Phoenix rising

As of Tuesday morning Israel has withdrawn its forces from the Gaza Strip, in exchange for a 72 hour Egyptian brokered ceasefire beginning at 08:00 hours (the eighth ceasefire so far, all of which have been broken by Hamas). At least twelve rockets were fired by Hamas in the minutes leading up to the ceasefire, and twenty to thirty were fired between 08:02 and 08:50, with pieces landing in the Palestinian Authority town of Beit Sahur near Bethlehem as well as on the southern part of Hebron Road within Jerusalem. At 09:38 PA PM Abu Mazen welcomed the ‘ceasefire,’ but warned Israel that the calm must be maintained.

What is going on? What influenced the Israeli government to order a withdrawal? What is happening with the tidal wave resurgence of anti-Semitism across the world? How does this fit in to both Hamas’ strategy and into Satan’s end-time schemes?

“He lies like a rug”

Hamas has broken at least eight ceasefires in a row. Some of these have been brokered by the UN, others by the US, others by Egypt, and one by the Red Cross. The last two violations occurred on Friday (www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-hamas-agree-to-72-hour-humanitarian-cease-fire/2014/08/01/059f1ff8-194e-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html; www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4553302,00.html) and today Tuesday.

On Friday, 90 minutes into the ceasefire (Which Hamas had also signed off on) a Hamas terror squad attacked a Givati Reconnaissance team scouring Rafiah streets for terror tunnels. A Hamas terrorist dressed in an IDF army uniform popped out of a tunnel and killed the recon commander and another soldier, mortally wounding Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin. The Hamas squad then grabbed Goldin’s corpse and jumped back down into the tunnel. Another IDF commando jumped in to the tunnel in hot pursuit after them, along with three other Givati recon soldiers. They gave chase for at least 100 meters, and were able to bring back physical evidence of Goldin’s death.

Today Hamas broke its eighth ceasefire within minutes, firing nearly thirty rockets into Israel for up to an hour after the ceasefire came into effect. It is hard for Westerners to understand serial lying of such a magnitude. Yet such behavior is acceptable according to Islamic jurisprudence.

Lying is kosher

The concept of taqiyya (or acceptable lying, www.raymondibrahim.com/islam/taqiyya-about-taqiyya/) has an ancient and honored position in Islamic history. Mohammed himself engaged in breaking ceasefires and violating truces on many occasions, including the murder by deception of the Jewish poet Ka’b bin al Ashraf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ka’b_ibn_al-Ashraf; www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/052-sbt.php#004.052.269; in the Hadith, Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Numbers 265-271; ibid. 5:59:369) and the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim (al Yusayr bin Rizam) and his 30 companions who came to discuss ceasefire terms under a truce (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usayr_ibn_Zarim; www.justislam.co.uk/images/Ibn%20Ishaq%20-%20Sirat%20Rasul%20Allah.pdf, “Abdullah bin Rawaha’s raid to kill al Yusayr bin Rizam 981, pp. 665-667”; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_of_Abdullah_ibn_Rawaha).

In At-Taqiyya fi’l-Islam (“Taqiyya in Islam”) Dr. Sami Makaram, a former American University of Beirut Professor and Head of the Department of Arabic Literature and Near Eastern Languages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_Makarem), states, “Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it … We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream … Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era” (At-Taqiyya fi ’l-Islam, London: Mu’assisat at-Turath ad-Druzi, 2004, p. 7).

The respected Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary defines tawriya as, “hiding, concealment; dissemblance, dissimulation, hypocrisy; equivocation, ambiguity, double-entendre, allusion.” The three radicals in the root of the word, w-r-y, appear in the Quran in the context of hiding or concealing something (e.g., 5:31, 7:26).

According to the Islamic hadith (which along with the Quran is authoritative for Muslims), Mohammed permitted lying in three scenarios: to reconcile quarreling parties, to one’s wife, in war, or in jihad (Imam Muslim, “Kitab al-Birr wa’s-Salat, Bab Tahrim al-Kidhb wa Bayan al-Mubih Minhu,” Sahih Muslim, rev. ed., Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, trans. (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 2000).

According to one Arabic legal manual devoted to jihad as defined by the four schools of Sunni Islamic law, “The ulema (“scholars”) agree that deception during warfare is legitimate … deception is a form of art in war” (Ahmad Mahmud Karima, Al-Jihad fi’l Islam: Dirasa Fiqhiya Muqarina, Cairo, Al-Azhar, 2003, p. 304).  Dr. Mukaram concludes “Taqiyya in order to dupe the enemy is permissible” (Mukaram, At-Taqiyya fi ’l-Islam, p. 32).

