There are between seven and eight major tectonic plates within the bowels of this planet. Held in place by the sustaining power of God, their slightest movement blasts volcanoes into being, throws jagged mountains into the skies, and spins out shuddering earthquakes. The Jewish people’s state strategically sits between two major plates – the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate – a land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Some call this area a minor plate, the Arabian. In God’s sight, this is not a minor plate but the very center of the world (Ezekiel 5:5; 38:12).
In the same way as seismic shifts occur when plates realign, so tectonic shifts in the spirit occur when Continental powers realign. Europe has been experiencing physical temblors over the past few year and a half – Sofia, Bulgaria 5.6; Ierápetra, Greece, 5.8; Pirgos near Crete, 6.2; Mormanno (5.5), Medolla (5.8) and Emilia (6.0), all in Italy; near Tromsø Norway (6.2). But certain legal decisions recently taken regarding the Jewish people have led to a realigning of unseen plates – a seismic spiritual shift in the foundations of the European Union.
Outlawing Abraham’s seed
These European shifts have occurred in response to God’s promises over Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These shifts directly oppose YHVH’s redemptive strategies for world salvation, the judgment of the human race and the restoration of Israel. They strike at the heart of the covenant that God cut in Genesis 12, 15 and 17 with Abraham, the father of all those who have saving faith (Romans 4:16-17). Specifically, the European Union as a group (and individual nations within it) are attempting to reject or make illegal the three divinely established connections between the Jewish people and the Abrahamic Covenant:
- the promise of the Land of Israel (Genesis 12:1,7; 13:14-17; 15:18-21; 17:8; 26:3-4; etc.
- circumcision as the sign of the covenant (Genesis 17:9-14; John 7:22; Romans 3:1-2)
- ignoring, belittling, denying and downplaying the Jewish people’s priority calling and gifts (Genesis 12:3; Numbers 24:9; Jeremiah 30:16-17; 50-51; Romans 1:16; 2:5-11; 11:18, 20, 25. 28-29).
The strategic catalyst for these specific efforts is found in the spiritual realm, though of course the ‘genteel’ authors of these legislations are primarily secular or New Age. The fallen angel who tried to get Balaam to prophesy curses over the Jewish people is the same one who seems to be succeeding in bringing Europe under the spiritual ban, and into cursing the seed of Jacob.
A cut below average
There is a move afoot, one with strong momentum, to ban Jewish people from circumcising their male babies in obedience to Genesis 17.
Sweden’s Parliament passed a law in allowing only persons certified by the National Board of Health to circumcise infants, requiring a medical doctor or an anesthesia nurse to accompany the circumciser, and insisting that anesthetic be administered prior to the operation. Both Swedish Jews and Muslims objected to the law. The World Jewish Congress called this law “the first legal restriction on Jewish religious practice in Europe since the Nazi era.” Those opposed to Jewish circumcision responded, claiming that non-medical circumcision is in violation of the United Nation’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
Norway’s Senterpartiet (2012) proposed a ban on circumcision on males under the age of eighteen.
Finland has had an ambivalent response about male religious circumcision. In 2008, the Finnish government was considering a new law to legalize circumcision if the practitioner is a doctor and if the child consents. Yet in December 2011, Helsinki District Court stated that the Supreme Court’s decision does not mean that circumcision is legal for any non-medical reasons. The court referred to the Convention on Human rights and Biomedicine of the Council of Europe (ratified in Finland in 2010).
Germany has moved back and forth on the subject, with a Cologne regional appellate court ruling in May 2012 that religious circumcision of male children amounts to bodily injury, and is a criminal offense in the area under its jurisdiction. The court applied human rights provisions of the Basic Law, a section of the Civil Code, and some sections of the Criminal Code to non-therapeutic circumcision of male children, in order to come to its ruling.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Aachen, Heinrich Mussinghoff, said that the ruling was “very surprising” (www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3217/circumcision-germany-austria-switzerland). Hans Ulrich Anke, president of the Church Office of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), said the ruling should be appealed since it didn’t “sufficiently” consider the religious significance of the rite (www.ekd.de/english/ekd_press_releases-4792.html). Steffen Seibert, spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Jewish and Muslim communities will be free to practice circumcision responsibly, and the government would find a way around the local ban in Cologne. The spokesman stated “For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible in this country without punishment.”
