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“Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air, said a terrorist.” Reports of divine intervention in Gaza War?

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2014 at 10:38 pm
(Source: Jewish Telegraph/WND)

(Source: Jewish Telegraph/WND)

(Denver, Colorado) — “More claims of divine intervention are being reported in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, with an operator of Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system saying he personally witnessed ‘the hand of God’ diverting an incoming rocket out of harm’s way,” says a fascinating report published by WorldNetDaily.

Excerpts from the article:

Israel Today translated a report from a Hebrew-language news site, which noted the Iron Dome battery failed three times to intercept an incoming rocket headed toward Tel Aviv last week.

The commander recalled: “A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.

“We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident

“Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that … sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!’

“I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.”

The commander’s account is reminiscent of a recent newspaper headline which trumpeted the possibility of supernatural protection.

“Their God changes the path of our rockets in mid-air, said a terrorist,” was the headline in the July 18 edition of the Jewish Telegraph.

It was a partial quote from Barbara Ordman, who lives in Ma’ale Adumim on the West Bank.

Her exact quotation was: “As one of the terrorists from Gaza was reported to say when asked why they couldn’t aim their rockets more effectively: “We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.”

She opened her piece by noting: “In October 1956, [Israeli Prime Minister] David Ben Gurion was interviewed by CBS. He stated: ‘In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.’”….

Meanwhile, the Times of Israel reported a senior officer in Israel’s army said divine miracles protected his soldiers during fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Givati Brigade commander Col. Ofer Winter told the weekly publication Mishpacha that he “witnessed a miraculous occurrence, the likes of which he had never seen before during his military career.”

Winter indicated a predawn raid intended to use darkness as cover was delayed, forcing the soldiers to move toward their objective as sunrise was approaching.

With the troops in danger of being exposed at daybreak, Winter explained how heavy fog quickly descended to shroud their movements until their mission was accomplished.

“Suddenly a cloud protected us,” he said, referring to clouds the Bible says guided the ancient Israelites as they wandered in the desert. “Clouds of glory.”

Winter said only when the soldiers were in a secure position, the fog finally lifted.

“It really was a fulfillment of the verse ‘For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to give you victory,’” he said, quoting Deuteronomy 20:4….

>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

 

GAZA WAR UPDATE, Day #29: So far, cease-fire holding. Here’s the war by the numbers.

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

IDF-tanksilhoutte(Denver, Colorado) — For the moment, there is quiet in Gaza and southern Israel.

A newly-negotiated cease-fire began at 1am eastern time. As of 5:30pm eastern time on Tuesday, Hamas and its terrorist allies in Gaza still hadn’t broken it. Israeli military forces, meanwhile, have withdrawn from most of the Gaza Strip, but for a buffer zone where they are keeping a vigilant watch on any new possible terror attacks.

It’s too early to say the war is over, but calm is good. A time to catch one’s breath. A time to comfort the wounded and suffering. A time to take stock of what has just happened, and what the future could hold.

Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all the epicenter. Pray that the Lord would restore calm and stability. Pray that the people of Gaza would turn against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade and other terror groups operating in the Strip. Pray that Palestinians and Israelis would soon be truly liberated from Hamas’ ruthless reign of terror and the destruction and devastation they have caused. Please also pray that Christians around the world would faithfully and publicly stand with Israel and seek to bless her as the world tries to isolate and condemn her, and that Christians would also faithfully and publicly show love and compassion to the Palestinian people who have been so oppressed by Hamas for so long. 

Here’s a useful report from the Times of Israel, providing a snapshot of the Gaza War — “Operation Protective Edge” — by the numbers:

  • Number of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel: 3,356
  • Number of rockets shot down by Iron Dome: 578
  • Number of rockets shot from Gaza that landed inside Gaza: 475
  • Number of rockets launched from civilian facilities inside Gaza at Israel: 597 rockets — of these, “approximately 260 were launched from schools, 127 from cemeteries, 160 from religious sites such as mosques, and 50 from hospitals.”
  • Number of rockets the IDF believes Hamas and its allies began with in Gaza: About 10,000
  • Number of rockets IDF believes they destroyed: About 3,000
  • Number of rockets IDF believes Hamas and its terror allies still have in Gaza: About 3,000 to 4,000
  • Number of terror tunnels destroyed by the IDF: 32
  • Number of terrorist targets struck by IDF: 4,762 — “most of them rocket-launching sites, nearly 1,000 of them command and control centers, about 240 Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades buildings, nearly 200 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, nearly 150 terror training compounds and 1,535 additional terror sites. “They were part of a strategic plan of Hamas, and an investment of approximately $100 million worth of materials, and we have now removed that threat,” Lerner said of the tunnels.
  • Number of Palestinians killed: 1,867 people in the Gaza Strip, according to estimates based on figures given by Hamas — the Israeli Defense Forces say between 750 and 1,000 militants were killed in Gaza.
  • Number of Israelis killed: 67 people, all soldiers except for three civilians.
  • Number of Gazans displaced by the war: about 400,000 Gazans, many of whom left their apartments and places of work because Hamas and other terror groups were operating in or near them, and the IDF told them via text messages, phone calls and leaflets to leave the area so they wouldn’t be injured or killed in Israeli airstrikes against the militants.
  • Amount of humanitarian relief the IDF said transferred into Gaza during the war: 1,856 trucks carrying 40,550 tons of food, medical and humanitarian supplies.
  • Number of IDF soldiers called up from reserves during the war: 82,201

>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

 

GAZA WAR UPDATE, Day #28: 10,000 attend funeral for Messianic Jewish soldier killed in combat in Gaza.