  • Hamas therefore sees no moral Islamist problem about promising to keep a ceasefire and then breaking their word. Though their perfidy certainly makes Egypt look bad, it also strengthens Israel’s resolve not to establish or trust any agreement with Hamas’ mujahidin (jihad fighters).

Based on these perspectives, it is somewhat easier to understand why Hamas lies about casualties, conceals the truth about the high percentage of its own fighters killed, and terrorizes international journalists who want to tell the unvarnished truth.

Truth or consequences

Israel’s Chief of Staff Benny Gantz knows the strength, the strategic advantage and the will of his armed forces. As far as his is concerned, Hamas can be defeated quickly. But the leaders of Israel are focused on other concerns.

The cabinet is thinking about international pressures, sanctions, embargoes and boycotts from the EU, the UN, the USA and the FAA. They pick up on the not-so-subtle threats from British Foreign Minister (www.timesofisrael.com/british-fm-anti-semitism-likely-to-rise-due-to-gaza-op/#ixzz39R7KqRsk ) that anti-Semitic riots will ensue and Jewish citizens of Western countries will be attacked if Israel insists on defending herself against jihadi terrorists. US Secretary of State John Kerry recently intimated “For Israel there’s an increasing de-legitimization campaign that has been building up… There are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things… (T)he fact is the status quo will change if there is failure” (ed., in the peace talks) (http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/02/221134.htm).

Though Western leaders grudgingly admit that Israel has a right to defend itself from terror rockets, they do not take the next logical step and acknowledge Hamas’ strategy of using its civilian population as human shields in order to win world sympathy. A recently captured Hamas terror manual clearly explains this horrific strategy (www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/08/04/captured-hamas-combat-manual-explains-benefits-human-shields/#.U9_WNM3K4nU.twitter). To ignore Hamas’ war strategy while blaming Israel for defending itself against Hamas attacks is to fall into a pit that Islamist terror leaders have dug. It also weakens the West’s most faithful Middle Eastern ally.

Another issue that Israel’s leaders weighed long and hard is the cost of Israeli military casualties that a ground invasion would engender – an incursion that would cut off and destroy Hamas’ military leadership and command-and-control HQs – most of which lies under Gaza’s main hospital al Shifa.

A last issue concerns the likelihood of a drawn-out Somali-like guerilla war (think ‘Black Hawk Down’) – between 6 to 12 months – as the IDF would clean up jihadi terror nests in low-intensity urban conflict (www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/We-could-have-taken-Gaza-in-a-week-but-that-wasnt-our-mission-says-senior-IDF-source-369954; www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.608762).

The IDF has withdrawn to the eastern ridges which overlook Gaza and which border on Israeli farms, kibbutzim and towns. There may be an eventual dialogue in Egypt, but since rockets are still being fired by Hamas, that option may also fall through. The IDF reserves the right to re-enter Gaza should hostilities break out again.

Here are four helpful analyses of the very fluid situation:

Ultimately, this physical battle has spiritual roots – in this case, jihadi Islam’s desire to destroy the Jewish people and the Jewish state. The superpower troika of Britain, Russia and the US have still not assimilated the spiritual lessons from their wars and disappointments against jihad in Afghanistan (as well as the US in Iraq and Iran). There too the spiritual element was brushed aside and not seriously factored into war strategy. The movie Charlie Wilson’s War makes that point clearly.

  • Pray for the repentance and salvation of the Jewish people, and for their wholehearted return to messiah Yeshua
  • Pray for revelation and understanding for Israel’s leaders regarding the spiritual dynamics of this war

Crushing the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15)

The ascendancy of Islamist jihadi armies throughout the Middle East is a cause for geo-strategic concern. As the Gaza war rages and burps, ISIS/ISIL continues to plow forward, establishing its terror Shari’a caliphate from Iraq to the borders of Lebanon and Jordan. Black ISIL flags wave at demonstrations in Ramallah, in Israeli Arab cities like Taibe and Yafiah, and in the Gaza Strip. The rise of violent and revolutionary soldiers is a concern not just to Israel, but to Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, etc. The Muslim Brotherhood has slowly metastasized into al Qa’eda, Islamic Jihad, al Shabab, Boko Haram, al Nusra, ISIL – and Hamas.

Hamas in living color

Many in the Western world find it a real stretch to get inside the minds of Hamas terrorists. They assume that all anyone ever wants is personal peace and prosperity. The thought of passionately embracing suicide for ones’ self and death for one’s family is nearly unbelievable for secular Westerners.

Here are some videos which show the actual spiritual message of Hamas:

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice just stated an hour ago that “it is very important that both sides remain committed to (ed. the ceasefire) and use this opportunity to begin the negotiations that we had been working so energetically through US Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama to get off the ground so that the underlines causes of the conflict in Gaza can be addressed at the negotiation table.”

