Standing with Israel
Tag Archives: Israel
The real story of Obama’s “support” of Israel
When it came time to really standing with Israel and our Jewish people, Obama tragically said nothing – time and time and time again!
On Tuesday evening we light the first of eight candles, ushering in Hanukkah – the Feast of Dedication. The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the miraculous victory of a small band of faithful Jewish men over the Greek Seleucid armies in 165 B.C.E.
In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple had been seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. While this upset the Jewish people, many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. Then in 167 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus Epiphanes IV made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods. When in the town of Modi’in Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish people and told them to bow down to an idol and then eat the flesh of a pig, Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons rebelled and killed all the soldiers. After fleeing to the mountains they were joined by other Jewish people and the Maccabees, as they became known, brought about a great victory for the Jewish people against overwhelming odds.
The struggle that took place back then has repeated itself over and over again. The Jewish people in the time of the Maccabees had gradually been assimilating into the Greek culture. Judaism for these “enlightened” folks meant no more to them than it does to so many of us in the Western world today. Forget spirituality or truth – we have symbolism, social justice and, of course, a gastronomical experience. Because of the disconnect with Judaism and Israel, a majority of us are totally clueless when it comes to defending Israel against Arab rewriting of history. Sadly, many Jewish young people have embraced leftist ideology and blame the world’s problems on Israel.
Daniel Greenfield in his blog entitled, “A Holiday of Resistance”, challenges Jewish complacency by stating, “The Maccabees fought to resist having their culture and their religion replaced with just that kind of empty hedonism and self-worship. They fought because they believed they had something worth fighting for. Not for their possessions, but for their traditions, their families and their G-d. The celebration of Chanukah is not just how we remember them, but how we remember that we are called upon to keep their watch. To take up their banner and carry their sword.” In other words, if we view our scriptures and our rich history as nothing more than nice stories and good food, how will we have the strength and courage to defend our right to the land of Israel?
At the first night’s candle lighting ceremony last year at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Knesset Speaker, Reuven Rivlin (Likud), said, “Hebron was the birthplace of the Kingdom of Israel, and on Hanukkah independence was returned to Israel. Hebron was the basis of our right to the Land of Israel, as a moral right that has no superior, and the right of ownership that cannot be questioned; it was our right then and it is our right today.” Rivlin went on to say regarding Hanukkah, “We did not take a foreign land, nor the property of strangers to us, but rather the Land of our forefathers which had been conquered in the past by enemies.” He then challenged the people, “Will we be able to stand by that today as well?”
In the biblical book of Daniel, written several hundred years before the fact, there is a detailed prophecy about the character and deeds of the Maccabees:
Those who do wickedly against the covenant he (Antiochus Epiphanes) shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)
The Hanukkah struggle continues today against overwhelming odds. But the same God who brought a miraculous victory for our people almost 2200 years ago is still able to do the same. The question is, will we be the people who know their God, who will be strong and carry out great exploits?
The year is approximately 540 BCE. Belshazzar, king of the great Babylonian Empire is hosting an opulent feast for 1000 of his lords. Oriental monarchs frequently indulged in extravaganzas like this one with the sole purpose of showing off their wealth, their power, their wives or anything else they could think of to make others think they were the greatest human beings (maybe even bordering on the divine) to ever walk the earth. But Belshazzar made two fatal mistakes. First, he was so mesmerized by the myth he had created about himself that he was oblivious to the storm that was brewing around him. Even worse – he messed with the God of Israel. He and his entourage decided it would be a really cool thing to bring out the gold cups and other vessels that had been looted from the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and use them to toast the power of the king and the greatness of his pagan gods. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote what was, to all those assembled in the hall, an unintelligible message. The mood in the room changed from drunken festivity to utter terror. The only one able to interpret the message was the prophet Daniel. This is what it said…
God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it
You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting
Your kingdom has been divided… (Dan. 5:26-28)
That very night the king was assassinated and his kingdom was handed over to others.
Is the handwriting on the wall of our world today? Are our leaders, like King Belshazzar, blithely going along, too enchanted by the fantasies of their own making to pay attention to the looming catastrophe that may not be as far in the future as many of them hope? More direly – are more and more people and nations messing with the God of Israel? Scripture warns, he who touches you (Israel and the Jewish people) touches the apple of His (God’s) eye. (Zech. 2:8)
• Is a worldwide cataclysm brewing in Iran? A report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows strong, “credible” evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Rather than being a shock, this was simply confirmation of facts that have been known but ignored or withheld for a long time. According to Caroline Glick, “Since Iran’s nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the public in 2004, Israel has provided in-depth intelligence information proving Iran’s malign intentions to the likes of Sarkozy, Obama and the UN.”
