All eyes on Turkey: The strange and disturbing cases of Pastor Andrew Brunson and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

TURKEY-US-POLITICS-JUSTICE-RELIGION-DIPLOMACY(Colorado Springs, Colorado) — As I finish several weeks of speeches and meetings in the U.S. and prepare to return to Israel, I’ve been following two very different and yet strangely linked stories. Both are drawing global media attention. Both involve Turkey and the regime of Turkish President Recep Erdogan. And both deserve your attention and prayer. Let me explain.

Story #1: Andrew Brunson, the American Evangelical Christian pastor that the Turkish government arrested and kept in prison for more than two years, was finally set free today. The latest reports are that Brunson is on his way out of Turkey back to freedom in the United States.

Evangelicals have been praying for years for Brunson’s protection and release. I thank the Lord those prayers have been answered, and am grateful for all the White House, State Department and other senior U.S. officials have done to secure the pastor’s release.

Story #2: Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist at times close to the royal family in Riyadh and more recently quite critical, has disappeared in Turkey. It seems clear from closed circuit TV evidence that Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. It is not clear, however, that he ever left. The Saudis say he did. The Turks say he didn’t. The Saudis have not yet offered video proof that he left. The Turks have not yet offered any evidence that something sinister actually occurred. I am praying for Khashoggi’s safety, protection and freedom, and ask you to join me in those prayers.

That said, let’s be clear: the Turkish media is filled with macabre tales that the Saudis have either arrested Khoshoggi and secreted him out of the consulate back to the Kingdom, or even murdered and dismembered him with a bone saw. Global media — including the U.S. media — has run with the wildest leaks and unnamed, unsourced quotes from Turkish officials. Such officials anonymously say they have all kinds of hard, factual, intelligence proving the most sinister of actions by the Saudis, yet they have released nothing concrete or compelling so far.

Indeed, as I write this, all we actually know for certain is that the Saudi journalist is missing. Nearly everything else is conjecture.

JamalKhashoggi

If the Turkish allegations are true, this would be a very serious and disturbing turn of events. And the consequences could lead into uncharted waters for the Saudis.

President Trump, Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo — along with many House and Senate members — have rightly called for a full and transparent investigation by both countries. If Khashoggi is alive, where is he? If not, what happened?

We need answers. We need facts. Then we can assess such information and draw conclusions and implications. Someone is lying. But whom?

What we don’t need are wild, unsourced allegations by one U.S. ally in the Middle East against another, both of whom deeply distrust, even despise, each other.

We should certainly be cautious about accepting unproven allegations from the government of Erdogan, which is steadily turning against the United States, Israel and the Sunni Arab world and allying itself with Russia, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Keep in mind: for more than two years, Erdogan’s government has made the most brutal, heinous, and slanderous allegations against this innocent American Evangelical pastor, Andrew Brunson. Yet the allegations were all false. Several so-called “witnesses” have now recanted. The charges were ultimately thrown out. Thank God, Brunson is now a free man. But in the process we have learned just how horrible the Turkish government can be.

Is Turkey telling the truth this time about Khashoggi? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Until we see hard facts, we should be slow to make any judgments. Let’s take a breath. Let’s let the investigation play out. And let’s not stop praying for Mr. Khashoggi and his family.

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Where will war break out next — Russia, Iran, North Korea? I’ll address this question on October 6th in Denver. Please register today to join us. Ticket required to attend.

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On Saturday evening, October 6th, I will speak in the Denver, Colorado area.

The topic of my address will be, “FLASH POINTS: WHERE WILL THE NEXT MAJOR WAR BREAK OUT?”

We’ll discuss the rising tensions between the Iranian-Syrian-Turkish axis and the emerging U.S.-Israeli-Sunni Arab alliance. We’ll examine the trendlines in Europe and the possibility of a conflagration between Russia and NATO. We’ll also consider the latest developments in Asia and whether North Korea is really looking to make peace or just buying time to complete its nuclear and ballistic missile program. 

I’ll share insights from my recent meetings with Vice President Mike Pence, Egyptian President el-Sisi, the Saudi and United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and others.