  • The underlying cause of the conflict is the same underlying cause of the conflict between the USA and al Qa’eda. That cause is jihad, and it cannot be negotiated. It can only be fought to an unconditional surrender or to the death.

Up from the ashes

In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Grandpa Potts sings his famous “Up from the ashes grow the roses of success.” The phoenix was a mythological bird that was continually regenerated. He obtained new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. For many bored students of history, the Nazi phenomenon belongs in the previous century. Modern Europe is built on the presumption that such travesties will never again occur on European soil.

Yet today, and not only in Europe, anti-Semitism has reared its phoenix-like head and is spitting poison in all directions. Browse these links to get a broader grasp of what is happening now:

Note in the last link, that a cartoon worthy of Goebbel’s Der Stürmer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_St%C3%BCrmer) was printed in Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. An apology was posted after howls of indignant outrage, but with a twist. The paper did not apologize for its racist caricatures, but for associating them with a religion – in this case, Judaism! No insult against Judaism intended Ma’am! But against the Jewish state and the Jewish people? Well, that’s another story. They actually are fair game, according to that paper.

  • We have entered into the Day of the Hunter (Jeremiah 16:16), a time when anti-Semitism rises phoenix-like from its Nazi and Islamist ashes, to take its place at the international podium of the gathered nations (Psalm 2)
  • Pray for YHVH of armies to reveal His strategies, to frustrate the plans of the enemy, and to gather His people back to Himself and to His Land (Jeremiah 16:14-15)

What can we do?

Believers in the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua have all the power of Heaven behind them as they pray and intercede, respond proactively, and reach out to the Jewish people with arms of love, compassion and truth.

Here is a recent example. Believers in Tübingen, Germany held a street march against anti-Semitism in Germany, with banners proclaiming that a ‘red card’ (soccer penalty disqualifying a player from the game) is due to any blend of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity (www.tagblatt.de/Home/bilder/bilder-lokales_autoplay,1_mmid,5601.html#387876/).

A courageous Hollywood movie star Noah Tishbi has recently spoken out forcefully against the politically correct attacks on Israel by some Hollywood glitterati who are otherwise ignorant of jihad’s media spin (www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/item/hollywood_stars_without_borders._or_facts).

Jon Voight of Mission Impossible fame and father of actress Angelina Jolie, added his voice of rebuke those attacking Israel, stating that Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem should “hang their heads in shame” for signing an open-letter denouncing Israel’s actions in Gaza as “genocide” and demanding the EU to “condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” Mr. Voight said he is “heartsick” that Mrs. Cruz and Mr. Bardem “could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused” (www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/3/jon-voight-anti-israel-actors-you-should-hang-your/).

Your prayers, your testimony, your willingness to stand alongside of the people and state of Israel, is of great importance. You were born for such a time as this!

A prophetic warning

Twenty years ago, Pini Badash (the mayor of our community in Israel) stood up in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament building) and spoke words trembling with destiny. He was leveling them at those politicians who were advocating a withdrawal from Gaza and a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

“There are not a small number of Knesset members, primarily from the Left, who bury their heads in the sand and are not willing to see the grave dangers which are entailed in handing over Gaza and its regions to the PLO. They bury their heads in the sand and say, ‘We need to try, we need to return the Strip to the Arabs,’ but none of them is ready to talk about the price of making such a mistake. None is willing to take into account that the step which we will take is not reversible. Will we ever again be able to conquer Gaza again if there is a need to do so? I am not referring to military ability; I am referring to politically, internationally. Never ever! The huge amount of weaponry stored in Gazan bunkers is one of the most dangerous weapons armories for us. Out of these storehouses Ashkelon will suffer, and Nahal Oz and the regions around her, and we, to my great regret, will need to stand up again at the Speaker’s Dias of the Knesset and to announce for the umpteenth time, ‘We told you, we pleaded with you to think through what will be the price of this mistake – and you refused to listen’ ” (Pini Badash, Knesset Protocols, January 26, 1994).

Another Member of Knesset and former IDF General was laughed at and mocked in the Knesset when he said these words:

“If we heed their voice and submit to their counsel, then the Gaza Strip will become a malignant tumor and a thousand-fold center of terror. What will we do when katyusha rockets fired from Beit Lahiya land on Ashkelon, and from Beit Hanoun on Sderot?”  (Rehavam Ze’evi, Knesset Protocols, March 22, 1993).

Even one or two Israeli Messianic leaders defended such a withdrawal barely ten years ago. Today the cold and unappetizing truth about the wisdom of that disengagement lies there motionless and inert on the pixelated platter of today’s news.

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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