Israel is under fire by Hamas rockets from Gaza and by Palestinian riots in Jerusalem. Most mainstream media tell us that eviction of Palestinian houses in Jerusalem caused all this anger and violence. What is the real cause of all this?
The riots and protests were already in preparation for many weeks. Palestinians have been collecting heavy stones and fireworks in the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount over the last weeks. And Hamas had been illegally importing hundreds or thousands of sophisticated missiles and rockets intended to reach the cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Violence has erupted in Israel. Riots on the Temple Mount, hundreds of rockets from Gaza, Jews and Palestinians killed and wounded. The situation is volatile.
Many in the Western media are portraying Israel as the aggressor, and the Palestinians as victims. But the situation is more complex and nuanced than is often portrayed.
Underlying factors include a deeply emotional dispute about the status of Jerusalem, and whether Israel’s control of the city is justified, as well as the determination of Hamas and its allies to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.
In recent days, violence has escalated in Israel. What began with riots on the Temple Mount has, in a matter of days, degenerated into a violent conflict, with over a thousand rockets fired from Gaza at civilian targets in Israel. Israel is trying to bring peace back to the country, but the situation is serious. That is why we call on you to pray and take action.
L’histoire se répète, history does repeat itself. The nations fall for Satan’s seductions once again. Perhaps he goes to the four corners of the earth because those ‘peripheral areas’ are furthest from Jerusalem. Both the disposition of their hearts and the disposition of the devil, who, after a thousand years in the abyss, has not learned anything either, must come to light. The rebellion will only last for a short time however.View video
There has been unrest in Jerusalem since the beginning of Ramadan. On 10 May, the situation on the Temple Mount escalated. In retaliation, GAZA fired hundreds of rockets, aiming at southern Israel. However, the air raid alarms also went off in Jerusalem and Beth Shemesh.
Benjamin Philip explains the current situation in Ashdod:
Genesis 22, Abraham’s Binding of Isaac, is one of the most influential texts of the Bible. The idea that there are issues in our life that might be more important than our human existence itself, is based on this story. Start thinking about this together with me, and then continue…View video
It has a special role to play in the geography of Israel and served as the stage of one of the most electrifying events in Scripture. While it has high name recognition, it is little known nor understood. In this edition of Walk Through the Land, we will leave the coastal plain and ascend one of the most famous peaks of the Bible: Mount Carmel.
The term ‘Mount Carmel’ is used only four times in Scripture, and ‘Carmel’ is used 26 times. While most references mean the mount, there is also a ‘Carmel’ southeast of Hebron in Judah. This is where Nabal and Abigail lived (1 Samuel 25:5).
On 27th April Human Rights Watch (HRW) released its report entitled “A Threshold Crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”. It is 213-page litany of accusations and complaints. It portrays the Jewish State of Israel as an inherently apartheid state whose sole purpose is to persecute the Palestinians. According to HRW, Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity – apartheid and persecution. All Israeli laws showing preference to Jews must be abolished. Israel’s leaders should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, and Israel should be subject to international condemnation, isolation and sanctions.
The final battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), which turned out not to be a ‘battle’ at all, has left nations existing on earth. The devil is locked up, so that he can no longer deceive the nations. Christ will not be coming to an empty earth to reign, He takes on the Kingship over all the kingdoms of this world.
We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn about that a religious festival in northern Israel resulted in many casualties. At least 45 people were crushed to death and more than 150 people hurt, including many in critical condition, in a stampede after midnight Thursday at a mass gathering to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron. This is the worst civilian disaster in Israel in peace time modern history. It is the greatest disaster that has struck Israel in peacetime.
On the eastern bank of the Kidron Valley, opposite the City of David is an Arab village called Silwan. For those unaware of history, the pastoral houses give a sense of Palestinian antiquity, and it is scenes such as this that the media often zoom in on to ‘prove’ the longevity of the Arabs to the Holy Land. But this village is just one hundred years old which in a real estate of the Middle East that stretches back 4000 years, is only the blink of an eye.