We will not only consider these and other “flash points” from a geopolitical perspective but from a spiritual perspective, as well. What doors may the Lord be opening for the furtherance of the Gospel, and what doors seem to be closing? How can we in North America strengthen the Church on the frontiers of the Gospel, and help fulfill the Great Commission in light of rapidly changing global conditions?

The occasion will be the annual fundraising event for Ministry Architecture, Inc. This is the ministry that my parents — Len and Mary Rosenberg — started nearly two decades ago to provide architectural services for Evangelical Christian ministries operating in developing countries who need orphanages, training centers, medical missionary hospitals, and other facilities to share the love of Jesus and teach the Word of God.

As the event begins, my parents will share about the exciting work God is doing through this ministry and how you can be involved prayerfully and financially. Then, I’ll speak, take your questions — my favorite part of the evening — and afterwards I’ll sign books.

The event will take place at Calvary Chapel South Denver in Littleton, Colorado, from 7:00pm to 9:15pm. Doors will open at 6:15pm. A contribution of $30 per person is requested to help support Ministry Architecture. Contributions are tax deductible. Registration is required, and you can register at www.ministryarchitecture.com.

Please register today to join us — yes, you can purchase a ticket at the door, but it’s best to register online. I hope to see you there!

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I was honored to meet with Egyptian President el-Sisi and a group of Evangelical leaders in NYC this week. It was a follow-up session to our historic meeting with him in Cairo last November. (Here are the details of who was there and what we discussed.) #PrayForEgypt

DELEGATION-EgyptNYC-Sept2018

(New York City) — With my new political thriller, The Persian Gamble, now finished and fully edited, I’ve been in Manhattan this week for meetings on the sidelines of the opening session of the U.N. General Assembly.

Countering the threat posed by radical Islamists — the ayatollahs of Iran chief among them — has been the main topic of our discussions. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the need to advance religious freedom in the region have been key themes, as well.

Among the leaders I’ve met with are Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, and former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The longest and most in-depth meeting was with Egyptian President el-Sisi, whom I first met in Washington last April and who invited me to bring a delegation of Evangelical leaders to Cairo to get to know him last November. It was great to see him again. He couldn’t have been more warm or more open to talking candidly about these and other critical issues.

It was also fun to present him a copy of my recent novel, Without Warning, and to tell him that in the novel, an Egyptian president plays a critical role in working with the U.S., Israel, Jordan and the UAE to hunt down the world’s most wanted terrorist. He loved it and asked me to personally sign it for him. Given that his English is excellent, I’m hoping he’ll have some time to read it soon, perhaps on the flight home.

That said, here is the press release our group issued describing our meeting…. 

EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT EL-SISI MEETS WITH EVANGELICAL DELEGATION FOR A FOLLOW UP DISCUSSION IN NYC DURING U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Provides Update on Progress Since Historic First Meeting In Cairo Last Year, Including Fight Against Terrorism & Extremism and Protect Religious Freedom

NEW YORK CITY, September 28, 2018 – Amidst meetings with world leaders this week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with a delegation of American Evangelical leaders for a follow-up meeting in his New York hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Sisi is in Manhattan for the opening of the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly.

President el-Sisi wanted to continue the conversation he began with Evangelicals at the Presidential Palace in suburban Cairo last November. During the 90-minute meeting, he provided an update on progress since that historic first-ever meeting with the Christian leaders. 

Among the topics discussed — the government’s increasingly successful efforts to:

  • counter terrorism and religious and ideological extremism
  • protect churches from terrorist attack
  • protect freedom of religion for people of all faiths
  • quietly assist in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and
  • strengthen Egypt’s strategic alliance with the United States.

Participating in the meeting was Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Director General for General Intelligence Abbas Kamel, and presidential spokesman Bassam Rady.

The President said he was encouraged by the improving level of coordination and consultation between Egypt and the U.S. at various levels on security and economic matters, and said Egyptians are seeing the fruit of the government’s reform efforts, including improved economic growth, lower unemployment, and increased tourism.

