Friday, August 22, 2014
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
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.