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. The Middle East Crisis (Part 1)

THE MIDDLE EAST CRISIS FROM BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

Rev. JOHAN HULSHOF.

 

Brenda and I have a special love for the land of Israel and for the Jewish nation; we have also had the privilege of leading many pilgrimage tours to the Holy Land. Our love for God’s chosen nation as well as for God’s Word has inspired me over the years to look into the history of the Jewish people.

 

As an introduction I want to start with some statements from the news media and individual prominent persons.

 

Let’s start with Jesse Duarte:

 

The ANC on Thursday 17th July described the Israeli military's attacks on the Gaza strip as "barbaric". "The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said in a statement. (READ FULL STATEMENT IN ADDENDUM 1.)

 

Then some years ago President Mandela said:

 

The so-called ‘Palestinian autonomous areas’ are Bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system.

On the 23 July there were some Cabinet ministers who wore chequered ties in solidarity with the Palestinians. The Presbyterian Church in America some weeks ago called for a boycott of companies that invest in or manufacture goods in Israel. And on the TV news channels you continuously hear terms like:

Illegal occupation by Israel”  “Israel is an apartheid state” “Israel’s aggression against Palestine”. “barbaric” and I could go on and on.

In September last year there was an article in the Methodist newspaper supporting BDS, which is a world- wide movement calling for Boycot, Disinvestment and Sanctions against Israel. I wrote a response which is too long to quote today.  ( SEE ADDENDUM 2.)

Today and next week I will try to give what I believe the Christians, Biblical response, should be regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. I must also emphasize that I am condensing 5 sermons into 2 because that’s all the time I have, so, much more will be left unsaid than is actually shared. I will also be moving fairly briskly through the material and I urge you read the notes again on the website: www.logoscc.co.za

The question that many people ask is: What is happening in Israel and Gaza?   (2014)  I want to suggest some answers. By way of introduction I also want to confess that some of the original source material is simply not acknowledged because I destroyed all my written notes when we were moving house last month.  I am particularly indebted to Pastor John Hagee and his book entitled Jerusalem Countdown, as well as many other students of Scripture and history that have shaped my understanding.

To start off then I want to stress that the war that started on the 8th July 2014 is essentially, not political in nature, rather it is part of a Spiritual reality that is centred in the religious and faith realm.  It is a conflict that has its foundation in the events of the life of the Patriarch, Abraham.

 

Genesis 12 :1-4a

The Lord had said to Abram, Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation

And I will bless you; I will make your name great.

And you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And whoever curses you I will curse;

And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”.

So Abram left as the Lord had told him.”


God also said to Abram: Gen. 15 : 5

“Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them….So shall your offspring be.”

 

For this to happen, Abram obviously had to father offspring. Yet some years later when Abram was around 85 he still had not fathered any children and Sarai was already past childbearing age.  So, for God’s promise to be realized, Sarai thought she would help God along and suggested that Abram sleep with Hagar her Egyptian servant…  (Abram liked this idea.) He slept with Hagar, who fell pregnant, and Ishmael was born. Then at one hundred years of age even Abram was beyond the ability to father children. Yet it’s then that God promised a child to Abram and Sarai, now renamed Abraham and Sarah. And by God’s miracle working power Isaac was conceived by Sarah who was now about 90 years old.

 

What is also important to note here is God’s words in

 

Gen. 17..:19 – 21.

“Then God said, your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his decendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will bless him: I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. BUT  My covenant I will establish with Isaac….”

 

This was the beginning of a feud that has been ongoing till today…

 

Notice the following. Ishmael was Abraham’s physical descendant, yet, he was never chosen as he was a child outside of God’s revelatory will. In fact he was born because of a mistrust in Gods promises and power. The real child of promise was Isaac. He was born by the miraculous power of God, he was chosen by God to be the patriarch of the “children of promise” as Paul calls them in Romans 9:8:In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.”

 

The point to also remember is that Ishmael was born when Abraham had the natural ability to produce a son. Isaac on the other hand was conceived when both Abraham and Sarah were beyond the age of producing children. IOW …Isaac was born from the supernatural power of God and according to the perfect will of Jehovah God. The O.T. from this point on is a story and a history of the conflict between the descendants of Isaac (the Jews) and Ishmael (the Arab nations).