“Mr. President, you are defeating the terrorists and the dangerous ideology that fuels them,” said Dr. Mike Evans, who was a member of the delegation who traveled to Cairo last Fall. “Fighting terrorism is a human right. You liberated Egypt from the tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood. You’re making Egypt safer and more prosperous for everyone, and we applaud you for it.”

“We’re making progress, but don’t stop praying for us,” the President replied.

Joel C. Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author who led the delegation last year at the President’s invitation, quoted a verse from the New Testament during the discussion.

“Jesus told us, ‘You will know them by their fruits.’ (Matthew 7:16, New American Standard Bible). We as Evangelical Christians are not simply listening to your speeches. We are watching what you do. You’re not claiming to be perfect. But we see you making progress on many fronts. Just this month, you’ve appointed two Christian governors, including the first-ever woman Christian governor. You’re rebuilding churches that were burned or damaged by the Muslim Brotherhood. You’re building a large new church in your new administrative capital. You’re working closely with Israel to fight terrorists in the Sinai. And you’re doing everything possible to improve conditions in Gaza and jump-start the stalled peace process. This isn’t rhetoric. These are specific and positive actions. You’ve got an important story to tell, but more people need to hear it.”

President el-Sisi thanked the delegation for their words of reassurance and support, opining that, other than discussions with President Trump and Vice President Pence, “this was the most encouraging discussion of the many meetings I have had since arriving in the United States this week.”

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Dr. Evans (founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Team and the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem) and Mr. Rosenberg (New York Times best-selling author) organized the delegation of American Evangelical leaders.

Others included:

  • Hon. Michele Bachmann, former U.S. Member of Congress
  • Michael Little, former President and COO of The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and Board Chair of the National Religious Broadcasters
  • Jay Strack, President and Founder of Student Leadership University
  • A. Larry Ross, President of A. Larry Ross Communications
  • Wayne Pederson, Reach Beyond Global Ambassador

(Photo credit: Office of the Egyptian President) 

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REMINDER: On Saturday evening, October 6th, I will speak in the Denver, Colorado area. The topic of my address will be, “FLASH POINTS: WHERE WILL THE NEXT MAJOR WAR BREAK OUT?” Please register today to join us. It’s the only other public speaking event I’ll be doing on this visit to the U.S., and I’d love to see you there.

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What every Evangelical needs to know about Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Sunni Arab world & the future of the Middle East. (Video of my address to the Values Voter Summit as broadcast on C-SPAN.)

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(Washington, D.C.) — This weekend I had the honor to address the Values Voter Summit here in the nation’s capital, attended by thousands of Evangelical Christian leaders and grassroots activists.

C-SPAN broadcast the Summit live. You can watch my address by clicking here.

It was a joy to meet with and spend time discussing the trend lines in the Middle East with many dear friends, including Vice President Mike Pence, Family Research Council Chairman Tony Perkins, U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback whom I’ve known for a quarter of a century, and former Congressman Frank Wolf. Rep. Wolf is a genuine hero of mine and  he was honored at a special gala dinner for his three decades of work fighting for religious liberty and against the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo kicked off the Friday afternoon session, giving an excellent and encouraging address on the administration’s efforts to advance religious liberty around the globe and truly make this issue a top U.S. foreign policy priority. 

As the closing speaker of the afternoon session, I was asked to share my observations as an Evangelical follower of Jesus living in Jerusalem of the latest trend lines and key leaders in the Mideast, including:

  • Egyptian President el-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II and the Delegation of Evangelical leaders I took to Cairo and Amman last November.
  • The new Saudi Crown Prince and the important reforms he is pursuing.
  • The leaders of the United Arab Emirates, one of the least discussed but most interesting American allies in the region.
  • And the rising Iran threat — including Russia’s dangerous alliance with Iran — and how this is fundamentally reshaping the geopolitics of the region.