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm

 

First Sergeant Shai Kushnir, a Jewish believer in Jesus who died in combat in Gaza this weekend. (Source: Israel Today)

First Sergeant Shai Kushnir, a Jewish believer in Jesus who died in combat in Gaza this weekend. (Source: Israel Today)

(Denver, Colorado) — On Day #28 of the Gaza war, “Messianic Jews around the country are mourning after one of their young soldiers was killed in action last week,” reports Israel Today. “First Sergeant Shai Kushnir, who grew up in a youth group at a Messianic congregation in the Haifa area, was killed during operations along the Gaza border.”

“Messianic Jews” believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the long-awaited Messiah in fulfillment of ancient Hebrew prophecy and follow Him for salvation. There are presently about 15,000 Messianic Jews in Israel — many of whom serve faithfully in the IDF — and upwards of 300,000 around the world. 

“Over ten thousand came to pay their respects to Shai and the family, including two mayors from the Greater Haifa area, IDF generals and commanders from the Armored Brigade, as well as Messianic friends and congregational leaders,” the report noted. “Many wept openly as the 20-year-old fallen soldier was laid to rest in a full military ceremony at the IDF cemetery in Kiryat Ata, just outside Haifa.”

Please pray for the Kushnir family, for the Lord to comfort them in their grief. Please pray for their family and friends and for all the Messianic Jews in Israel as they mourn this loss. Please also pray for the families and friends of the other soldiers who have died in combat, as well for the family and friends of all the Palestinians who have been killed as well. Let’s keep praying that Hamas is defeated, and that Arabs and Jews are liberated from their reign of terror, and that this war will come to an end soon and calm will be restored. Thanks so much.

To read the full story, see below.

GAZA WAR, DAY #28 — AT-A-GLANCE:

  • Since July 8th, more than 3,253 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza.
  • On Sunday alone, 119 rockets were fired at Israel.
  • Three civilians in Israel have died.
  • 64 Israeli soldiers have died in combat, while hundreds more have been wounded.
  • Palestinian officials say deaths on their side in Gaza top 1,80o — Israeli officials say at least half of those were terrorists.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

MESSIANIC SOLDIER LAID TO REST AFTER FALLING IN GAZA

By David Lazarus, Israel Today

Messianic Jews around the country are mourning after one of their young soldiers was killed in action last week.

First Sergeant Shai Kushnir, who grew up in a youth group at a Messianic congregation in the Haifa area, was killed during operations along the Gaza border.

Over ten thousand came to pay their respects to Shai and the family, including two mayors from the Greater Haifa area, IDF generals and commanders from the Armored Brigade, as well as Messianic friends and congregational leaders. Many wept openly as the 20-year-old fallen soldier was laid to rest in a full military ceremony at the IDF cemetery in Kiryat Ata, just outside Haifa.

Barely holding back his tears, the commanding officer of Shai’s unit addressed the mourners:

“Shai fought bravely in order to defend the citizens of Israel. Few are willing to put others before themselves, but Shai was motivated by a higher principle of love, generosity and sacrifice for others. Living by these principles did not just happen on the spur of the moment, rather they are the result of the upbringing that Shai received from parents and family.

“Shai, your spirit and willingness to fight has left a profound impression on us. Your desire to help and to do whatever you could to save a life gave us courage during the fighting over the past few weeks. Just moments before we went into battle you said, ‘You can depend on me. I will protect you.’

“You were more than a friend, Shai, you were like a brother to us. Your memory will be with us always and will continue to give us the strength to carry on. We are paying the ultimate price in order to defend our people, the price of our dearest sons and daughters.”

According to IDF regulations, as an only son, Shai was not permitted to serve in a combat unit. “But Shai was absolutely adamant,” said his father, Michael. “He just kept on insisting that he wanted to serve in a combat unit.”

When it became clear that Shai would have it no other way, he was eventually allowed to serve in the Barak (Lightning) Division of an Armored Brigade, the same unit in which his father served.

Shai was a medic in a reconnaissance platoon that suffered a direct hit by Hamas mortars. Four other soldiers died in the attack along with Shai.

The day before he was killed, Shai’s father sent a message to his son:

“Sheiky, I miss you very very much. Not a minute goes by that I do not think of you, day and night. I try to imagine how you and your friends are facing this difficult situation. How are you responding to all this dangerous? You and all the other youth have an extremely difficult task to shield our tiny country. With your very lives you are our Protective Edge. I believe that you and your friends are strong, determined and full of motivation to complete the difficult task that you have. You are the best this country has to offer. We trust you. Daddy loves and misses you.”

The funeral was concluded with a prayer by the IDF Rabbi:

“To First Sergeant Shai, family and friends who have gathered here to honor you, I ask you for forgiveness. We called upon you to serve our country and you have given your life for us. May you go in peace and may you have eternal rest. May you now stand before the Judge all of flesh and have Shalom. And may there be Shalom on Israel, now and forever.”