 

But for now I want to jump many centuries, to the year 570 A.D.  In the city of Mecca in Arabia a child was born, he was Muhammad, from the line of Ishmael.

 

Let me quote some information from the “Handbook of Today’s Religions” BY McDowell and Stewart a Campus Crusade Publication…

 

“ Muhammed suffered in early life from fits...”

“…he showed signs of a markedly religious disposition”

“he was a poet rather than a theologian…a master improviser rather than a systematic thinker”….

“Violence and gentleness were at war within him”…

As Muhammed grew…he came to believe in only one God, Allah… At the age of 40, the now religious Muhammed had his first vision” “Either in the course of the visions or shortly afterwards, Muhammad began to receive messages or revelations from “Allah”….They were committed to memory by Muhammad and his followers and recited as part of their common worship.”

“Muhammad received these visions during the following 22 years, until his death in 632 AD.”

These messages that Muhammad received, were passed on to his followers by him and after his death were recorded by his disciples from memory, in what is called the Qur’an, the Islamic equivalent of our Bible. And it’s in the Qur’an that we find many verses that fuel the fires of the war that rages between the Jews and those who are radical Islamists.

 

Folks… there may be much to be admired in the faith of Islam, but there is much more to be weary of …Because the Qur’an teaches that killing Jews and Christians is the will of the Prophet Muhammed and of Allah their God…Let me quote some verses from the Qur’an: “Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war” Surah 9:5

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land” ….Surah 5: 33

Sisters and Brothers, as I quote, let’s not forget that for those followers of Islam, their Qur’an is the absolute truth. They believe it supersedes the Bible, for them, Mohammed supersedes Christ, and further, an infidel, (a Christian or a Jew) is given only one choice…Convert to Islam or be killed.

 

One of Islam’s devout followers and leader of the Indonesian Jihad, Abu Baker Bashir… once said: Islam can’t be ruled by others…they that want peace must stop fighting Islam, if they want peace they have to accept to be governed by Islam”

Let’s be clear about the following, 1.) for a Muslim it is Allah’s will for Islam to rule the world. 2.) the word Islam does not mean “peace” as some believe. IT MEANS SUBMISSION. Their objective is for everyone to be in submission to their faith and their God Allah. Subsequently when the Jews in their first encounters with the Muslims would not convert, Muhammed declared a holy war against them. That holy war still continues, as is evident in the Gaza Strip these past few weeks. Note also, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, are only fundamentalist elements and representatives of a greater coalition of Muslim powers that seek the total annihilation of firstly the Jews and ultimately all who will not convert to Islam.

 

Friends…. The root cause of the present Middle East conflict is Spiritual in nature, it is an attempt to annihilate the Apple of God’s eye, the Jewish nation, and the Children of Promise. The Jihad (or Holy war) is being waged by those who call their God…ALLAH.  Allow me to also emphasize the following, despite what some Islamists claim and even some churched people believe, the God of the Jews and therefore the God of the Christians is not the same god as that of Islam.

 

There’s no time now to elaborate, (I could give numerous reasons for this statement), suffice to say that one element of the evidence is seen in the Middle East conflict now reaching major proportions…

 

That the war is causing the worst of suffering, especially amongst the vulnerable and innocent, is beyond dispute…that women and children particularly, are victims is a call for us to pray even more fervently. I don’t have time to elaborate on the deaths of the innocent civilians who are used by Hamas as “human shields. What I will do is append a short article on the website that illustrates the lengths to which Hamas will go. (SEE ADDENDUM 3 )

 

So do not be fooled by the politics of the situation, or by the humanist perspectives that are being raised in condemnation of Israel. Nor by the lies of the so called moderate Islamic leaders as they call for pity from the nations of the world.

 

The reality is that there is a Spiritual onslaught upon God himself and what is happening there in the Middle East calls all Christians to open their hearts and minds to the Spiritual realities and promises of God.