In July 2012, a group of rabbis, imams, and others said that they view the ruling against circumcision “an affront on our basic religious and human rights.” The joint statement was signed by leaders of groups including Germany’s Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, the Islamic Center Brussels, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, the European Jewish Parliament and the European Jewish Association, who met with members of European Parliament from Germany, Finland, Belgium, Italy, and Poland. Meanwhile, the Jewish Hospital of Berlin suspended the practice of male circumcision.
On 19 July 2012, a joint resolution of the CDU/CSU, SPD and FDP factions in the Bundestag requesting the executive branch to draft a law permitting circumcision of boys to be performed without unnecessary pain in accordance with best medical practice carried with a broad majority. The New York Times reported that the German Medical Association “condemned the ruling for potentially putting children at risk by taking the procedure out of the hands of doctors, but it also warned surgeons not to perform circumcisions for religious reasons until legal clarity was established.” The ruling was supported by Deutsche Kinderhilfe, a German child rights organization, which asked for a two-year moratorium to discuss the issue and pointed out that religious circumcision may contravene the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 24.3: “States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children”).
On 12 December 2012, following a series of hearings and consultations, the Bundestag adopted the proposed law explicitly permitting non-therapeutic circumcision to be performed under certain conditions; it is now §1631(d) in the German Civil Code. The vote tally was 434 ayes, 100 noes, and 46 abstentions.
England allows religious circumcision. Yet there are voices being raised which state that “circumcision has long existed as a procedure in need of a justification. We conclude that it is ethically inappropriate to subject children—male or female—to the acknowledged risks of circumcision and contend that there is no compelling legal authority for the common view that male circumcision is lawful” (www.cirp.org/library/legal/UKlaw/fox-thomson2005; www.cirp.org/library/legal/price/#n18).
The Maccabees redux
Barely seventy years after the Nazi war machine was grinding the Jewish people of Europe into powder, strident voices among the nations of Europe are again calling for making Jewish identity and existence illegal in Europe. One hundred and seventy years before the birth of Yeshua, the Greek Seleucid empire attempted a similar strategy spearheaded by Antiochus Epiphanes. This involved making the possession of the Bible illegal, making Sabbath observance illegal, and opening the Jewish people up to pagan and idolatrous worship and lifestyle. One of the most important of these anti-Jewish legal rulings was making circumcision illegal:
Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, and that all should give up their particular customs. All the Gentiles accepted the command of the king. Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the Sabbath. And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land, to forbid burnt-offerings and sacrifices and drink-offerings in the sanctuary, to profane Sabbaths and festivals, to defile the sanctuary and the priests, to build altars and sacred precincts and shrines for idols, to sacrifice swine and other unclean animals, and to leave their sons uncircumcised. They were to make themselves abominable by everything unclean and profane, so that they would forget the law and change all the ordinances. He added, ‘And whoever does not obey the command of the king shall die’ (1 Maccabees 1: 41-50)
In such words he wrote to his whole kingdom. He appointed inspectors over all the people and commanded the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice, town by town. Many of the people, everyone who forsook the law, joined them, and they did evil in the land; they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had. Now on the fifteenth day of Kislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt-offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. The books of the law that they found they tore to pieces and burned with fire. Anyone found possessing the book of the covenant, or anyone who adhered to the law, was condemned to death by decree of the king. They kept using violence against Israel, against those who were found month after month in the towns. On the twenty-fifth day of the month they offered sacrifice on the altar that was on top of the altar of burnt-offering. In accordance with the decree, they put to death the women who had their children circumcised, and their families and those who circumcised them; and they hung the infants from their mothers’ necks. But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die” (1 Maccabees 1: 51-63); http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=1+maccabees+2:46-2:46&version=nrsvae).
- The swelling of European attempts to make Jewish circumcision illegal is a Last Days move by the enemy to persecute and crush Jewish national identity and existence.
- Pray for the preservation, protection and salvation of the Jewish people as these waves crash more closely onto the sands where we are all standing.
