In the past few days well over two thousand Arabs (both Israeli Arab citizens and Palestinian Authority Arab residents) have been involved in riots and violent attacks against Israeli police and security forces. The actual murders of Jewish families, stabbings and shootings of Israeli civilians, attempted lynchings of Jewish motorists, and collusion between terrorists and Arab shopkeepers – these have been the order of the day for the past week.
A U.S. State Department official said, in response, that the U.S. has not yet determined whether to characterize the attacks as acts of terrorism (http://m.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/White-House-deeply-concerned-by-escalating-tensions-in-Jerusalem-official-says-421222#article=6024QkY4NDJCMzA4NjFBMjUyOTI4NzdEQzY4MzMxQTZFMjU=).
Over six hundred years ago Europe was torn asunder by what historians call ‘The Hundred Years’ War’ a clash between the English Kingdom of Plantagenet and the French Kingdom of Valois (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Years%27_War). Apart from the military casualties involved, during that Hundred Years’ War the bubonic plague swept across Western Europe, killing between 20% and 50% of the population.
The present civil unrest in Israel (the Promised Land given by covenant to the sons of Jacob) is by no means as violent as that European land war, nor does it even approach the present slaughter in Syria and Iraq – the clash between dictators and jihadis. Yet because of the prophetic significance of the Jewish people and their land in the Bible, and because of God’s deep heart-covenant with Jacob’s children, it is worth taking the time to briefly understand what is happening there now, and to pray about these fast-moving events.
Replacement theology – Islamist style
Over the past five years, Islamist societies in Israel have funneled funds from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to groups of women (and some men) known as murabitat (feminine) and murabitoun (masculine)
These women’s role has been to verbally harass and even physically attack non-Islamic visitors to the Temple Mount, Two days ago I spoke with a Christian tourist who was hassled on the Temple Mount because of a necklace she wore with Hebrew lettering on it. She was then physically removed for the Mount. Other tourists (Jewish, Christian and totally secular) have been stalked, yelled at, spit upon, and summarily thrown off the Mount at the instigation of the Muslim waqf security guards. It is illegal to pray on that Mount unless one is a Muslim. Carrying a Bible or reading from it is totally banned.
The official Islamic line is that there has never been a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, and that any attempt by Jewish people to visit that area actually defiles the Islamic sanctity of what they define as exclusively a mosque. The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared in the past few days that Jewish feet walking on the stones of the Temple Mount actually defile the sanctity of the al Aqsa compound.
Islamist Replacement theology is the theological background of these views. The belief is that the Jews have been replaced; their land has been forfeited to the forces of Mohammed; their Temple Mount never was, and now has become a mosque. In some ways this perspective is also reflected by the declaration by Amon Goeth, commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp, in Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List, as his Nazi forces are about to destroy the ancient Jewish community of Cracow (Kraków):
- “Today is history. Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it. Six hundred years ago … the Jews … came to Krakow … They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts… For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history.”
Riot in the streets
After years of the above-described Islamist abuse of Christian and Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, the Israeli government decided to allow freedom of access for all to the Temple Mount and to drastically curtail murabitat Islamist attacks on non-Muslim visitors. The murabitat and murabitoun are similar in their worldview to al Qaeda and ISIS. Though it was understood that limiting the murabitat’s extremist activities would be used by anti- Israel media against the State of Israel, the government decided that the time had come to exercise its sovereign right to uphold and maintain order – and that sovereignty does extend to the Temple Mount.
The explosive situation on the Temple Mount is linked to the problematic relationship between competing Palestinian groups. The majority of Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, where they are ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (which also gave birth to al Qaeda). Hamas calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, basing itself on impeccable Islamic sources in the Quran and the hadith (Muslim religious law).
The leader of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, however, is Mahmoud Abbas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Abbas). He is not a religious Muslim, and is considered secular and heretical by both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. On the West Bank Abbas finds himself outflanked by Hamas at every turn. Hamas’ jihadi popularity is growing on the West Bank, and polls show that if elections were held today, the Palestinian Authority would lose badly to jihadi forces. As a result, Abbas has postponed elections since January 2009, trying to dodge the jihadi bullet.
Abbas attempts to bolster his image by occasionally emphasizing jihad. Every so often Abbas and the Palestinian Authority turn up the flames, winking to the jihadis that a limited armed insurrection will be quietly encouraged – as long as things don’t get out of hand. For Abbas, this means occasional riots and terror attacks are kosher, but a crushing response by Israel is bad news and is to be avoided.