>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

GAZA WAR UPDATE, Day #27: Netanyahu addresses nation. Operation against Hamas to continue. IDF has destroyed the terror tunnels, will unilaterally withdraw soon. But Israel won’t negotiate a ceasefire any longer. IDF determines Hadar Goldin is dead, not captured.

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

 

PM Netanyahu (right) and Defense Minister Yaalon (left) address the nation and reporters on Saturday evening. (Source: Ynet)

PM Netanyahu (right) and Defense Minister Yaalon (left) address the nation and reporters on Saturday evening. (Source: Ynet)

UPDATED: >> Watch clips of Israel’s Prime Minister speaking in English on Saturday evening (Israel time) on the latest developments in Gaza, and the state of U.S.-Israel relations.

>> Kidnapped soldier Hadar Goldin is dead, IDF tells family – Army’s chief rabbi, defense minister bring the bitter tidings to Givati officer’s parents, siblings and fiancee, as large crowd mourns outside (Times of Israel)

(Denver, Colorado) — It’s not over yet, but Israel is winning in the battle against radical Islamic terrorism in Gaza. Here’s the latest.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon addressed their nation on live TV in Hebrew at 9pm on Saturday evening, the beginning of Day #27 of Operation Protective Edge.

Here are highlights of their message:

  • Israel’s military operation against Hamas and the terrorists in Gaza is not over —  but they are making tremendous progress and will continue aggressively until the terrorist attacks on Israel are neutralized and the situation is calm and stable.
  • That said, Israel will be done destroying the terror tunnels threatening Israel in the next 24 hours or so.
  • The IDF will then begin withdrawing ground forces from Gaza unilaterally.
  • Israel will not try to negotiate another ceasefire with Hamas.
  • Israel will continue to hit the terrorists with air power, and will retain full freedom of action against the terrorists.
  • In effort to calm tensions with U.S., Netanyahu thanked President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry for their support for Israel’s right of self-defense.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in a press conference that IDF forces have ‘destroyed thousands of terror targets,’ and that after the tunnels inside the Gaza Strip are destroyed, the IDF will continue in its mission to restore security to Israel’s citizens,” reports Haaretz.

“All the options are on the table to restore security,” he said.

“The prime minister said Operation Protective Edge is complex, due to fighting in densely populated areas, and said Israel regrets the death of every Palestinian civilian,” Haaretz noted. “Netanyahu also said the operation has the support of the United States and of Europe.”

“The U.S. has been terrific and has given us tremendous support during the Gaza crisis,” Netanyahu said during the question time of the press conference.

“Netanyahu’s press conference was held shortly after the family of 2nd. Lt. Hadar Goldin, believed captured by Hamas, demanded Israel will not leave their son behind,” the Israeli daily noted.

“Israel will continue to do everything it can to bring its missing soldier home,” the Prime Minister said.

>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

GAZA WAR UPDATE, Day #25: Hamas uses ceasefire to capture IDF officer Hadar Goldin, 23. IDF unleashes ferocious attacks on Hamas. Please for Goldin’s rescue & family. Also: Hamas plot for massive terror attack on Rosh Hashana uncovered.

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm

 

Please pray for Hadar Goldin, 23, IDF officer who was declared missing in Gaza on August 1. (Source: Times of Israel)

Please pray for Hadar Goldin, 23, IDF officer who was declared missing in Gaza on August 1. (Source: Times of Israel)

UPDATED: (Denver, Colorado) — It lasted barely 90 minutes.

The ceasefire that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon negotiated with Hamas, and put enormous pressure on Israel to accept, commenced at 8am Friday Israel time. 

Yet around 9:30am,  the whole thing collapsed. Palestinian terrorists attacked an IDF unit. They killed two Israeli soldiers and apparently captured a third, an officer. Almost simultaneously, terrorists began firing rockets and mortars at Israeli forces.

The missing officer is Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin from Kfar Saba. He is 23 years, was born in Great Britain, has three siblings, and is engaged to be married.

Israeli forces immediately fired back at the terrorists. They also initiated the “Hannibal Protocol.” They unleashed a ferocious bombing and artillery campaign against the area where their officer was abducted in hopes of either creating so much chaos and confusion that the officer could escape his captors, or that the officer would be killed and thus couldn’t be used as leverage against the State of Israel. 

This has been standard IDF procedure since the 1980s when Israeli leaders decided the capture of a soldier was not a tactical development affecting a single unit but a strategic one that endangered the affected the entire state. The last time an IDF soldier — Gilad Shalit — was captured by Hamas, he was held for three years before Israel  finally released 1,027 Palestinian Arabs, including 477 convicted terrorists to get Shalit back.

It now seems clear Hamas used the cover of the agreed-upon 72 hour humanitarian ceasefire precisely to kill and abduct Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli public is both horrified and enraged. There is little appetite, much less trust, for another ceasefire any time soon. The Israeli security cabinet is meeting with IDF generals and intelligence officials to map out there next steps.

In an appalling development on Thursday night, the U.S. Senate voted down a proposal to provide Israel with $225 million in emergency aid for the Iron Dome system, the Israeli-designed, U.S.-funded system that is successfully shooting down 90% of the rockets it is fired at.

