A Deadly Distraction:
By Tamar Afriat
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” -Hamas Charter
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) aspires to the realization of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews) when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say: O Muslims there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” -Hamas Charter
A Deadly Distraction:
Even before the Freedom Flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists arrived, many here had a feeling that something was going to go wrong. And it did. Anyone following the incident probably knows these facts: Israeli navy commandos boarded one of the flotilla ships after it refused to change course, passengers violently attacked the soldiers, and, in defending themselves, nine activists were killed. Now the headlines read almost exclusively: Civilians Attacked and Killed by Israeli Soldiers. Anyone could have said this situation was going to be very tricky and could easily explode: hundreds of Pro-Palestinian activists defy Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza and spoiling for a fight, making comments like, “We’re going to bust through the Israeli Navy!” and “It’s Gaza or martyrdom!”
Israel knew well in advance who was on those boats: one of the main sponsors of the flotilla was the Turkish charitable organization, the IHH, which has established connections with Hamas, operates widely in the Gaza Strip, and even has a branch office there. The fact that Israeli intelligence did not take this into account in order to prepare for a possibly violent struggle is mind-boggling, just as mind-boggling that the international community doesn’t bat an eye at a concerted effort to break Israel’s law by flouting its recognized naval blockade and openly provoking Israel into a conflict. However, ignoring blatant provocation of Israel is nothing new as the world had no problem ignoring the fact that for 3 year,s Hamas was bombing Israel’s south while it had no problem condemning Israel for all of its retaliatory actions. In fact, the Israel-hatred prevalent in the world today began to increase dramatically with Israel’s offensive against Gaza in the winter of 2008 and 2009. Since that time, world opinion is so solidly against Israel that the flotilla of so-called “peace activists” intent on challenging Israel was nothing less than a floating booby-trap for Israel.
Israelis feel that this event signifies something grave; it is more than just another bad turn for us or one more public relations failure. Israelis sense, and rightly so, that we are cornered. As much as we may try to run our public relations machine to explain and get our version of the story out, it’s always too late (Israelis are maddeningly inept at public relations and damage control) and the ink has already dried on the public verdict of “Israel’s latest atrocity.” Even though Israel was more than willing to deliver the humanitarian aid to Gaza, Israel is judged as preventing aid into Gaza for wanting to inspect the ships for weapons!
“Why,” you may ask, “is it so important what world public opinion is for Israel?” Up until this year, Israelis largely felt we could still continue defending ourselves against our enemies, enemies who openly state their will to destroy us, and manage the pressure from the world to concede to Arab demands. However, several elements at play now are making the situation for Israel more grave than it ever has been: Firstly, US President Barak Obama has proven himself willing to throw Israel under the bus in order to advance his agenda of making peace with the Arab world. Secondly, the world has been incapable of dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the dramatic amassing of arms underway in Lebanon and Syria. If the event with the “Free Gaza” flotilla had happened at a different time, it would have hurt, but it certainly wouldn’t have carried the significance it has in Israel’s current situation. And what is that situation exactly? The world is inching to the consensus that Israel is the cause of world instability and hindrance to world peace. That puts Israel in a very precarious position indeed.
A Storm on the Horizon:
All of us sense there is a war on the horizon for Israel. In fact, military analysts in the US see the possibility of war between Israel, Hezbollah, and Syria that could even spill over into a broader conflict including Iran. Current indicators suggest it may not be an easy war for Israel. There is one other factor at play today that is worrisome in this whole scenario: Europe and America are perched on the precipice of a serious economic crisis. Europe has just given Greece an enormous bailout package to prevent it from defaulting on its international loans, and three more EU countries are in danger of defaulting on their loans. At the same time, America is in danger of unprecedented inflation due to its historic national debt and the 100-fold increase of printing money to pay the debt and stimulate the economy. If the world falls into a debilitating economic crisis, the situation in the Middle East could quickly deteriorate.
This is quite a gloomy forecast. Yet, we should not be worried. All of these things are merely birth pangs to literally the greatest event in human history: the return of Yeshua to the earth to gather His Bride, to judge the nations, and establish His kingdom on the earth. Didn’t He instruct us to pray, “Let your kingdom come”? Revelation 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!'” That’s us agreeing with the Holy Spirit to cry out for His return. None of this should be taking any of us by surprise. Though no one knows the day or the hour, Yeshua instructs His followers to know the time and season in the book of Matthew, lest they be found asleep when He comes (Matthew 25:1-13).
Knowing the prophetic scriptures concerning the end of the age is not an optional bible study topic. Refusing to know what the Bible says about the end of the age is like saying, “That part of the Lord’s plan I’m not interested in.” The gathering of the nations against Israel, the increase of evil in the generation of internet pornography, human trafficking, and general moral decline, and the increasing economic instability should have believers’ attention. These are further signs that the birth pangs have begun. But should it make us afraid or hole ourselves up in a hideout with guns and food to weather the storm? Absolutely not! It is the time to press in to the Word like never before, to go deeper in our relationship with Him, to seek His face in prayer and worship, to gather together like the believers in Acts chapter 2 in order to prepare. God wants to use us in these difficult times ahead to carry His light and proclaim His truth to the nations. And we can do so with courage and confidence – He will go with us every step of the way because He’s called all of us for a time such as this.
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