“This land ain’t your land”
The God of Israel has invested a lot of time and care in prophesying about the Jewish people’s restoration to their Promised Land, a Last Days event (e.g., Isaiah 11:11; 56:4-8; 59:15-20; 60-62; etc.; Jeremiah 30:18-31:38). He describes in detail machinations of the nations to impede, block, hobble and otherwise destroy this restoration, as well as the ultimate futility in trying to do so (Psalm 2; 83; Jeremiah 30:16; Isaiah 41:11; 60:14; Ezekiel 34; 36; Joel 3:1-2; Zechariah 14:1-2; etc.).
Yet it is with a perversity of spirit that that noble leaders and power brokers of Europe are moving their countries to the lip of the abyss. Even though the God of Israel says that He established the borders of Europe based on His priority relationship with the Jewish people (Deuteronomy 32:8-10), and that Messiah Yeshua will severely judge the nations based on their dividing up of the Land of Israel (Joel 3:1-3), the European Union is high-handedly violating God’s international principles and prophetic warnings.
On June 30 2013 the EU voted on “Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards” (http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/47d4e277b48d9d3685256ddc00612265/88584262a0a0e3e485257bad00441464?OpenDocument). Though these guidelines mean to limit financial support to Israel, they actually go further than that. They declare that Israeli institutions and settlement over the Green Line (Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank) are illegal, and that Jews living there are personae non gratae, but that Arabs who live there are the recognized and rightful heirs.
Under “Section A; General Issues” the EU states (and I quote):
- “The territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 comprise the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
- The EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over any of the territories referred to in point 2 and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law
- The EU has made it clear that it will not recognise any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP)
- The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council has underlined the importance of limiting the application of agreements with Israel to the territory of Israel as recognised by the EU
- These guidelines do not cover EU support in the form of grants, prizes or financial instruments awarded to Palestinian entities or to their activities in the territories referred to in point 2, nor any eligibility conditions set up for this purpose. In particular, they do not cover any agreements between the EU, on the one hand, and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation or the Palestinian Authority, on the other hand.”
The European Union has now gone on the record in a major international forum. It refuses to discern or recognize YHVH’s hand in restoring the Jewish people to their sovereign land, but it financially blesses the PLO (arch-terrorist Arafat’s inheritance) and the PA (led by the Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen, the funder of the Munich Olympics massacres, who received his Holocaust-denying Ph.D. from Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Other_Side:_The_Secret_Relationship_Between_Nazism_and_Zionism; www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=2531).
“Thus says YHVH, Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears. For your work will be rewarded, declares YHVH, and they will return from the land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, declares YHVH, and your children will return to their own borders” (Jeremiah 31:16-17).
- Who is the enemy that Jeremiah is referring to, in light of these developments? What will be the consequences for the nation that curses the people whom YHVH has blessed (Numbers 23:19-21)?
Stranger in a strange land
Though the EU does not clearly state it in its “Guidelines” preamble, it assumes that Israel’s control of the ‘territories’ is both illegal and immoral. No such barrier exists to Arab Palestinian settlement in those territories, according to their belief.
It would be helpful to ask if Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel is indeed illegal according to international law.
The first legal document concerning the legality of Jewish settlement in the Promised Land is the San Remo Resolution, held in the Italian town of San Remo on April 25, 1920. The Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers (England, France, Italy) with representatives from Japan, Greece and Belgium (the USA had observer status) decided that the Middle East would be split up into three different mandates. France would administer the Syria mandate (Lebanon and Syria), while England would oversee the Mesopotamia mandate (Iraq, Arabia) and the Palestine mandate.
The Arabs were seen as primarily dwelling in the territories of the first two mandates, while Palestine was seen as becoming primarily a Jewish state. The Resolution states that “the Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” (www.cfr.org/israel/san-remo-resolution/p15248).
These concepts and phraseology were taken from the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 (www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Guide/pages/The%20Balfour%20Declaration.aspx). These words were now incorporated into a League of Nations resolution, and therefore they were clothed in the authority of international law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Remo_conference; www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijS8mFP4I1A#at=39).