UPDATE, 12:50pm eastern, Friday: The Senate approved $225 million for Israel’s missile defense system on Friday morning, hours after an ugly floor spat nearly left the U.S. ally without additional aid before a long congressional recess,” reports Politico. “Fiscally conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Thursday night blocked the emergency cash infusion for the Iron Dome, which intercepts rockets fired at Israel by Hamas, over concerns that the spending was not offset and would increase the deficit. But Coburn only represented a narrow minority of GOP senators who wanted to see the funding offset, and his objections were opposed by nearly the entire rest of the Senate.” 

MEGA-TERROR ATTACK BY HAMAS THWARTED: One last note for now: In discovering some 40 terror tunnels so far, the IDF has developed chilling new insights into how the terrorists planned to use them to kill Israelis.

“Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported by the Israeli daily Maariv,” notes the Gatestone Institute. “The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians. Israeli soldiers already frustrated a surprise assault by Hamas through one tunnel from Gaza into the Eshkol district of Israel on July 19. The Hamas fighters escaped back into the tunnel, but the clash cost the lives of two Israel Defense Force [IDF] troops.”

Such intelligence is what is driving Israeli leaders to push forward to identify and destroy all the terror tunnels, despite the high cost. Netanyahu and his colleagues fear that if they don’t deal with the tunnel threat with now, Hamas will be able to prepare for much more devastating mega-terror attacks in the near future.

Please pray, and mobilize others to pray:

Here’s the latest:

“An IDF soldier was kidnapped by Gaza terrorists, the IDF said Friday, with a senior official blaming Hamas for using the ceasefire to take the soldier hostage. Two other soldiers were killed in the incident,” reported Ynet News. “It was cleared for publication that Givati Battalion Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin (23) from Kfar Saba was missing and feared to have been abducted Friday morning during clashes in the Gaza Strip near Rafah.”

“According to an announcement by the IDF, at 9:30 am Friday, terrorists opened fire at IDF forces in southern Gaza. Initial information from the scene indicated that there is a chance that an IDF soldiers was kidnapped during the incident,” Ynet noted. “‘(Israeli) forces operating to decommission an (infiltration) tunnel were attacked. Initial indications are that a soldier has been abducted by terrorists during the operation,’ the spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a conference call with journalists. Speaking with Ynet, a senior IDF source said that the possible kidnapping of an IDF soldier was carried out in a skirmish near a smuggling tunnel and was aided by a suicide bomber. According to him, a terrorists appeared while forces were searching for tunnels, one of them then blew himself up, during which time others kidnapped the solider.”

“Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry during a phone call early Friday afternoon, reported the Times of Israel

The two spoke “a few hours after a Hamas suicide bombing and attack near Rafah during which two Israeli soldiers were killed and 2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin of the Givati Brigade was apparently captured, the Times noted.

Israel will “take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens,” Netanyahu told Kerry.

“According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, [Netanyahu] told Kerry that ‘despite his joint statement’ with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to which ‘assurances’ had been received from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza regarding a ceasefire from 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, the Palestinians ‘unilaterally and grossly violated the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked our soldiers after 9:00 a.m,'” reported the Times.

>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

“Hamas is in crisis,” says fmr. head of IDF operations. And now comes a ceasefire.

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2014 at 11:30 pm
(Source: Ynet News)

(Source: Ynet News)

(Denver, Colorado) —  “Hamas is in crisis,” says the former head of IDF operations. 

“Major General (res.) Israel Ziv says movement has got itself into “conundrum” since the Gaza op started, with hardly any significant accomplishments, adds that “they are fighting now because they’re not sure they’ll get a second chance,” reports Ynet News.

Unconfirmed reports out of Israel say the IDF has now identified and destroyed 85% of the Hamas terror tunnels.

Now comes word of a 72-hour cease fire. Will it hold? We shall see.

Here’s what we know so far:

“Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire beginning Friday, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday,” reports the Associated Press. “The announcement came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy Hamas’s tunnel network “with or without a ceasefire” and as the Palestinian death toll soared past 1,400 (including hundreds of Hamas gunmen).”

“Netanyahu on Thursday said that Israel will continue to destroy infiltration tunnels from Gaza regardless of ceasefire efforts,” reported Haaretz.

“I won’t agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel’s security,” he said.

Reuters reported that “Hamas said it would abide by a three-day mutual cease-fire with Israel to begin early on Friday. ‘Acknowledging a call by the United Nations and in consideration of the situation of our people, resistance factions agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian and mutual calm that begins at 8 a.m on Friday as long as the other side abides by it,’ Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. ‘All the Palestinian factions are united behind the issue in this regard.'”

“Thursday saw 90 rockets fired at Israel, several Israelis hurt by mortar fire, ongoing IDF strikes at Hamas targets in Gaza and tunnel demolitions, and US criticism of an Israeli strike that killed a reported 15 people at a UN school in Gaza on Wednesday,” noted the Times of Israel. “Fifty-six soldiers and three civilians have been killed on the Israeli side in the 24 days of fighting, while Gazan health officials put the death toll there at over 1,400. Israel says several hundreds of those are Hamas fighters. Fifty-six soldiers and three civilians have been killed on the Israeli side in the 24 days of fighting, while Gazan health officials put the death toll there at over 1,400. Israel says several hundreds of those are Hamas fighters.”