We would like to tell you about three olim families, who made aliyah via the First Home on the Homeland program in October 2020 – how they are doing now and what their impressions of Israel are. We have described their lives before moving to the country, and you can read that article here.
Do you remember the “Little Prince” story and its main character’s words that “we are responsible for those we have tamed”? For us, providing assistance is not a single action we take and soon forget about. We are in touch with all of the families that we have helped to start their new lives in the Holy Land.
Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. Genesis 49:20.
We continue our ‘walk through the land’ (Genesis 13:17) series, helping us to learn more about the Bible by understanding the land where much of it took place. We still find ourselves on Israel’s coastal plain, which consists of three subsections: Plain of Philistia (south), Plain of Sharon (Center), and Plain of Acre (north). Our focus will be on the last of these.
On 3 March 2021, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Fatou Bensouda, announced she has started an official investigation into alleged ‘war crimes’ in ‘the territory of Palestine’. This could lead to the prosecution and imprisonment of Israeli, Hamas and maybe other Palestinian leaders for ‘war crimes’ under the Rome Statute.
The Prosecutor’s decision follows the ruling a month earlier (on 5 February 2021) by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) that the ICC has ‘jurisdiction’ over crimes committed on the territory of ‘Palestine’.
Today is Yom HaShoah – the day appointed by Israel to commemorate the “Shoah”, the Holocaust that took place only one generation ago.
Less than 80 years ago, six million Jews were slaughtered in the heart of Europe. Men, women and children were taken from their homes, and transported to their deaths in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Dachau, and so on. Their fellow citizens watched as this was happening.
Of course there were many who risked their lives to save Jews – they are recognized by Israel as the “Righteous among the nations”.
The Bitao family has long suffered. Their nearly two decade long dream of making Aliyah joined with the dream to be together and whole again.
Eleven years ago, two sisters of the family made Aliyah with their husbands and children and settled in Petach Tikva, Israel. Another brother, Getahoun, made Aliyah eight years and settled in Kiryat Yam. Getahoun, who today is 35 years old and married with two children, started his life at The Jewish Agency Sapir Aliyah Center in Kiryat Yam.
Left in Ethiopia, was their mother and three siblings- Tedfalech, the daughter who is 28 years old and married with 2 children, and Shigao, 31 years old and married with two children and an older brother, Amane, 51 years old with 3 children.
Tourism in Israel is a significant part of our little country’s economy and during these months of a global pandemic it has taken a hard knock. Both Jewish people from the diaspora who come to visit family and also Christian tourists, have all found themselves locked out of a country in lockdown.
To circumvent the disappointments of those who have not been able to visit, Amit Barak and Amotz Eyal have come up with an innovative idea. Founders of “Jnnovation Ltd,” the two young men have a friendship dating back to the army where they served in elite units. It is not just the army they have in common.
Unfortunately, it seems that in the West, most Christians have become caught up in the potent combination of early Christian supersessionism, historical ignorance and post-modern left-wing ideologies.
Melanie Philips is right in her recent article to call out the South African Christian leader Rev. Frank Chikane for his recent statements demonizing the State of Israel. And, sadly, she is also absolutely correct in her assessment that this is not an isolated incident but symptomatic of a much deeper problem in the church: the widely held Christian supersessionist worldview that “holds that the Jews were stripped of God’s favor because they denied the divinity of Jesus.”
The European Union is already beginning to show that its boundaries are the same ones as the boundaries of the ancient Roman Empire. Scotland and Wales and even the UK were hardly part of it, then and now. Some Eastern European countries were in it, or partially and North Africa was in some way connected to it, as were Turkey and the countries of the Middle East.
Simcha Blass, a Polish Jew who emigrated to Israel a decade before World War II, changed the world forever.
Growing up in Warsaw, antisemitism and poverty so impacted him and his other fellow Jews that Simcha was prompted to ‘check out his future’ in the Jewish homeland, which was then under British control. Before his exploratory journey, he devoted much time to thinking about how he could contribute to his people, and what would make his Promised Land thrive.