Won’t sanctions and diplomacy work? NO! First of all, we’re not dealing with rational, albeit evil, political leaders. The Iranian mullahs and their puppet, Ahmadinejad, are demonically-driven, fanatical theocrats whose ambition is to bring about the apocalypse so that the long-awaited 12th imam will come to earth. No big deal if most of their nation perishes in the process!! And now it seems that they have China on their side. According to Fox News, “The Chinese-Iranian relationship has, in fact, been deepening over the last few years.”
So what are Israel’s options? Will she “go it alone” against Iran in what would be a very risky mission? Many feel such actions would precipitate a regional war involving Hezbollah and Hamas along with Iran. Analysts predict that in the event of such a war, the cost of a barrel of oil could dramatically rise to $175 – $200 a barrel. This would not only inflame passions against Israel but against the Jewish people as a whole. It doesn’t take much to arouse Jew-hatred these days. Remember Israel’s Operation Cast Lead offensive in December 2008/January 2009? What was a totally justifiable action meant to protect innocent civilians in the south of the country from incessant rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza became an excuse for virulent world-wide demonstrations against the “hateful Jews”. For an excellent power point of the anti-Semitic repercussions of Cast Lead, click here and then click on General (in the right hand column and then click on January 2009 – In the wake of Operation Cast Lead). Then there’s this Youtube video of a female Hamas sympathizer in Fort Lauderdale screaming at Jewish people “go back to the oven.”
• Is the world poking God in the eye by their treatment of Israel and its leaders? No one claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is any kind of a prophet or a holy man – but he is the representative of the nation, and when he is the recipient of undeserved antagonism it’s a symptom of a deeper problem. While we hear empty rhetoric claiming, “Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally,” the truth comes out from behind closed doors. The following exchange took place during a break at the G20 summit in Cannes, France. Presidents Sarkozy and Obama thought the mics were turned off and were having a confidential little chat about Bibi.
Sarkozy: “I can’t stand to see him any more, he’s a liar.”
Obama: “You are fed up with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.”
The White House refused to confirm or deny the exchange between the two.
Far from being an aberration, the above unscripted comment is part of a continual pattern of disrespect from President Obama. When Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the White House in March 2010, he was given third-world treatment. Obama followed that up at various times by outrageous demands. Israel should cease all construction in Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem, even on land that is not being contested. And Israel should begin discussions with the PA based on a return to the pre-1967 borders, also known as the “Auschwitz Borders.” Obviously this is the most anti-Israel president the U.S. has ever had!
• Is the handwriting on the wall in the U.S.? Not yet to the extent that it is in Europe but universities, the institutions that are training the next generation of national leaders, reek with Jew-hatred.
On October 28 at Kent State University, Professor Julio Pino felt obligated to exercise his First Amendment right by shouting out “Death to Israel” at a lecture given by guest speaker, Ishmael Khaldi, a former Israeli consul official who is a Bedouin. Four days earlier Khaldi appeared at the University of Michigan where approximately 60 students walked out on his message. One of the leaders of the protest, Bilal Baydoun, was quoted in the Arab American News, “our goal is to prevent someone like this from even arriving on campus in the first place and we feel confident that we will be able to accomplish this as we continue to spread awareness.” Free speech and free exchange of ideas on the university campus have become a thing of the past as Arab petro dollars increasingly flow in to fund these bastions of learning and as hard core leftists serve in tenured positions of power.
Pro-Islamic speakers can spout their venom with impunity at campus venues but even questions from the audience are carefully screened. When Gail Rubin, co-chair of the University of California Davis chapter of StandwithUs, a pro-Israel organization, attempted to challenge lecturer Professor Gilbert Achcar’s skewed opinion that the Grand Mufti’s (Haj Amin al-Husseini) anti-Semitism had only a minimal impact on both Jews and Arabs, two professors angrily told her “the questions were insulting and to either stop or leave the room.” As she described it, “So much for free speech and scholarly discourse in academia.”