I’ve not made a full transcript of my remarks, but here are a few excerpts:

  • These [Sunni Arab] countries realize that the threat to the region is not the United States, it’s not Israel even, it’s not Christianity — it’s Iran and Iran’s radical Islamism. And it’s causing a fundamental recalculation of every leader in that region, ‘Who is my friend and who is my foe?’….
  • Now, I make things up in novels. But this is real life. Things are happening — Russia is forming an alliance with Iran, Turkey, Qatar. So, to the north, wickedness, evil, danger. To the south, something new: an American, Israeli, Sunni Arab alliance. It’s not perfect. It’s not fully formed. But something is happening that has never happened in history.
  • We need to encourage it. We need to nurture it. We need to be grateful that this current administration understands it in a way that the last administration certainly did not.
  • And we need to continue to pray — for peace in the region, peace for Jerusalem, and that we can be salt and light in every aspect of life, from foreign policy to human rights and the gospel most importantly….

I do hope you’ll watch and share the full address — it runs about 25 minutes.

Later today, I head to New York City for meetings with a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the opening Fall session of the United Nations General Assembly. I’d be grateful for your prayers this week, and will report what I can when I can.

REMINDER: On Saturday evening, October 6th, I will speak in the Denver, Colorado area. The topic of my address will be, “FLASH POINTS: WHERE WILL THE NEXT MAJOR WAR BREAK OUT?” Please register today to join us. It’s the only other public speaking event I’ll be doing on this visit to the U.S., and I’d love to see you there.

[Note: Though the C-SPAN graphic mentions The Joshua Fund, I was speaking at the Summit as a private individual, not in my capacity as TJF’s Founder. TJF is a strictly non-partisan, non-political organization.]

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Is the Iran nuclear threat forging an historic and unexpected alliance between the U.S., Israel and the Sunni Arab world? I’ll address this topic at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. Please join us.

ValuesVoterSummit-2018

I’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming Values Voter Summit and am honored to accept. Now that our family lives in Jerusalem, Tony Perkins has asked me to come back to Washington and address the Summit on my perspective on:

  • the 70th anniversary of Israel’s prophetic rebirth
  • the most serious security threat facing Israel today: the Iranian nuclear program and Russia’s collusion with the ayatollahs of Tehran
  • the fascinating alliance that is emerging between the U.S., Israel and the Sunni Arab world
  • the state of the Church in the Middle East, a region I call the Epicenter

In addition, I’ll be doing a book signing for my most recent political thriller, The Kremlin Conspiracy.

Please register today to secure your spot at the Summit. It’s quite a line up of speakers this year, and I very much look forward to being there and would love to meet you.

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“Flash Points: Where Will The Next Major War Break Out?” I’ll address this topic October 6th in Denver. Please register today to join us.

joel-photo

On Saturday evening, October 6th, I will speak in the Denver, Colorado area.

The topic of my address will be, “FLASH POINTS: WHERE WILL THE NEXT MAJOR WAR BREAK OUT?”

We’ll discuss the rising tensions between The Iranian-Syrian-Turkish axis and the emerging U.S.-Israeli-Sunni Arab alliance. We’ll examine the trendlines in Europe and the possibility of a conflagration between Russia and NATO. We’ll also consider the latest developments in Asia and whether North Korea is really looking to make peace or just buying time to complete its nuclear and ballistic missile program. 

We will not only consider these and other “flash points” from a geopolitical perspective but from a spiritual perspective, as well. What doors may the Lord be opening for the furtherance of the Gospel, and what doors seem to be closing? How can we in North America strengthen the Church on the frontiers of the Gospel, and help fulfill the Great Commission in light of rapidly changing global conditions?

The occasion will be the annual fundraising event for Ministry Architecture, Inc. This is the ministry that my parents — Len and Mary Rosenberg — started nearly two decades ago to provide architectural services for Evangelical Christian ministries operating in developing countries who need orphanages, training centers, medical missionary hospitals, and other facilities to share the love of Jesus and teach the Word of God.

As the event begins, my parents will share about the exciting work God is doing through this ministry and how you can be involved prayerfully and financially. Then, I’ll speak, take your questions — my favorite part of the evening — and afterwards I’ll sign books.