Developing….

 

 

This is a time for Christians to show solidarity with Israel as she faces an onslaught of terrorism. It’s also a time to show compassion towards Palestinians who are being crushed by Hamas. A few thoughts to consider.

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm

HolyBible(Denver, Colorado) — This is Day #24 of the Gaza war. Is the Church doing enough to love the people who are suffering in the epicenter, in obedience to the Scriptures?

Now more than ever, is it vital for Christian leaders and lay people to speak out in solidarity with Israel — and even go visit Israel soon — as Jews and Arabs defend themselves against Radical Islam. Day after day, Israel is facing not only an onslaught of terrorism but an evil double-standard. Israeli citizens have absorbed more than 2,800 rocket attacks and numerous terror squads who have come from the Gaza Strip to murder innocent men, women and children. Yet rather than receive encouragement from world democracies who see a fellow democracy under attack, much of the world is turning against Israel. Anti-Semitic attacks are skyrocketing, especially in Europe. Israel is being condemned at the U.N., blasted by world leaders, and even pressured by our President and Secretary of State to immediately stop defending themselves and accept a premature ceasefire.

This is morally wrong. Indeed, it is unconscionable and indefensible. Israel not only has the right but the responsibility to defend its citizens, both Jews and Arabs and those of other ethnicities. In fighting the terrorists sworn to obliterate her, Israel is doing what any civilized democracy would do. It is tragic that civilians in Gaza are being killed and injured. But Israel isn’t targeting them. They are warning them to get out of the way — using text messages, phone calls, leaflets and other measures. It is Hamas who is using civilians as human shields. It is Hamas who wants as many Palestinians to die as possible, hoping this will cause the world to turn even further against Israel. Israel must do everything it can to prevent the loss of innocent life. They must set the highest possible standard. But Hamas bears ultimate responsibility for all the death and destruction. This war wouldn’t be happening if Hamas wasn’t attacking Israel day after day.

The Bible is clear how much God loves the Jewish people. From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures are clear that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has a great plan and purpose for the nation of Israel. And the Lord calls all of us to love Israel and the Jewish people, not because they are perfect, but because He loves them and wants them to know Him in a real and personal and intimate way. In Genesis 12:3, the Lord God says, “I will bless those who bless thee, and curse those who curse thee.” Which side do you want to be on? I want to be on the side of blessing Israel, in obedience to the Lord. Followers of Jesus Christ should pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all of Israel. But we should also speak out in her defense. We should stand up against the injustice and evil she is being subjected to. We should stand with her people who are under attack hour by hour, and show unconditional love and unwavering support.

My wife and four sons and I are leaving for Israel on August 14th. Indeed, we would leave earlier if we could, but this is the soonest we can depart. We look forward to spending time with Israelis and Palestinians, to pray with them, to serve them and encourage them, especially at such a time as this. I’ll write more about that soon.

May the Lord guide you to travel to Israel as soon as possible, and give you great wisdom, safety and sensitivity as you go.

At the same time, it is vital for Christian leaders and lay people to show compassion towards Palestinians who are being crushed and oppressed by Hamas. The Bible is clear: God loves the Jews, but He also loves the Arabs. Jesus, as a Jew living in Israel, commanded His followers to “love your neighbor” and “love your enemy.” He traveled to Lebanon and ministered to the people there. He traveled across the Jordan River, and ministered to the people there. In the Book of Acts, we read that He sent on of His servants to minister to people on the road to Gaza. Christians are commanded to love the Arab people not because they are perfect, but because He loves them and wants them to know Him in a real and personal and intimate way. So while Christians are to love Israel and bless the Jewish people, we are not to stop there. We are to love the Palestinian Arab people, as well.

It is important for Christians to know the facts and keep the current conflict in perspective. In 2005, Israel withdrew all its military forces from Gaza. The people of Gaza were free. They could have built great schools and a growing economy and seaside resorts. But Hamas took control of the Strip in 2006 and began to suffocate and oppress the Palestinian people. Hamas turned Gaza into a terrorist base camp. They have murdered those who speak out against them. They have enslaved the people. They have triggered three wars. They don’t care about the welfare of the Palestinian people. They only care about establishing a Radical Islamic caliphate and killing anyone who gets in their way. To love the Palestinian people, then, is to want them to be set free from the Hamas reign of terror.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to these interviews with Mosab Hasan Yousef, the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas. He was once a terrorist himself. Then he renounced Hamas, renounced Islam, and is now calling for the liberation of the Palestinian people through the destruction of Hamas.

Far too many Christians are saying that all Palestinians are all terrorists. As I’ve written before, this is not true — it’s unbiblical and unfair. There are many Palestinian moderates. Indeed, there are a growing number of truly born-again Palestinian Christians. I’ve many hundreds of them and count them as friends. What’s more, the most recent credible polls show most Palestinians in Gaza turning against Hamas, wanting a ceasefire, wanting calm and stable relations with Israel and even wanting to work in Israel. To love the Palestinian people, then, is to understand that there are a wide range of religious, political and philosophical views amongst them. Just as we shouldn’t see all Jews as the same, so we shouldn’t see all Palestinians as the same.