International legal expert Jacques Gauthier of Toronto stated at the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Resolution, that the San Remo Conference was a “key defining moment in history.” The Jewish claim was recognized by the world’s powers (adopted by the League of Nations, and signed by 51 countries) – that the Jewish people are recognized by the Great Powers as a people worthy of self-determination, that the Jewish historical connection with the Land known as Palestine was recognized, and that they had a right to re-establish and reconstitute their Jewish historical rights in that Land. Great Britain further swore that they would “use their best endeavours to facilitate” a Jewish national home in Palestine.
Chaim Weizmann, president of the Zionist Organization and later the first President of the State of Israel, called San Remo the “most momentous political event in the whole history of our movement, and it is, perhaps, no exaggeration to say in the whole history of our people since the Exile.” British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon called the San Remo Resolution the “Magna Carta of the Zionists.”
The San Remo Resolution did not determine precise boundaries at that time. They were to later “be determined by the Principal Allied Powers,” and were not finalized until the Treaty of Sèvres (August 10, 1920; Section VII, Art 94-97) and then finally confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on 24 July 1922.
- All of what is today called the West Bank was included as part of the Jewish homeland. Therefore it is correct to describe Jewish settlement anywhere in Israel or the territories as being fully legal according to international law.
The Israel mandate in Palestine
The British Palestine Mandate came about after discussions by the League of Nations at the Conference of London (February 12-24, 1920; http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp).
Article 6 of the Palestine Mandate states, “The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes” (emphases mine).
This Article declares that not only should Jews settle on all the Land (including the West Bank), but that it should be “close settlement” – highly populated and burgeoning with returning Israelites. Reference is even made to the permissibility of using State lands and waste or unused land for specific settlement.
- The Palestine Mandate mandates Jewish settlement anywhere in Israel or the territories. According to this internationally ratified legal document, Jewish settlement in today’s Israel and the West Bank is fully legal according to international law.
The Levy Report
In July 2012, the Israeli Government’s Commission to Examine the Status of Building in Judea and Samaria issued its findings. The Levy Report was headed by former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, and included international law expert and former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker as well as former Tel Aviv District Court Judge Tchia Shapira. The commission’s task was to “examine the situation of building in Judea and Samaria and to advise the Israeli government accordingly, and to that end had to determine the legal nature of Israel’s presence in the area. Nothing more, nothing less. No hidden political agenda.”
Based on such legal documents as the original League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the United Nations charter (which preserved the application of the League of Nations Mandate’s stipulations), the commission found that the establishment of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria is consistent with international law (www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/The-Levy-Report-A-vital-beginning).
- The legality of Jewish settlements and communities over the Green Line – from Jenin to Ramallah and from Bethlehem to Hebron – is clear and indisputable.
- The attempts of the European Union to sanction or boycott or divest from Jewish communities and settlements in the ‘territories’ simply have no legal leg on which to stand.
An excellent article has been written by Melanie Phillips, a British op-ed journalist and truth talker – “The baseless hatred of the EU towards Israel” (www.melaniephillips.com/the-baseless-hatred-of-the-eu-towards-israel).
The recent declarations by Secretary of State John Kerry calling Israeli settlements illegal are without foundation. “Like outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kerry supports Israel and understands its needs, but is a staunch opposer of the settlement enterprise” (“John Kerry: Supports pro-Israel laws, opposes settlements,” Yitzhak Ben-Horin, Jerusalem Post, December 22, 2012).
The basis for what the world calls the ‘peace negotiations’ is a false presumption that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal and must be uprooted. In a recent article “Livni to meet Kerry amid settlement freeze rumors” (Tovah Lazaroff, Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, May 18, 2013):
“Chief Palestinian Liberation Organization negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he had not been informed of any moves to curb settlement construction. ‘We have not been notified of any changes to Israel’s colonial plans, including ongoing construction in dozens of Israeli settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine, including in and around our occupied capital east Jerusalem,’ Erekat said. Nabil Abu Rdaineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responded cautiously to the reports. ‘A freeze in settlement construction within the 1967 borders and especially Jerusalem are the basis of starting any genuine and serious negotiations,’ he said. ‘We must hear Israel state this policy officially.’”