• Incitement eventually leads to violence. This past Friday (November 11) residents of Flatbush, Brooklyn were awakened to find that three cars had been torched and the area had been defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
The big danger in the western world is that it’s easy to become so comfortable or so involved in our daily lives that we simply pass everything off thinking things have to get better – it’ll all go away eventually. But maybe it won’t.
Shortly after Operation Cast Lead, Douglas Davis wrote an article in the Spectator entitled, The terrible warning of a Holocaust survivor:
As tens of thousands of demonstrators march through the streets of Europe, the chants are modified but the message remains substantially intact: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Hamas — Jews to the Gas’. Or, more simply: ‘Death to the Jews’. Many European Jews, even well-established, affluent Jews, have been checking the suitcase they keep packed under the bed. They have been here before and many are (albeit reluctantly) reading the writing on the wall.
The writing on the wall may be a little more faint in the U.S., but perhaps it’s time we begin reading it.
Back in 1995 an Israeli political leader penned the following words, “The release of convicted terrorists before they have served their full sentences seems like an easy and tempting way of defusing blackmail situations in which innocent people may lose their lives, but its utility is momentary at best.
“Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught, their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse.”
That writer, if he were Prime Minister and faced with the kidnapping of one of his soldiers by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, would have appeared on television and announced that all food, water, electricity and other goods that had been flowing into Gaza would be stopped until the soldier was released. He would have announced that, should anything happen to the soldier, the consequences to Gaza would be devastating.
That leader was Benjamin Netanyahu. Only now, instead of standing firm for the courage of his convictions, he has capitulated to Hamas and struck a deal with them for the release of one Israeli captive, Gilad Schalit. Schalit was abducted in a cross-border raid while serving in a tank unit near the Gaza Strip and has been held, virtually without contact to the outside world, for five years. Israeli left-wing media during those five years waged an unremitting battle, blaming the Israeli government for his plight and emphasizing the suffering of his family. Only surrender to Hamas would suffice – nothing less. To the media, heroism was no longer important; in fact, it was the remnant of a more barbarous age. Now only sensitivity counts. In fact what they were doing is confusing the micro (feelings of the family) with the macro (what’s good for the country as a whole). That’s fine for ordinary people. All of us were concerned for Gilad Schalit and all of us sympathized with his long-suffering family. But it’s not alright for a government to think and act in those terms. Our leaders are entrusted with the duty of defending the nation as a whole.
So, while on a micro level, all of us are overjoyed at the prospect of Gilad Schalit coming home today (Tuesday), on a macro level many of us are horrified at the price our government has agreed to pay:
In return for Gilad Schalit’s freedom Israel has agreed to release 1027 Palestinian prisoners in two stages: 450 men plus 27 women in the first stage and 550 men in the second, approximately two months later. What makes this deal so problematic is the following:
1. The sheer number of Palestinian terrorists being released represents a victory for Hamas. The huge celebrations being held by both Hamas and the PA should tell us something.
2. Many of the terrorists being released have blood on their hands. They are directly responsible for the deaths of Israelis. Among those to be released in the first stage are 279 prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment. Families who lost loved ones feel completely betrayed by their government as they imagine seeing the killers smiling from their busses holding up the V sign for victory. According to Dan Greenfied (Sultan Knish), “The Shalit deal will release some of the worst murderers in Israeli history, including those responsible for the Dolphinarium disco bombing which killed over a dozen teenagers, the Sbarro pizza bombing which wiped out an entire family, the lynchers of two Israeli reservists and the Passover Massacre at the Park Hotel.”
3. The prisoner swap will encourage more terrorism. Why not kill as many Jews as you can if you know that you’ve got a “get out of jail free” card waiting for you? You’ll most likely only serve a short jail sentence and then return home as a conquering hero.
4. History proves that the majority of those released will go on to attempt further acts of terrorism. For example, Ahlam Tamimi, who drove the terrorist responsible for the 2001 suicide bombing of the Jerusalem Sbarro Pizza Restaurant, when asked whether she regrets the act, responded to a reporter that she was saddened that she could not kill more than 15 Jews. Is anyone naïve enough to think that someone with her attitude won’t return to jihad? While there are those who believe that Israel is much better equipped today to defend itself against terrorist attacks, time will tell whether or not these assertions are true.
It’s Sukkot. We are commanded to rejoice. So let us rejoice that our captive son is coming home. But let us also pray that God will restore some backbone in our spineless leadership so that the rest of our sons may grow up free and strong.