Now is the time for Christians to be praying for the Palestinian people — in Gaza, and on the West Bank. But don’t simply pray. Speak out for their liberation from Hamas and Radical Islam. Stand against the injustice and evil they have been suffering. Call on world leaders to stand against Hamas, and for the freedom and opportunity of the Palestinian people. And encourage Arab and Jewish followers of Jesus Christ to be able to preach the Gospel of freedom and forgiveness and eternal life to all Palestinians, as well as all Israelis.

It is not advisable to visit Gaza at this time, of course. But I would encourage Christian leaders who are visiting Israel to be sure to visit Palestinians as well — not to discuss politics, perhaps not even to discuss the war, but to show them you love them, you can for them, and you want to stand with them for peace in troubled times.

——————————–

 NOTE:

On August 7th, I’ll be discussing the latest developments in epicenter in Denver, Colorado, at a fund-raising event for my parents’ non-profit organization, Ministry Architecture, Inc. Please register today and join us for that event.

On August 9th, I’ll be speaking at The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, also focusing on the latest developments in Israel and the Middle East. Please register to attend, if you possibly can.

Here’s is some coverage of the upcoming event:

“The timing of Rosenberg’s visit to Iowa couldn’t come at a better time,” writes Craig Robinson, a prominent Iowa political writer. “Rosenberg was a political consultant before he focused on his writing career. In his former vocation, Rosenberg not only consulted for U.S. politicians like Steve Forbes, but also provided his services to former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky and then-former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

“Needless to say, Rosenberg is well versed in world affairs and especially the Israeli-Palestinian geopolitical struggle,” noted Robinson. “To have a speaker with Rosenberg’s knowledge come to Iowa during the Gaza War is unique. Rosenberg spoke at a FAMiLY Leader event a few years ago and dazzled the audience. I expect him to do the same this year. If you are looking for some great insight on the Gaza War, I would highly recommend checking out his Flash Traffic Blog. I also highly recommend his fiction and non-fiction books. Not only are they great reads, but even his fictional books are educational and eerily realistic. For instance, when I heard the news that Hamas had fired rockets at an Israeli nuclear facility, my mind raced to a scene out of Rosenberg’s fictional book, Damascus Countdown, which contained a very detailed description of a similar event.”

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“Gaza public rejects Hamas, wants ceasefire,” finds credible new poll. Details & analysis.

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm
Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

(Denver, Colorado) — The most recent credible polling of Palestinians in Gaza reveals sinking support for Hamas, rising support for the Palestinian Authority to run Gaza instead of Hamas, and an overwhelming desire for a ceasefire, reports the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

  • 88% want the Palestinian Authority (PA) — not Hamas — to run Gaza administratively
  • 70% want a ceasefire
  • 57% want Hamas to renounce violence against Israel
  • 56% would like to work in Israel if calm was restored and they could find a better-paying job than in Gaza

To be sure, the poll finds that a large number of Palestinians in Gaza do support Hamas and violence. Support for a two-state solution has dropped significantly.

Also, this is only a snapshot in time. We will need to see more polling results in the days and weeks ahead to understand how public opinion in Gaza — and the West Bank — is shifting as a result of the intensity of the war with Israel.

But the poll does make clear that many Gazan Palestinians are giving up on Hamas. Many see the quiet and stability of the PA’s governance on the West Bank as a better model. They don’t love Israel by any means, but many Gazans don’t want war. They overwhelmingly want a ceasefire and for the fighting to stop on both sides.

Again, it’s too soon to draw any conclusions. But let’s hope and pray that this war ends quickly, that the Lord heals and comforts all those who are suffering, that the people of Gaza decide they are done with Hamas and its terrorist policies and allies, and that a deep public desire for calm and rebuilding prevails.

Excerpts from the poll and the Institute’s analysis:

GAZANS WANTED A CEASEFIRE EVEN AS HAMAS STARTED FIRING ROCKETS

As tensions mounted and Hamas and other Gazan factions began to step up rocket fire last month, the people of that territory were heavily in favor of a ceasefire — 70 percent of the poll respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Hamas should maintain a ceasefire with Israel in both Gaza and the West Bank.” This attitude is corroborated by the 73 percent of Gazans who said Palestinians should adopt “proposals for (nonviolent) popular resistance against the occupation.” Similarly, when asked if Hamas should accept Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s position that the new unity government renounce violence against Israel, a clear majority (57 percent) answered in the affirmative. The responses to all three questions clearly indicate that most Gazans reject military escalation. Attitudes may have shifted since the poll due to anger at Israeli airstrikes, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the Gazan public still supports a ceasefire.

HAMAS FAILING TO DELIVER

The poll also demonstrates that Gazans are unhappy with Hamas governance — on multiple levels. A large majority (71 percent) considered crime to be a “significant” problem. Two-thirds said that another significant problem was official corruption. Moreover, a large majority (78 percent) found the “presence of Palestinian militias that are not organized under the formal security structure” to be at least a “moderate” problem.