 

Next…. I want to introduce another train of thought …

 

That of the persecution of the Jews over centuries:

 

And for this we have to add the element of land to the equation. For now I won’t elaborate on the land issue, except to say that all the present area occupied by Israel, including what is known as Gaza and the West Bank and also a large portion of present day Jordan was decreed by God to belong to His chosen people. And we cannot leave the Holy City of Jerusalem out of the equation either:

 

In 2 Chron 6:6, 7:16, 33:7 we read: I (God) have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there ….For now I have chosen and sanctified this house (the temple in Jerusalem), that my name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually …In this House and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen ….I will put my name forever”

 

Note: “Perpetually” and twice, the word “forever”. The Hebrew “El Olam”, is translated as the God of eternity and sometimes as the God Everlasting. For God this decree will never change, and no Nation or World politics will ultimately be able to reverse this promise to the chosen.  Yet the majority of the world wants Israel to relinquish some of this land AND JERUSALEM to the Palestinian for their own state.

 

All of the coalition of Arab States want not only all the land (Jerusalem included) they also want the total destruction of the State of Israel….

 

Listen to some of the quotes from the former president of Iran, the near neighbour developing nuclear capability.

 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his Own Words

December 14, 2005  This is our proposal: give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them [Jews] so that the Jews can establish their country."
(Speaking to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan)


October 26, 2005 "Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . (In an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, 'The World Without Zionism')

December 12, 2006 "Thanks to people's wishes and God's will, the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want…Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out"

(Comments to Iran's Holocaust Conference)

October 10, 2009...The uniform shout of the Iranian nation is forever 'Death to Israel.'..."(As quoted by Fars News Agency)

But this is nothing new to the Jewish people.

For the past three THOUSAND YEARS various nations and groups have tried to remove the Jews from the Holy Land and from Jerusalem and while they have succeeded temporarily and partially, ultimately they will fail …FOLKS … the Land of Palestine has belonged to the Jews for more than 3000 years, Jerusalem has always been and will always be the Capital of the nation of Israel…

 

Perhaps this will be a good place to give some facts:

 

ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM FACTS


1. Israel became a state in 1312 B.C., two millennia before Islam;


2. Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves "Palestinians" in 1967, two decades after (modern) Israeli statehood;


3. After conquering the land in 1272 B.C., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;

4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 B.C. lasted just 22 years;

 

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it;

 

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the bible, but not once is it mentioned in the Qur’an;

 

7. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem;


8. In 1948, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence. 68% of them fled without ever setting eyes on an Israeli soldier;


9. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslim countries had to flee as the result of violence and pogroms;


10. Some 630,000 Arabs left Israel in 1948, while close to a million Jews were forced to leave the Muslim countries;


11. In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab refuges were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries.

 

Of the 100 million refugees following World War 2, they are the only group to have never integrated with their coreligionists.

 

Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than the Kruger National Park;


12. There are 22 Muslim countries, not counting Palestine. There is only one Jewish state. Arabs started all six wars against Israel, and lost every one of them;


13. Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel. Israel ceded most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian authority, and even provided it with arms;


14. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths;


15. Out of 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; out of 690 general assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel;


16. The U.N. was silent when the Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the mount of olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced laws preventing Jews from accessing the temple mount and western wall.


I am also appending a comment, by Yashiko Sagamori, sent to me by John Theron, from which I will just briefly quote:

 

“If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history," I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine:

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

11. What was the name of its currency?

 

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War? (1967)

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.”

 

As my final point let me just clarify what the Bible defines as the boundaries of the Holy Land given by God to the Israelites. In Gen. 15:18 we read To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates” SO … The Eastern boundary was the Euphrates River …and the Western boundary was the Egyptian River … identified in Exodus 23:31 as the Red Sea.

In Deut. 11:24 when the Israelites fled from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea …God said: “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the Western Sea (The Mediterranean), shall be your territory.”

 

The Northern Boundary is established in Ezekiel 48:1 as the city of Hamath, and the Southern boundary in Ezek. 48:28 as Kadesh. So if we take these biblical boundaries in reality it means that Israel should have far more land than it presently does. Israel’s borders established time and time again in the Scriptures: includes: ALL OF PRESENT DAY ISRAEL…INCLUDING WHAT IS KNOWN AS GAZA AND THE WEST BANK … HALF OF SYRIA …. TWO THIRDS OF JORDAN ……ALL OF IRAQ …. AND THE NOTHERN PORTION OF SAUDI ARABIA

 

Either the scriptures are the Word of God or they are not, either they are true or they are a lie and if they are a lie then we have no faith, no hope and no future. But if they are the truth (as I believe them to be) then Hebrew or Christians must stop listening to the political rhetoric, which continues to speak of the illegal occupation of the land by the Hebrew Nation.

