If I forget you, O Jerusalem

The last few weeks have seen Islamist rioting and civil unrest break out like root fires on the seams between Jerusalem’s Jewish and Arab populations. Calls for violent opposition to Israeli rule on the part of Palestinian radicals have come from –

These calls to incitement have thrown liquid gasoline onto barely concealed local Islamic expressions of violence (http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/2014/Pages/PM-Netanyahu-remarks-following-Security-Cabinet-meeting-11-Nov-2014.aspx). The same calls are being seditiously echoed by some Israeli citizens who are also Arab members of Knesset (www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Police-seal-off-Temple-Mount-after-Palestinian-rioters-hurl-stones-380825).

The instigators of this violence are the same people with whom the international community is pressuring Israel to negotiate with. Whether it be EU, UN or USA, these  irresponsible forces are advocating that Israel relinquish control over ancient Jewish Jerusalem and hand it over to Palestinian advocates of violence.

Immediate fallout

Over the past three weeks, rioting has erupted in –

  • the Mount of Olives (A-Tur and Ras al-Amud)
  • Mount Scopus (Issawiya)
  • the northern Jerusalem suburb of Shu’afat
  • the Kidron Valley suburbs of Wadi Joz and Silwan (of Pool of Siloam fame)
  • the southeastern Jerusalem ridge (Abu Tor and Jebel Muqaber).

Burning Molotov cocktails are being thrown daily at police forces, army patrols and civilian motorists. Deadly stone throwing occurs round the clock at cars and pedestrians, with special focus on the Jerusalem light rails train system which equally serves Jerusalem’s Arab and Jewish populations in north Jerusalem.

Attempted lynchings of Jews by Islamist youth rioters on the Mount of Olives and at the abovementioned flashpoints have aggravated an already extremely tense situation.

Over the past three weeks there have been three motorized terror attacks against Israelis with fatalities, and two knifes attack causing two fatalities (one at a Tel Aviv train station, the other at a hitch-hiking stop south of Jerusalem). The perpetrators were affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, and had spent time in Israeli prisons for previous terror activities. One had been recently released in the Hamas-Shalit prisoner exchange.

In each terror attack not only Jews were killed. A Druze Border Patrol officer in the Israeli Army, Jed’an Assad age 38, was killed leaving behind a pregnant wife and a three-year old son. A South American woman in the process of converting to Judaism was murdered in that attack as well.

When news of one of these terror attacks against Israelis circulated in the Palestinian communities, the Palestinian response was not shock but rather further violent attacks against Israeli police, IDF forces and Israeli civilians.

In a town just northeast of Nazareth an Arab teenager attacked a police manwith a knife, attempting to kill the police. He was shot and mortally injured, Arab riots ensued as a result.

Public reaction and media spin

A quiet and grim determination has settled on Jerusalem’s Jewish inhabitants. They have been through these scenarios before. Watchful eyes roam on the lookout for potential terror-cars. The amount of Jerusalem pedestrians using the light rail system has gone down. The tension near the Jewish-Arab seams is more palpable.

Arab media has unfortunately been crowing victory, pasting up terror cartoons which glowingly compare the car-terrorists to ISIS fighters, and advocating a jihad for Jerusalem by stabbing and running down Jewish residents of the City of the Great King (www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Nazareth-billboard-supports-car-terror-attacks-while-alluding-to-ISIS-381257).

The majority of media in the Jewish sector are fearfully asking if this unrest is the start of a third intifada – a third spate of terrorist violence and Islamist rioting. There is a defeatist slant on much reporting of the news rather than a clear-eyed appraisal of the nature of the enemy Israel needs to deal with decisively.

  • Pray for the God of Jacob to bring a blanket of quiet to Jerusalem, to guide security forces to thwart terror attacks, to preserve human life on all sides, and to give Israel’s leaders divine counter-strategies for dealing with jihadi plots

Historical patterns

During the British Palestine Mandate in the 1920’s through the 1940’s, the Arab leadership was actively involved with the Nazi High Command. Haj Amin al-Husseini was a personal friend of Himmler and Hitler, and he also fostered street riots against Jewish residents and British Mandate troops and police. His goals were twofold and very similar to Abbas’ and Hamas’ goals today –

  • to sap the strength, hope and resolve of the Jews returning to Zion
  • to weaken British willingness to support the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland

The same strategies lurk behind Palestinian riots in our day. Unfortunately a chink has been found in Western armor, and Western powers are advocating Jewish compromise to Islamic Jihad, and pressing for political collapse in the face of Islamist irredentism.

Islamist anti-Semitic stereotypes

Western media are unwittingly following the Palestinian media campaign of stereotyping the Jewish return to Zion as a foreign incursion. Today world media is buying into the Islamist anti-Semitic stereotypes that paint the Jews as a satanic dajjal (Islamist equivalent of anti-Christ), while ignoring or justifying the murderous attacks on Israeli civilians.