- Pray for the leadership of Israel that they would receive revelational clarity from the God of Jacob as to how to respond to these illegal and unbiblical pressures.
- Pray for Secretary of State John Kerry and the leadership of the Palestinians, that they too would receive clear revelation from YHVH as well as strong course correction
Outlawing Jewish food in Poland
In the 1940’s Poland was chosen by the Nazi Reich as the main location for murdering the Jewish people. By the end of WWII approximately six million had been massacred, half of that number in Poland. The re-establishment of normal Jewish life in Poland after the Holocaust has been a challenging task, but recently even that task has encountered some severe road bumps.
In 2012 the Polish constitutional court outlawed kosher abbatoirs (where kosher meat is slaughtered), and in July 2013 the Polish Sejm (Parliament) overturned a government-backed bill that would have allowed kosher meat to be produced in Poland (“Polish parliament rejects kosher slaughter,” Reuters, July 13, 2013). The bill’s defeat was a political setback for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, after 38 deputies from his own party crossed the floor to the opposition to defeat the bill (www.jta.org/2013/07/16/news-opinion/world/ban-on-kosher-slaughter-stirs-unease-among-polish-jews).
“Populism, superstition and political interests won out,” said Piotr Kadlcik, who heads the Union of Jewish Communities of Poland. “It looks like we’ve made a full circle and are heading back to what happened in Poland and Germany in the 1930s” (www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4404308,00.html).
At present, kosher slaughter of animals is illegal in five European countries – Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Holland is radically moving in that direction, and the matter is being avidly discussed in Britain.
A pointed editorial from Germany’s English version Algemeiner Journal is worth reading, “Outlawing Kosher Meat and Europe’s Profound Semite-Loathing” (www.algemeiner.com/2013/02/12/outlawing-kosher-meat-and-europe%E2%80%99s-profound-semite-loathing/).
As it was in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, Israel was forced to eat non-kosher meat. Today Europe is fast becoming a continent which tells Jews what to eat and where to live.
- European attempts to make kosher food illegal are another Last Days move by the enemy to persecute and crush Jewish national identity and existence.
- Pray for the preservation, protection and salvation of the Jewish people as these waves crash more closely onto the sands where we are all standing.
- Pray for those faithful believers who are taking a stand in European halls of justice to defend and preserve the Jewish presence in Europe
Earthquakes in Basel
On October 18, 1356 the most significant seismological event in Central Europe’s recorded history occurred – a massive earthquake in Basel, which may have been as strong as 7.1 on the Richter scale (http://gji.oxfordjournals.org/content/178/1/351.full). A conservative estimate is that at least 300 died in the quake. The town of Basel was totally destroyed (https://support.rms.com/publications/BaselReport_650year_retrospective.pdf).
Basel is a city that has had a history of interaction with the Jewish people. In the 1200’s Jews lived in Basel and Zurich. They helped the Catholic bishops to purchase the Kleinbasel suburb and to construct the Middle Bridge over the Rhine in 1225. Yet in 1348-1349, goaded by demonic fears that Jews were both poisoning the wells and causing the Black Plague, six to seven hundred of the town’s Jewish population were forced into a wooden house on an island on the Rhine and were burned to death. Their children were forcibly baptized. But after the earthquake Jewish people were allowed to return to Basel and help in its rebuilding. Nevertheless, in 1397 they were banished from Basel “for 200 years.”
We have some dear friends in Switzerland who believe that there was a connection between the murder of Basel’s Jews and the earthquake – the judgment of God came upon a European city which despised, rejected and murdered its Jewish citizens, even making their very presence in Basel illegal.
- Pray for your city and your country as if it were Basel before the earthquake. Perhaps, as the ancient citizens of Nineveh declared, “Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish” (Jonah 3:9).
Render unto Caesar – no more, no less
Messiah Yeshua challenged His generation to render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – in that discussion, it was taxes (Matthew 22:21). The principle He taught applied to more than taxes, as the Apostles explain, “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:19-20).
- God calls us to believe His words and His ways, and to follow Him – even when the kingdoms of this world call His work of restoration with Israel illegal, immoral or an obstacle to world peace.
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,
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