The event will take place at Calvary Chapel South Denver in Littleton, Colorado, from 7:00pm to 9:15pm. Doors will open at 6:15pm. A contribution of $30 per person is requested to help support Ministry Architecture. Contributions are tax deductible. Registration is required, and you can register at www.ministryarchitecture.com.

Please register today to join us — I hope to see you there!

MA-2018fundraiser

In a region of radicals, a reformer is rising. (Here’s my Fox News column on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who today turns 33.)

Saudi-MBS

Over the years, I have written a series of profiles of moderate Muslim leaders who are pursuing important reforms in their countries yet rarely receive the level of media attention that the radicals do. Such profiles have included:

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II (see herehere, here and here)
  • Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (see here, here, here and here)
  • The leaders of Azerbaijan (see here)
  • The leaders of Morocco (see here)

In recent months, I have found my attention turning time and time again to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Today, on the occasion of his 33rd birthday, Fox News Opinion has published a new column of mine looking at Mohammed bin Salman, a.k.a, “MBS.”

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MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN IS 33 — HERE ARE 21 IMPRESSIVE REFORMS ALREADY UNDERWAY By Joel C. Rosenberg

Amidst so much war and terrorism in the Middle East, there is actually remarkably good news coming out of Saudi Arabia.

A reformer is rising, pursuing the most dramatic economic, social and foreign policy changes in the history of the kingdom.

His name is Mohammed bin Salman. Widely known simply as “MBS,” he’s young. On August 31st, he will turn just 33 years old. Yet he has already amassed tremendous power. In January 2015, he became Defense Minister. In June 2017, he was named Crown Prince, and thus heir to throne.

With the blessing of his father, King Salman, he’s moving quickly to expand women’s rights, diversify the country’s oil-based economy, confront violent Islamism and even advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We are…reverting to what we [once] followed – a moderate Islam open to the world and all religions,” MBS told a conference of investors in Riyadh. “We want to lead normal lives, lives where our religion and our traditions translate into tolerance, so that we coexist with the world and become part of the development of the world.”

Radicals like Hamza bin Laden – son of the late terrorist mastermind – accuse MBS of being too moderate and working too closely with Washington. ISIS leaders despise MBS and have threatened to launch attacks in the kingdom. Iranian proxy forces in Yemen have fired more than 100 missiles at Saudi Arabia since 2015 and drawn MBS into a deadly and expensive war.

Liberals attack MBS for not being moderate enough. Human Rights Watch argues that “since [MBS] has ascended to power, there’s been an intensified repression of dissent.” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she is “very alarmed” by recent Saudi decisions, and Tweeted that Ottawa is “gravely concerned” about the state of civil society in the kingdom.

Yet consider 21 impressive reforms MBS and his team have advanced already….

[To read the rest of the column — including a description of these 21 reforms — please click here.]

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BREAKING: Putin orders biggest war games in nearly four decades in September.

Russia-tanks

“Russia will next month hold its biggest war games in nearly four decades,” Reuters is reporting.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by Russian news agencies on Tuesday as describing the scope of the war games, which will take place from September 11 through 15.

“The exercise — called Vostok-2018 (East-2018) — will take place in central and eastern Russian military districts and involve almost 300,000 troops, over 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets, and all its airborne units, agencies quoted Shoigu as saying. It will be the biggest military exercise since 1981….”

BBC News is reporting that “Russia has intensified its military training amid tension with Nato. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in 2014 triggered Western sanctions and a heightened Nato presence near Russian borders.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “The September 2017 war games in Belarus and parts of western Russia, dubbed Zapad 2017, triggered concerns in neighboring NATO nations already wary of Moscow’s intentions after its illegal annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and military interference in eastern Ukraine, where fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.”

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Here’s what books I’m reading these days. How about you? I’d love to know.

Books-covers

(Jerusalem, Israel) — Earlier this week, I was asked by some folks on Twitter what I’ve been reading this year. Here’s my list, as well as a more extended list of what I’ve been reading since we moved to Israel (exactly four years ago this month). 