In light of this dissatisfaction with Hamas security forces and administration, most respondents favored the prospect of the PA taking over Gaza. A remarkable 88 percent agreed with the statement “The PA should send officials and security officers to Gaza to take over administration there” — including two-thirds who “strongly” agreed.

HAMAS LEADERS HAVE MEAGER POLITICAL SUPPORT

Also very striking, and contrary to common misperception, is the fact that Hamas did not gain politically from the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers that sparked the current crisis last month. Asked who should be the president of Palestine in the next two years, a solid majority in Gaza named either Abbas or other leaders affiliated with the Fatah Party. In stark contrast, Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashal rated a combined total of just 15 percent support.

MAJORITY OF GAZANS WANT ISRAELI JOBS

The Gazan economy has receded over the past year as unemployment climbed to around 40 percent. Egypt’s closure of multiple smuggling tunnels and the Fatah-Hamas dispute over post-reconciliation salaries have only exacerbated this dire economic situation. The results of the June poll go even further than these indicators, showing that Gazans would be willing to look to Israel for their livelihood. Respondents overwhelmingly (82 percent) said they “would like to see Israel allow more Palestinians to work in Israel.” Still more poignantly, a majority (56 percent) said they “would be personally willing to work in Israel if there was a good, high-paying job.” Thus, Gazans actually favored some form of normalization with Israel in order to find work.

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>> I’ll speak on latest events in Israel & Mideast in Denver & Ames, Iowa in August. Please register to attend.

Too many Christians are dismissing all Palestinians as terrorists. This is unfair & unbiblical. Meet a true Palestinian moderate: Salam Fayyad.

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm

aspen-friedmanFayyadNOTE: I originally posted this column on July 9th, but I am reposting it because I am hoping more Christians will read and consider it. I’m concerned that far too many Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people are dismissing all Palestinians as terrorists and radicals and extremists. This is unfair and unbiblical. Indeed, there are true moderates among the Palestinians we need to get to know and appreciate and hear their perspective on what is happening.

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As I watch the on-going current crisis, I am deeply concerned for Israeli civilians, especially those who live in the south. But my also heart breaks for the Palestinians, especially those who live in Gaza.

Both sides are suffering. Both sides are feeling pain. And as a follower of Jesus Christ, I want to find ways that Christians can bless and care for and show compassion to both sides.

At the same time I admit I find myself asking some difficult questions.

 

  • Why did Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) recently make a peace agreement with Hamas, a terrorist organization affiliated with the Radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood?
  • Why isn’t the PA deploying security forces in Gaza to stop the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to stop the rockets from being fired at Israel, and thus ending the need for Israel to fight Hamas directly?
  • Why isn’t the PA taking the lead in fighting the terrorists and retaking control of Gaza and making it quiet, calm and safe?
  • Why after nine years since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and handed full control over to the PA have the Palestinian leadership not turned Gaza into a model of freedom and opportunity, rather than a place of such suffering and sadness and a base camp for terrorism?

 

At the moment, I don’t see clear answers to these questions. That doesn’t mean I will stop having compassion on the Palestinian people. To the contrary, I feel even more compassion because I don’t see their leaders making wise choices to truly help their people. Rather, I see the Palestinians in Gaza as sheep without a shepherd, feeling harassed and helpless.

 

Sometimes I find myself wondering, along with many Americans: Are there moderate Palestinians out there who don’t want war but truly seek peace? Are there any Palestinian leaders who are true Reformers, who don’t simply want to talk about making peace, but are serious about building competent security services who will make and enforce true peace? Are there Palestinian Reformers who are serious about creating an economic and civil infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza capable of blessing the Palestinian people and establishing the foundation upon which peace with Israelis can be built?

 

Fortunately, I believe the answer is yes.

The problem is such people currently have little or no political power right now.

 

In recent years, I have come to know many Palestinian Arab Christians — pastors and lay leaders — and I can assure you they don’t want war with Israel. Some are political. Most aren’t. They’re mostly Revivalists who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the main hope for their people. At the same time, they truly want a peaceful environment where they can serve the Lord and make disciples and care for the poor and needy and raise their children and build a future without this terrible scourge of violence. We don’t agree on all matters of theology, or geopolitics. But that’s okay. They love Christ. They love His Word. They are serving Him faithfully. Indeed, they have suffered for His name, and they are seeking peace for their people, and for their neighbors. I admire and appreciate them for that. May their tribe increase.

 

I have also met a Palestinian officials and business leaders who I also believe truly seek peace. I know first hand that it is not accurate to believe that all Palestinians are cheering this rocket war with Israel. Just the opposite is true. Many Palestinians are grieving what is happening, as are Arabs elsewhere in the region. Jordan’s King Abdullah II, for example, and his government are true moderate Arab Reformers. They don’t want this war. They have made peace with Israel and they want peace and dignity for the Palestinian people, as well as for the Israelis.

 

One leader I have not yet met, but would like to, is a man named Salam Fayyad. You may not have ever heard of him, but it’s worth your time to learn about him and listen to his views.

 

Fayyad is a Palestinian. An economist. A moderate. A Reformer. Until not long ago, he served as the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Before that, he served as the PA’s Finance Minister. To read several excellent columns and articles about his ideas and his work, please click here, here, and here.