 

Israel is on that land by the legitimate authority of God Himself.

 

The death and destruction in this latest war, is therefore a direct result of Religious hatred by the Muslims nations against the Jews. It is also the result of God’s Land, bequeathed to the Israelites, being occupied by the so called Palestinians. Will peace ever reign there? Only sometime in the future, and then for three and a half years only. (That is another series of sermons so I won’t elaborate.)

 

Folks pray for all the peoples of the Middle East.

 

Friends, let’s recap before I close:

 

In my first Point I SPOKE PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THAT IS BEING FOUGHT BETWEEN: The DESCENDENTS OF ISHMAEL, THE MAJORITY WHO ARE ISLAMICS AND WORSHIP A GOD CALLED ALLAH … AND THE DESCENDENTS OF ISAAC …THE JEWS … WHO WORSHIP JEHOVAH GOD. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME GOD …I ALSO TOUCHED BRIEFLY ON THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS….  I ASKED THE QUESTION; WHO ARE THE PALESTINIANS? AND LASTLY I LOOKED AT THE BIBLICAL BOUNDARIES OF THE PROMISED LAND.

 

I have tried to show through all this, that unless we are informed believers, we will very easily be fooled by the incorrect, misleading, and malicious falsehoods that are portrayed as facts by the media.

 

I repeat what I said in my BDS article (ADDENDUM 2) “Unfortunately, all the well warn statements and claims may be perceived by the uninformed as being the truth, whereas they are lies that have been presented as truth for so long that they are now accepted to be truth”.

 

Many people have their own views regarding the Middle East.  Frankly I don’t very much care what anyone’s views are. My appeal to all believers is; refer to God’s word for God’s views and stand by that and that alone.

 

Next week we will look at:

 

  1. The results of Israel’s disobedience to Jehovah God.
  2. The persecution in more detail.
  3. The Biblical Boundaries of Israel.
  4. The prophesies regarding their return.

 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 10 August 2014

 

 

ADDENDUM 1.

 

Johannesburg - The ANC on Thursday described the Israeli military's attacks on the Gaza strip as "barbaric". "The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps," ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said in a statement.

 

"Of course the killing of any child, irrespective of race, colour or creed, must be condemned and the death of [three] Israeli young people is surely as senseless as any other death."

However, the killing needed to stop, she said.

 

Three Israeli teenagers - Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Gilad Shaer, 16 and Eyal Yifrah, 19 - were kidnapped and murdered last month. AFP at the time reported that the three disappeared from a popular hitch-hiking spot near the southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement late on 12 June. The Israeli military found the teenagers' bodies in a field northwest of Hebron on 30 June.

 

On 2 July, 16-year-old Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khder was burnt to death. This reportedly triggered days of clashes in annexed east Jerusalem and Arab Israeli towns. Scores of people have died during three days of Gaza raids. According to AFP, 73 Gazans have been killed since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday to halt cross-border rocket fire.

 

Duarte called for the attacks, and what she called the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and punishment of Palestinians, to stop.

"Gaza is the world's largest open air prison with over 1.5 million Palestinians caged in and cut off from the rest of the world," she said.

"The Gaza strip is the world's most densely populated piece of land on this earth, making the Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Gaza strip all the more horrendous."

‘Disgraceful’

 

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and the SA Zionist Federation condemned Duarte's statement.

"Such naked invective is something one expects to find only on the more extreme wing of the anti-Israel lobby; coming from our country's ruling party, it is nothing short of disgraceful," the SAJBD said in a statement.

 

It accused the ANC of keeping quiet when three Israeli teenagers - were murdered. The ruling party also did not condemn the bombardment by Hamas of Israeli population centres.

"Hundreds of deadly missiles have been and continue to be fired at Israel's cities and towns.

"Not once in the statement issued in her name was Ms Duarte able to even acknowledge this fact, let alone denounce it," the group said.

