Israel and the PLO
This past week has been especially heated in the political arena as PLO dictator Mahmoud Abbas (currently in control of the Judea and Samaria region of Israel) spoke strongly against Israel calling it a colonial project and a European conspiracy to steal land with the help of the Jews. Of course Abbas’ anti-Semitic assertions couldn’t be further from the truth and are so baseless that there is not even a need to counter them. One especially alarming result of this week’s tensions, however, was the PLO’s recommendations to disregard prior peace agreements and to cease all security coordination with Israel, thereby forcing Israel to either give up the territory of Judea and Samaria (something that will never happen) or to fully annex Area C (much of Judea and Samaria) and to get rid of the PLO entirely in the region (a move that would likely require a war that would increase tension not only in Israel but also between superpowers such as the US and Russia who are already on not so great terms in light of the Syrian crisis). By God’s grace, Abbas has continued security coordination with Israel this week and even increased it in light of the current tensions. Also, good is that it doesn’t seem like Abbas will be disregarding any previous peace agreements until a better agreement is made. As much as he is disliked among Palestinians and although he has refused to allow any democratic vote to lead to someone taking his place, one good thing about Abbas is his commitment to avoiding all out war with Israel. As has been the case for more than a century now, the situation in Israel is very complex, and all of us are praying that the name calling of the past week will be followed-up with some kind of solution that only God can provide.
Apprehending the drive-by terrorists
Last night, Israeli security forces exchanged gunfire with two terrorists suspected of having carried out the drive-by attack in the Judea and Samaria region last week (on January 9th). One of the terrorists was killed in the firefight and the other apprehended. In last week’s attack, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed leaving behind his wife and 6 children.
Addressing the refugee question
Israel, like any other country with a thriving economy, is home to a large number of refugees. Recent legislation is pushing to send the refugees back to their country or to other countries that are agreeing to take them, however, many are concerned that this may mean allowing them to be subjected to human trafficking in those countries. One alternative being suggested by Susan Silverman, sister of U.S. comedian Sarah Silverman, is to support some 40,000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants who are facing forced deportation from Israel by declaring certain agricultural settlements and smaller towns in Israel to be Sanctuary Cities much like those in the US. Cities in which illegal migrants are safe so long as no crime has been committed other than their illegal entry into the country. Such a solution may just work in Israel if those migrants can integrate into the towns in which they live and thereby contribute to Israel’s already thriving economy.
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