The new Anti-Semitism

European media is particularly perverse in spinning its negative media descriptions of Israel. Since anti-Semitism is officially passé, anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism. The same nasty language and malevolent intent is being published, but in the 21st century it is now being incorrectly labeled anti-Zionism. Thus has anti-Semitism changed its garment, but all the while its pustulent flesh remains virulently unchanged. The world consensus opposing Jewish resettlement of its own homeland and of Jerusalem its own capitol city, shows how advanced this spiritual disease is, and how deadly is the spiritual prognosis.

Eyeless in Jerusalem

The vast majority of Israel’s media is in the lap of PC leftist editors. The Prime Minister is routinely mocked and dishonored. Any independent media outlets are attacked, while recently a law is being attempted to be pushed through the Knesset which would silence the one pro-Netanyahu paper Israel Hayom (Israel Today).

Most editorial and media analysis of the riots declares that the fault is entirely Israel’s and that she should give up land and allow for the creation of a Palestinian state (to be ruled by Hamas in short thrift, of course). That would make Europe, the USA and the Arab world friendly to Israel again, it is believed.

As it was in the days of Ezekiel 16, so are some influential Israelis lusting after international acceptance – quite prepared to allow the Promised Land to be despoiled by those whom YHVH calls “My enemies” (Ezekiel 36:2-7; Psalm 83:2-8) as the price of admission to the international party. Truly, there are many who are eyeless in Jerusalem, and not only in Gaza (see Judges 16:21-30; Isaiah 56:10).

As some in Israel move from ‘post-Zionist’ to ‘anti-Zionist’, from settling the land to opposing settlement, we need to pray for a recovery of sight to the blind:

  • Pray that Messiah Yeshua will restore the pioneering spirit, the warrior spirit and the spirit of repentance, grace and supplications to the nation He has called to be His mighty army on earth (Zechariah 12:10; Ezekiel 37:9-14).

Rock-solid focus

As the nations are in turmoil, as super-powers slip quietly into the sea, as evil raises its green-tinged head across the face of God’s planet, we need to stay on target and remember some rock-solid truths that will serve us well in the coming days as guiding stars:

  • The finger of God is catalyzing and instigating the Jewish people’s return to their Promised Land (Jeremiah 30:10-17; 16:14-15)
  • The God of Jacob is in the process of bringing about the eclipsing of Islamism and the collapse of Islamist control in the Middle East, and especially in Zion (Zechariah 13:2)
  • YHVH is ardently determined to bring about the repentance and salvation of the nation of Israel (Isaiah 4:2-6; 62:1-9)
  • Through great trials God will bring about the resurrection and the victory of the Jewish people, both in the physical and the spiritual (Hosea 5:14-15; Isaiah 66:7-16; Isaiah 41:14-16)
  • God will bring about the total defeat of all the nations who will turn against the Jewish state, and will bring judgment on all the countries who press for the dividing of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2, 12; Joel 3:2, 9-17)
  • God will establish Jerusalem as the capitol city of His Messianic rule, and re-instate the Davidic dynasty as the Royal Family of His earthly kingdom (Isaiah 2:1-4; Jeremiah 3:17; 17:25; Jeremiah 33:19-26; Amos 9:11-12)

Rabbit trails

As the world’s focus zooms in on Jerusalem, we can be sure of two things – one, this is the Lord’s doing, and two, the enemy is trying to do whatever he can to distort the truth and to skew clear biblical emphases. Here are some minefields to avoid stepping on:

  • There is a move afoot to rebuild the Temple, to construct the Third Temple. Though the Scriptures speak positively about a Fourth Temple in Ezekiel 40-48 and in Isaiah 56:4-8, it also describes a prior temple of iniquity on the same spot which will be the stage for the manifestation of great evil (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 11).
  • Some Evangelicals who are greatly excited about fulfilling prophecy, are advocating that Evangelicals support such efforts to rebuild. The logic here is similar to that of buying shares in “Antichrist Projects,” in order to help “move prophecy along.” We cannot afford to be “one big happy Temple family” on this decisive and portentous issue
  • There are some believers in Yeshua who are getting fogged about the need for Israel’s repentance and clear turning to Messiah Yeshua. But even if the Ark of the Covenant itself is to be found, it will not in itself bring Israel to repentance and salvation in Messiah Yeshua. For that, the outpouring of Zechariah 12:10 is absolutely essential.

The real and the counterfeit – How shall we then pray?

  • Pray for the revelation of Messiah Yeshua to Israel and to her leaders
  • Pray for the protection and victory of Jerusalem and her Jewish leaders
  • Pray for the soon return of Messiah Yeshua

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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