Typically, I’m working on several books at once — a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, along with my daily Bible reading. Many of these I’ve devoured as audio books. I love to download books on my iPhone and listen when I’m driving in the car, flying back and forth to the U.S., whatever. Even a quick trip to the grocery store lets me listen to another 10 minutes of a book, each way. What a great way to use time wisely and get to books I’d otherwise have no time to get to. I highly recommend the practice.

So, what are you reading? I’d love to know. Please post your recent list on my Facebook page or on Twitter. And don’t forget to tell me what city/country you’re writing from. Thanks!

CURRENT

  • Spymaster by Brad Thor — Odd as this may sound, I don’t read much fiction. So, in recent years, I’ve been sampling more. Way overdue reading anything by Thor, a #1 NYT best-selling novelist, so thought I’d get his latest.
  • Into The Hands Of Soliders: Freedom and Chaos In Egypt and the Middle East by David Kirkpatrick — Not sure I’ll agree with all of this NYT journalist’s conclusions, but he lived through the Arab Spring as bureau chief in Cairo so I’m curious what he has to say.
  • Desiring God by John Piper — One of my sons recommended this to me a few years ago. Never got to it. Wish I had. Loving every page.

FINISHED THIS YEAR

OTHERS FINISHED SINCE MOVING TO ISRAEL IN AUGUST 2014

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UPDATED: Israel and Gaza moving towards full-blown war. Hamas breaks cease-fire. 200+ rockets and mortars fired at Israel since Wednesday night. 11 Israeli civilians injured. IDF retaliating. Palestinians in Gaza suffering under Hamas tyranny. Here’s the latest. #PleasePray

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Pray it doesn’t happen. Pray that civilians on both sides of the border are spared the horror. But all signs suggest a major new war is about to erupt between Israel and Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza.

It has been exactly four years since the last full-scale war between Israel and the terrorists of the Gaza Strip. In August of 2014 (the month my family and I moved to Israel), some 4,594 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at civilians in the Jewish State by Hamas and its allies. The Israeli military retaliated fiercely, bombarding the Strip with hundreds of strikes on terrorist facilities. IDF ground forces made numerous incursions into the Strip. In the end, Israeli chose not to launch a complete invasion and occupation of the Strip, but many on both sides of the border suffered and great damage was caused during the conflict.

Since then, a shaky truce has persisted. The Egyptian government of President el-Sisi deserves credit for actively working behind the scenes to persuade Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups to stand down. 

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Yet in 2018, there has been a dramatic escalation:

So far, Israeli officials have chosen not to mobilize reservists and launch a full-scale ground and air operation against Gaza. But Hamas and their terror allies are clearly trying to provoke such a war. 

Why? That’s anyone’s guess. These evil leaders are determined to rob, kill and destroy. They have trapped — enslaved, really — the people of Gaza in a brutish environment. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Palestinians people of Gaza have priceless beachfront property along the Mediterranean. They have smart, industrious people. They have natural gas reserves right off the coast that foreign petroleum companies are willing to help them develop if there only was peace. Israel, it should be noted, has not occupied the Strip since August 2005. Thus, for the last thirteen years the people of Gaza could have been building a free and thriving and prosperous society. Instead, they find themselves suffering under a wicked tyranny that is engaging in hundreds of war crimes (i.e., shooting at innocent civilians in Israel from schools, hospitals, playgrounds and other civilian centers in Gaza.) Hamas can’t provide enough food or cooking fuel. They only provide a few hours of electricity every day. That means even people with air conditioners suffer in blazing desert heat most days without being use them. 

Israel has a right to defend her people. But these terror attacks and this humanitarian disaster cannot go on.

The world needs to focus like a laser on pressuring Hamas to stop attacking Israel, surrender their weapons, and let the Palestinian Authority reassert control and begin to rebuild with Egypt’s help, and the help of wealthy Gulf countries.

The people of Gaza need help. They are people created in the image of God — a God who loves them. They deserve so much better. Let us pray for quiet and calm on the border, to be sure. Let us pray war that war will be averted. But let’s not stop there. Let’s pray for more — for the complete political, economic and spiritual liberation of the Palestinians of Gaza. It cannot come too soon.