I’d like to begin today with a story about one of my favorite biblical heroes – Elijah the prophet (the same guy for whom we set a place at the Passover seder and for whom we open the door while singing “Eliyahu HaNavi” – “Elijah the Prophet”). He may be considered a hero today but in his own time he wasn’t very popular. The political leaders hated him; the king called him THE trouble-maker of Israel. The queen wanted him dead. Religious leaders despised him because he dared to tell the truth and rebuke them for what they were doing wrong – like worshiping the gods of the surrounding pagan peoples and engaging in their lascivious behavior. In short, he refused to follow or condone the politically correct philosophy of the day.
On top of that, he looked like a wild man – hairy, dressed in what would be considered rags – like something just blown in off the desert. In today’s jargon Elijah was a right-wing nut job. Scripture records his miraculous victory over hundreds of pagan (false) prophets. You can read the entire account here.
But Elijah felt alone, threatened, discouraged and ran away into the desert. There he plopped himself under a bush, complained to God that even though he himself had been very zealous he was the only one left standing for the truth – so why bother living any more? The world was going to hell quickly…why not just forget about it, die and let them go along on their merry way. God didn’t put up with his whining. First of all, he was wrong: he wasn’t alone. God had 7,000 people who were standing with him against the forces of evil. That’s not a lot in a whole nation, but it’s something. Secondly, Elijah wasn’t ready for retirement. God basically told him to get up off his tuchus (rear end) and continue the work he was supposed to do.
Sometimes we who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may feel isolated in an increasingly hostile world. It’s politically correct now to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist (read “anti-Jew”); just ask the UN, EU, the Obama administration, Arab nations, leftist NGO’s, campus and church BDS groups (boycott, divestment, sanctions), Hollywood celebrities, mainstream media, etc., etc. Those who take the opposite view and dare to express it are often labeled right-wing nut jobs, ignorant, trouble-makers, even terrorists…sound familiar? Because of extreme media bias, these brave souls even have difficulty getting their message out without having it twisted. It’s up to you and me not to allow them to be “voices crying in the wilderness”.
Thanks to conservative talk radio, blogs and newsletters like mine (what a shameless plug!) we can unearth the truth – it frequently takes a lot of digging – and pass it around to others. Here are a couple of youtube videos I’ve included in the past: Michele Bachmann and Allen West sharing their views on Israel. If you haven’t already done so, please watch them. These people aren’t just speaking to woo Jewish voters or Jewish donations to their campaigns. They really mean what they say and have backed it up with action regardless of political cost.
Then there’s Glenn Beck. Yes, I know he’s a Mormon. Yes, I know that he may have some odd ideas about various and assorted topics. But the reason he’s been more vilified in the mainstream media than almost anyone else is his uncompromising stand for Israel.
On Tuesday, July 19, Glenn Beck gave the keynote address in Washington, DC at the Christians United For Israel (CUFI) convention. Here’s a video highlights of his speech (7:54) – inspiring and moving, a must-see! For the the full speech (42:32) click here. Despite theological differences I’m thankful for men like him, Pastor John Hagee and others associated with CUFI.
Then there’s you and me, average folks who aren’t making speeches or Youtube videos. How can we get up off our collective tuchus and do something positive? Here are three simple things:
1. Forward my blog – another shameless plug.
2. Do some research on your own and pass your findings on to others. Remember that your friends won’t find this info on the evening news and so they may be totally unaware of the truth unless you inform them. Of course, be sure to check out the veracity of your sources first so that even if people accuse you of being a wild-eyed nut case, you won’t be. In my blog, The Media’s Assault on Israel, I listed reliable resources that I myself use.
3. Be proactive! It is inexcusable to say I don’t have the time or my opinion doesn’t matter! Emails to newspapers, congressmen, senators, companies and local businesses can and do make a difference. When the city of Seattle, WA, agreed to allow public bus ads which read, “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”, accompanied by huge, pathetic-looking pictures of “poor oppressed Palestinians”, I and apparently thousands of others immediately fired off emails to Seattle city commissioners. Because of pressure applied from so many concerned citizens, the ad campaign was cancelled.
So let’s not waste time on hand-wringing and kvetching (complaining). Let’s dust ourselves off like Elijah did and let’s be encouraged – we’re not alone!
Yours for Israel and our Jewish people,