man walks in to two separate Jewish Centers and kills random strangers. The scenario of people being killed by out of control lunatics is far too familiar. Our nation has been plagued by this type of attacks for decades. But this story has an underlying connection to anti-Semitism that must be addressed.

As reported by Reuters: “Police said it was too early to determine if Sunday's killings were motivated by anti-Semitism, but a leading anti-hate group said the suspect was a former senior member of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan movement.”

Too early to determine? Well, let me go ahead and take the plunge, it does not mater whatever extenuating circumstances may surface in the coming days, these killings are rooted in hatred. Not just any hatred, mind you, this is hatred of the Jews. On Passover Eve, a brutal attack was perpetrated against innocents.

The constant drumbeat of Jew haters from every quarter feeds this hatred. The Klu Klux Klan is no newcomer to anti-Semitism, but there is a swelling anti-Semitism worldwide that has never gone away. While things have improved in many places, there continues to be a rise of hatred for all things Jewish in Europe, Russia, the worldwide Internet, university campuses and media outlets.

One of the most insidious anti-Semitic characteristics of the modern world is the incessant criticism of the State of Israel, the Jewish Homeland. Hatred of the Jews is reinforced by the constant sniping at Israel.

Now is the time for people of good conscience to rise against this worldwide trend. Standing for Israel’s right to exist within secure borders is a critical element of combating the growing hatred of the Jews. Standing against the forces that seek to divide Jerusalem into an East/West Berlin-type capital is vital to the cause of resisting anti-Semitism.

Remember, the dots must be connected.

Please join me in prayer for the families who lost loved ones in Kansas. Pray for safety for Jewish community centers worldwide. And, as we are commanded by Scripture, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS!

News outlets worldwide are attempting to make sense of the disappearance of Malaysian Airline Flight 370. Like the constant drumbeat of a pouring rain, reports continue to pour out, each one inching us toward a heretofore, undetermined conclusion. So I will step out onto thin ice and make a prediction; the most likely answer to what happened to this flight filled with innocent passengers is that it is somehow related to Islamic terrorism. I know I am jumping far ahead of what is publicly known, but the likelihood that it is connected to some form of terrorism is greater than the improbability.

Why would I so quickly go there? Because, like it or not, believe it or not, the world is currently in a war declared and executed by Islamic radicals around the globe.

Years of engagement with the people of the State of Israel has been very instructive for me. The Islamists have made no secret of their objectives. First, the “Saturday people” must be eliminated, then, the “Sunday people.” To grasp the seriousness of their plan one only needs to read the Jerusalem Post. Take a look at the headlines over just two days this week:

“Rocket fired at Israel from Gaza Friday evening despite cease-fire” JERUSALEM POST 3/14/2014

“IDF (Israeli Defense Force) patrol hits explosive device on Lebanese border, fires back” JERUSALEM POST 3/14/2014

REUTERS 3/14/2014

“Rocket from Gaza lands in open area in Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council” JERUSALEM POST 3/14/2014

“IAF strikes targets in Gaza Strip in response to continued rocket fire”
JERUSALEM POST 3/13/2014

JERUSALEM POST 3/13/2014

“One injured after car explosion in Netanya”
JERUSALEM POST 3/13/2014

So there. This week, every week in Israel is the same. Yes, I am jumping, leaping and bounding toward unproven, speculative presumption about the missing airliner. I want to be wrong. I hope that I am. But even if I am in this instance, the evidence is clear; there is a sustained, determined battle being waged.

As Christians we are commanded to love and pray for our enemies; and I do. My prayer is that genuine peace; everlasting peace would come and that God’s promises would be fulfilled. I wish no harm on those who hate both Jews and Christians, but their intents must be exposed, their deeds opposed.


So I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I pray that her enemies would be turned aside and that God’s people would flourish in the land declared holy.