 

In 2012, the ANC resolved to call on "all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel".

- SAPA

 

 

ADDENDUM 2.

 

A letter from Rev. J.P.Hulshof to the Dimension News Paper October 2013.

 

An Evangelical approach to BDS.

 

I must respond to the article on page 4 of the September 2013 Issue of Dimension. My hope is that this response will bring balance and truth to the matter at hand. Unfortunately all the well warn statements and claims in the article may be perceived by the uninformed as being the truth, whereas they are lies that have been presented as truth for so long that they are now accepted to be truth. Words like “illegal occupation” and “constant invasions by the IDF” are a case in point. As one who believes in the inerrancy of Scripture, I can only start from there and declare that in my opinion the struggle and hardship may manifests in sociological, political and military conflict yet the struggle is between  Light and Darkness. Perhaps it would be helpful if one;

 

First determines who’s land it is that is being disputed, for the boundaries  we need to consult:  Gen.  15: 18; Deut. 11:24; Ex.23:31; Eze. 48: 1; Eze. 48:28. So if we take these Biblical boundaries, in reality it means that Israel should have far more land than it presently does. Israel’s borders established  in the Scriptures: includes:  all of present day Israel, including what is known as Gaza and the West Bank ;  50% of Syria; 60% of Jordan ; all of Iraq and the northern portion of Saudi Arabia … And we cannot leave the City of Jerusalem out of the equation either:  Refer to 2 Chron 6:6, 7:16,33:7 “I (God) have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there ….For now I have chosen and sanctified this house (the temple in Jerusalem), that my name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually … In this House and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen ….I will put my name forever” Yet the majority of the world wants Israel to relinquish some of this land AND JERUSALEM to the Palestinian for their own state. Also note that all of the coalition of Arab States want not only all the land (Jerusalem included) they also want the total destruction of the State of Israel….

 

Second to claim it belongs to the so called “Palestinians” ignores history, viz. It has belonged to God’s chosen, Covenant people for more than 3000 years. The article doesn’t address who the Palestinians are, the world in general assumes that the mainly Arab inhabitants of what is known as Palestine are the legitimate owners of the land and that they have always been there. The truth is that those calling themselves Palestinians are no more than a people who were refused legitimacy by their neighbouring Arab countries when Israel became a Nation in 1948. Further they only started calling it “a Palestinian State” in 1967. History shows that after conquering the land in 1272 BC. the Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;  the only Arab rule following conquest in 633 B.C. lasted just 22 years;  Note  also that for over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity, even under Jordanian rule, (East) Jerusalem was not made the capital of a Muslim State.  Christians must stop listening to the political rhetoric…which continues to speak of the illegal occupation of the land by the Hebrew Nation…Israel has the right to claim that it is on that land by the legitimate authority of God Himself.

 

Third It is an injustice and again, in my opinion, an anti- Semitic tactic to claim that the IDF is the aggressor, the Nation has a right to defend itself from the more than 8000 rockets already fired at its citizens and the constant threat of suicide bombers.  Note these rockets are fired indiscriminately into civilian populated areas, by a people who themselves do not hesitate to use their women and children as human shields. You may do the research yourself and you will find that between Feb. and August 2013 at least 76 rockets and mortars (M-75;  122 mm Grad rockets and mortars were used) CNN and the organisations that are supporters of the demise of Israel will not tell you that.

 

Fourthly, I am as saddened as the next person is about the struggle and hardships of the people that are mentioned in the article, the especially vulnerable are the women, children and old people. That the Church is involved there in Christian humanitarian ministry is to be lauded. Yet, to put the blame for the suffering on the Nation of Israel is the usual strategy of the enemies of God and one hopes, perhaps naively, that it would not be the stratagem of the Church. The reality is that the ideology and the religious beliefs of the Palestinian leaders, and the actions of the radical militant extremists require that Israel protect itself.  Let’s be honest, the aim of Islam is: for all of the world to be submissive to the god of the Muslim, whom they call Allah. One of Islam’s devout followers and leader of the Indonesian Jihad, Abu Baker Bashir… once said… “Islam can’t be ruled by others…they that want peace must stop fighting Islam if they want peace they have to accept to be governed by Islam”  So even those who have the misguided understanding that the god of the Islamic religion is the same God as the Christian, (there are still millions who believe this) better have a rethink. Let’s hear from the Koran:

“Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every strategem of war” Surah 9:5  (NB. Pagan is anyone other than a Muslim)“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land” ….Surah 5: 33 Certainly nothing like the God of peace that Christians worship.  Sadly even the Church has been guilty of persecution of the Jews, that’s evident in them being  hunted down, tortured, persecuted and murdered … for centuries.  By the Romans , Mamluks of Egypt, The Ottoman Turks … Even the Christian Church of Rome … Christians don’t speak often of the dark ages of Church history …But the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades (and in particular the Knights Templar’s) and the pogroms of Russia,  all testify to the sinfulness of a world and a Church bent on the destruction of the Jews. During the Spanish inquisition 323.000 Jews were burnt to death…“Kill a Jew and save your soul” was the theme of the Crusader.  Even Luther wrote that Jewish synagogues were to be burnt and their home’s destroyed. Then perhaps, the most heart rending event in living memory, was the gas chambers and murder of 6.000.000 Jews of the Holocaust. So it should not surprise us that in every generation more from the world and even the Church will rise up and take a stance against Israel.

 

Finally: One thing I thank God for, is that not only during the past millennia but even today the prophetic Word of God was and is being fulfilled. We should not be surprised by organisations, individuals and a world view that seeks to malign and destroy Israel, they did it with God’s own Son and failed, they will fail again. It would be interesting to know what the official stance of the Methodist Church is on this matter, for, if it does support the BDS initiative, then I would urge all Bible Believing (read Evangelical if you wish) Christians to distance themselves from that stance.  God’s word is clear. (Gen 12:2)  "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. (Gen 12:3)  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

 

From a lover of the Lord, His people and His land.

 

Johan P Hulshof.

 

 

ADDENDUM 3.

 

Dear Johan,



This is one of the saddest things I have ever read

 

In a paper called Gaza’s Tunnel Phenomenon: The Unintended Dynamics of Israel’s Siege, Nicolas Pelham recounts his trip to Gaza in 2011. During his visit, Hamas officials showed him some of the tunnels they had dug—and he was shocked to see children and teenagers being used to dig the tunnels. Pelham reported, “Nothing was done to impede the use of children in the tunnels, where, much as in Victorian coal mines, they are prized for their nimble bodies.” Tragically, according to his report (and this was nearly three years ago) Hamas admitted that at least 160 of these children had died in digging their terror tunnels.

 

What a heart-breaking, tragic report! Our leaders (Mike Evans is an American Pastor) are pushing Israel to make peace with monsters who willingly sacrifice the lives of their own children so they can kill more Jews. It is an outrage. We must cry out, sounding the trumpet in Zion, urging others to join us in support of Israel. And we must do all that we can to help the Jewish people in these difficult days.

 

 

ADDENDUM 4.


By Yashiko Sagamori

If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history," I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of Palestine:

1. When was it founded and by whom?

2. What were its borders?

3. What was its capital?

4. What were its major cities?

5. What constituted the basis of its economy?

6. What was its form of government?

7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?

8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?

9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?

10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?

11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese Yuan on that date.

12. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?

You are lamenting the "low sinking" of a "once proud" nation. Please tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so proud of?

And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over -- or thrown out of -- the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War?

I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won't work here.

The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it "the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively?

The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less claim to nationhood than that Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel, and in my book that is not sufficient to consider them a nation" -- or anything else except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.

In fact, there is only one way to achieve peace in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side should, pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited on it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and accepting Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?

Can this story be presented any more clearly or simply?

 

ADDENDUM 5.


July 31, 2006


Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.


We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.


Ladies and gentlemen, it's time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centres in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you. Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe.

 

In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinajad proclaims. And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.


Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all.

 

You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not. Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.


The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak's peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don't remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that's the way we are. We don't wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

 

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy's children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behaviour of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

 

In a loud and clear voice


And Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don't recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on
his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London. An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won't go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us. So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don't recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent.

 

And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya.
And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don't?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don't, you may regret it later, when it's too late.