 

On July 3rd — as the latest rocket war intensified — Fayyad participated in a conversation with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. It was a fascinating conversation, and I commend it to your attention. You may not agree with everything he says. But it’s important to listen to an interesting, principled, experienced Palestinian husband, father, and leader who cares deeply for his people and wants to create a calm, peaceful, prosperous environment for both Palestinians and Israelis.

 

You can watch the video by clicking here — it lasts about an hour.

 

Please pray for Dr. Fayyad, for his family and his colleagues. Among other things, please pray that he and other Reformers like him would have increasing influence in the Palestinian society.

 

As an evangelical Christian, I know that the Scriptures teach that true, lasting, comprehensive peace will never come to the Middle East or the rest of the world until the Lord Jesus Christ — whom the prophet Isaiah described as the “Prince of Peace” — returns to establish His kingdom and reign from Jerusalem. What’s more, I realized that Bible prophecy indicates that in the last days leading up to the return of Christ, the Middle East and nations around the globe will experience “wars and rumors of wars,” along with “revolutions” and “kingdoms rising against kingdoms and nations against nations.”

 

But I also know that the Bible commands believers not to wait for that final, perfect peace, but to seek peace here and now.

 

  • “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” we read in Psalm 122:6.
  • “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it,” we read in Psalm 34:14 and 1 Peter 3:11.
  • Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
  • The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14:19, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
  • “Love your neighbors as yourself,” said Jesus in Matthew 19:19.
  • “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:44.

 

The Bible is clear that governments are instituted by God to establish justice and protect people from all enemies, foreign and domestic. So followers of Christ should want all people to be governed by honest leaders who can establish safety, security and environment of hope, growth and opportunity. This is all part of our Biblical commitment to seeking peace, making peace, and not letting ourselves become cynical when peace efforts falter.

 

As people who love Christ and care about the people of the epicenter, we must start by praying for peace. But let us not stop there. Now, more than ever, we need to be seeking peace in the epicenter. Because people on both sides are suffering and God loves the Arabs and the Jews.

 

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“Son of Hamas” speaks out against the radical Islamic terror group of which he was once a top operative. Calls Hamas a “cancer” that “worships death.” Videos of Fox & CNN interviews. Audio of radio interview.

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2014 at 5:12 am
Mosab Hassan Yousef, interviewed on July 24th on CNN.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, interviewed on July 24th on CNN.

UPDATED:

>> See powerful new interview with Mosab and Hannity on Fox News.

Mosab Hassan Yousef is the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas, Sheik Hassan Yousef, the spiritual leader of the organization on the West Bank.

As a youth, Mosab was arrested by the Israelis for involvement in terrorism.

In prison, he came to realize the true evil of Hamas.

In time, he renounced Islam, chose to become a follower of Jesus, and became a double agent for the Israeli secret services (Shin Bet) working to thwart Hamas terror attacks.

Later, he emigrated to the United States where he wrote a best-selling book, “Son of Hamas,” warning about the dangerous of Hamas and telling his own journey out of Radical Islam.

Now, with Hamas engaged in a brutal, deadly war with Israel, Mosab — a remarkably courageous young man — is again speaking out against the radical Islamic terror group of which he used to be a key operative and rising future leader.

Hamas is a “cancer” in the Middle East,” Mosab told radio host Mark Levin this week. The terror group does not represent the Palestinian people. “All they care about is conquest….They believe everyone is unclean and they are clean…..They are a radical force that are sending Palestinians to death on a daily basis.”

“Hamas does not care about the lives of the Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis, or Americans,” Mosab told CNN this past week. “They don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship.”

“Hamas is not seeking coexistence [with Israel],” he noted. “Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over.”

He said the goal of Hamas isn’t not simply to destroy Israel but to build an Islamic caliphate on the rubble of every country in the region.

His book was turned into a documentary film, “The Green Prince,” that recently won an award at the Sundance Film Festival.

It is also being turned into a feature film.

VIDEO: I would highly encourage you to watch the full interview and share it with others. You can watch it by clicking here.

PERSONAL NOTE:

Please pray for Mosab — for his physical protection, for his spiritual life and growth, for the salvation of his father and his entire family, and for God to show him much grace and mercy. I’ve known him for several years, have been honored to spend time with him on several occasions and even have him to my home for dinner with my family, and have interacted with him on the phone and via email over the years. I have a great love and respect for him and believe he is a remarkably brave man. I pray for him because I know he is also under enormous pressure from all sides. His father has disowned him. Hamas wants to kill him. He is reviled by the Radical Islamic world. And he is still a young man trying to find his way, far from the world he grew up in, cut off from most of the people he knew and loved growing up. So I pray that as he grows and matures that he will become rooted and deeply grounded in the Scriptures, a devout and faithful follower of Christ, and a man with a cadre of strong, solid believers around him who love him and care for him and can advise and protect him from attacks of all kinds, political, physical and spiritual. I also pray the Lord will raise him up to be a great leader among the Palestinian people, speaking the truth in love and being a light to Israelis and all those in the Middle East, as well. I hope you’ll join me in these prayers. Thanks so much.

RECENT HEADLINES:

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TO LEARN MORE:

Here is an interview I did with Mosab in 2010:

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