Rev. Frank Chikane – the moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), and an “icon of the anti-apartheid struggle” – recently made statements in a Zoom meeting attended by over 300 Christians in which he demonized the State of Israel.
“We need to begin to say to those who support Israel to brutalize Palestinians that the blood of the people of Palestine will be sought from them because they collaborate by allowing this system to continue,” he said.
The Greek word ‘anti’ has two meanings: ‘instead of’ and ‘against’. Anti-Christ means: a christ instead of true Christ, and ultimately against the true Christ. A saviour instead of the true Saviour. A false messiah instead of and against the true Messiah. In the end he will emerge as a most cruel dictator.
On February 25 and 26, Jewish men, women and children in Israel and all over the world celebrate the Purim festival. A cheerful feast with good food and drinks and giving each other presents. Purim originated from the events recorded in the book of Esther. In the great Persian empire in the 6th century BC, Haman wanted to exterminate the Jewish people. But through the intervention of Queen Esther at the king’s court, genocide was thwarted. Let us dwell for a moment on a few memorable moments.
In a recent column in Jerusalem Post David M. Weinberg argues that the foreign policy elite installed by the new Biden Administration seems likely to revert to the Obama Administration policies of seeking rapprochement with Iran and the PLO, and putting pressure on Israel to make concessions.
The Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness will fill the earth. Under the leadership of the King of kings and the Lord of lords, peace will fill the entire world from Jerusalem. And the nations shall train for war no more. What a glorious future!
Last week we reflected on the scriptures that speak of a conflict between Israel and a coalition of nations, as described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. The prophet Zechariah describes what is apparently a different conflict, when “all the nations of the earth” will gather against Jerusalem, which is described as a “cup of trembling”, a “rock” that cannot be lifted. The Lord Himself will intervene to protect the city (Zechariah 14):
“Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”
This verse is a bit of a peculiar sentence, almost at the closure of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Who is Paul speaking about?
Most English translations connect the two parts of the sentence with the conjunction ‘and’, suggesting that the text points at two different groups: the one denoted as ‘them’, the other as the ‘Israel of God’. The word ‘them’ refers to the first part of the verse: ‘Those who will walk by this rule’. The Living Bible changes the whole sentence, apparently in an attempt to avoid mentioning Israel, and reads: ‘May God’s mercy and peace be upon all of you who live by this principle and upon those everywhere who are really God’s own.’
I recently visited the former Nazi Concentration Camp Mauthausen in Austria. A prisoner who survived Auschwitz and was transferred to Mauthausen called this camp the ‘pit of hell’. It was worse than Auschwitz because of the indescribable sadistic atrocities.View video
In Ezekiel chapter 38-39 God speaks through the prophet Ezekiel of a war that will erupt in the Middle East in the last days. This will be after the (partial) restoration of the Jewish people to the land that is described in chapters 36-37, and at a time that they are safe, peaceful and “rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land”. The armies of several nations will attack Israel to plunder it. The Lord will intervene to destroy the attacking armies. He says to Gog, their leader: “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.”
By Amit Barak.. Elias Zarina is an Arabic-speaking Christian born in the Christian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Elias works in the hotel industry in the city. More than once he told me that he met with pilgrims (Catholics or Orthodox) at the hotel and Elias repeatedly proves them wrong. When they hear that he is an Israeli Christian, they react in amazement, because the impression they came with is that in the Holy Land there are only Jews, Muslims and conflict.
Silence… the calm before the storm. Before the events of the end times unfold and the angels blow their seven trumpets, there is SILENCE in heaven first. In Revelation 8:1-2 we read that before this phase of world history is revealed and will be fulfilled, there is silence, for about half an hour. As if heaven and earth are holding their breath. As if angels and powers, forces and the rulers of darkness suddenly stop and fall silent.View video
The Most High has unfailingly connected Himself with Israel: land, people and the city of Jerusalem, to bless the nations and the world. To this end He has committed Himself with eight Covenants.
Seven of these Covenants/contracts are unconditional, they are everlasting and they are all ratified with a solemn oath of the Most High Himself, sworn on His own Name, because He cannot swear on anything or anybody higher or greater than Himself.