- So what is going on is multifaceted. The Palestinian Authority is giving Islamist jihadi forces a free but measured hand to stir up riots and terrorist murders. They are hoping that this will mobilize the Islamic world to exert international pressure on Israel; that it will secure the Palestinian Authority’s tottering throne; and that it will weaken Abbas’ arch-enemies Hamas. This is modern Palestinian brinksmanship.
The Islamo-fascist connection
History shows that events similar to today’s riots happened during the time of the British Mandate, when the British Empire occupied the land of Israel (1922-1947; www.mythsandfacts.org/conflict/mandate_for_palestine/mandate_for_palestine.htm).
At the close of WWI, His Majesty George V’s government was attempting to establish Britannia as the Middle East’s superpower. Though Britain was eventually stymied by the United States and lost its pre-eminence to America, in 1917 it still saw itself as regional kingmaker. England issued the Balfour Declaration calling for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, while simultaneously linking that declaration to other statements backing Arab nationalist movements. Eventually Britain sliced off 80% of the Palestine mandate and established a colonialist puppet state known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan. In the remaining 20% England set about preparing the ground for another Arab state, one which would arise on the ashes of the soon-to-be-destroyed Jewish Yishuv (fledgling community) – or so they thought.
The British White Papers (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/brwh1939.asp; www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/whitetoc.html; www.algemeiner.com/2014/05/06/%E2%80%98a-death-sentence-for-the-jews%E2%80%99-75-years-since-the-british-white-paper/) reveal Britain’s realpolitik tilt during WWII, limiting Jewish escape from Hitler’s Holocaust while preventing Jews from immigrating to the Jewish national homeland. At the same time Britain developed undercover links with jihadi leaders (who were bona fide collaborators with Hitler and Himmler), strengthening pro-Nazi forces while winking at murderous Arab street riots and massacres against the Jewish population in the Promised Land.
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, was the first jihadi leader who instigated street riots and murderous attacks against the Jewish population in the Promised Land. His inflammatory charge was based on spreading lies about an attempted Jewish takeover of the Temple Mount.
- The murderous riots of 1929 and 1936 (including the savage murder of Hebron’s entire Jewish community – www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=2&x_outlet=118&x_article=1691) show striking parallels to what is happening today
The Middle Eastern wakeup call
The foundations of the present riots in Israel are simply one more flashpoint in a Hundred Years’ War between the Jewish people and the forces of Islamist jihad. They are another jihadi attempt to raise the black banner of jihad over the smoking ashes of the Jewish state.
As Europe is being flooded with Syrian and pseudo-Syrian refugees fleeing their countries due to Islamist and dictatorial massacres, as Iran (flush with terrorist petro-dollars and new European business contracts) funnels rivers of gold into terrorist coffers, as jihadi forces stream their black banners across Syria, Iraq, Chechnya, Libya, Nigeria, etc., a Middle Eastern wake-up call is clanging desperately for those whose hearing aids still have batteries.
- Will the world pay attention, and turn a repentant heart to the only true God of the Middle East – who is also the God of the Jewish people – and seek His protection, defense and strategies for the days ahead?
When stars collide
Recent events in Syria include the establishment and expansion of Russian state-of-the-art military might – on land, sea and in the air. China is also positioning aircraft carriers off the coast of Syria and avowing its intentions to fly its bombers over Syria as well. The Middle East, tar pit of the superpowers, is once again exerting her seductive ways on the nations. The words of the prophet Ezekiel seem to have burning relevance at this time:
- “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords – Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-Togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops – many peoples with you. Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. After many days you will be summoned. In the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste. But its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them” (Ezekiel 38:4-8)
How shall we then pray?
- Ask the Strength and Shield of Israel to guard His people the sons of Jacob, to thwart terror attacks and jihadi rioting, to grant discernment and success to Israel’s security services as they track down and disarm the troublers of Israel
- Pray for divine wisdom and discernment for Israel’s leaders as they make fateful decisions regarding how to deal with existential threats to Israel’s security and survival
- Pray for Israel’s citizens and army, who are coming face-to-face with jihadi evil and terror – for protection and revelation of what is going on, and for clear understanding about where the God of Jacob can be found in this maelstrom
- Pray for the Arabs of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, that they will receive a revelation of how jihad is destroying their lives; and grant them revelation how to relate to their Jewish neighbors and the Jewish state
- Pray for Arab believers in these areas, that they will be a light to their Jewish neighbors and friends, as well as to their Arab brothers and sisters
- Pray for Israeli Jewish believers, that we will receive boldness and revelation as to how to shine Yeshua’s light to a people walking in the midst of great darkness (Isaiah 60)
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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