This week there are many ceremonies around the world to remember the Holocaust. Many Christians will say “Never Again”.
But have we really learned from the Holocaust?
Only a generation ago, Nazi Germany and its allies almost succeeded in wiping out European Jewry, on the soil of Christian nations. At the same time as the gas chambers and ovens were operating at full speed in Poland, the British were preventing Jews from entering Palestine.
With enigmatic staccato, Psalm 87 throws assertions at its readers that at first glance seem incoherent. This Psalm seems like a bundle of fragments of thoughts that confuses rather than provides orientation.
“Psalm 87 provides a revelation, an apocalypse; it discloses a secret”
Interpreters who have studied Psalm 87 admit a prophetic quality to it. It is claimed that this Psalm explains interrelations from a perspective that is not visible to the natural eye. Psalm 87 provides a revelation, an apocalypse; it discloses a secret.
In His Sermon on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem about the last things, Jesus speaks about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. When the disciples ask when that will happen and what the ‘sign’ will be of the end of the age, He starts off by first warning them about spiritual deceptions: false messiahs and false prophets. Only after this He mentions wars, earthquakes and famines as the beginning of birth pains. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus reports on whole series of ‘messiahs’. It was an apocalyptic time. In the years previous to the fall of Jerusalem in 7 AD, it seemed like the end times had arrived.View video
How is God’s ‘Inheritance’ arranged? “And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17)
Christians are children of God. They have God as their Father. So, they are heirs of God. At the same time, that makes them fellow heirs with Christ. Together with Jesus, they inherit what God the Father has to pass. What do you, dear reader, imagine this inheritance to be? Read more
The land belongs to Israel. And within this Jewish State of Israel, which belongs to the twelve tribes of Israel, foreigners (like Arabs and Palestinians) who have lived there for generations can own trees, houses, fields, etc. They have civil rights in Israel, and therefore also humanitarian rights. However, they must respect the laws of the State of Israel, while the Israeli government in return must respect their humanitarian rights.
Israel has been chosen by God. But as God’s chosen one the people of Israel are also God’s servant with the high calling to be a light to the world.
“In the Book of Isaiah, we read that God created Israel to proclaim His praise (Isaiah 43:12)”
In the Book of Isaiah, we read that God created Israel to proclaim His praise (Isaiah 43:12). And that is what Israel has done. We don’t always think about that, but for centuries Jerusalem has been the only place on earth where God was honoured. The rest of the world was living in ignorance and darkness. Read more
The group of 250 which made aliyah last week was the first to arrive in two-and-a-half years.
After a long and tiring flight throughout the night, the band of new immigrants emerged from the El Al plane and made their way slowly down the stairs, their senses heightened by the early-morning chill as well as the knowledge that their cherished dream was coming true.
The restoration of the twelve tribes to the land continues unabated. God is fulfilling His promises.
As the articles below show, this return is being met with much opposition.
The struggles both within and around Israel can be seen as signs of the ‘birthpangs’: signs of the difficult process of giving birth to the new kingdom.
As the Christian world celebrates Christmas, we do well to remember that God is in control of history, and that He will fulfill all that He has promised.
As Christians, we are soon going to celebrate Christmas, the coming of Jesus to this world through His Jewish mother, Mary. John teaches us that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And that “all things came into being through Him.” At His birth he received His name, Jesus. Before His coming to our world, He was with the Father in heaven forever as the Son of God, the Word of God, and even involved in creation. He was also deeply connected with His people Israel. Long before His coming to this world. The Old Testament often speaks about the ‘Angel of the Lord’. Sometimes an angel is just a messenger of God. The ‘Angel of the Lord’ however can also be identified as the Son of God, the Messiah. We all know that Jesus told us: “I and the Father are one” (John. 10:30). Read more
“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:29
It is often said: this verse proves that the people and the land of Israel have become obsolete. What matters is, whether you belong to Christ. That makes you a true heir of the promise. Which promise does Paul mean, though? Read more