By Stan Goodenough - Jerusalem Newswire - March 2, 2006
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Psalm 46:5-7
Never, in the total 18 years I have lived in Israel, not even in the midst of the hellish Oslo War (“Second Intifada”) when buses were blowing up around us and tank fire at Bethlehem was shaking the walls of our apartment, have things looked as bleak and as desperate for this nation as they do today.
And from what is being expressed here in Israel – it is the sense of a great many Jews that their country is poised to enter the darkest stretch so far in the long dark night she has experienced since the brief light of hope flickered with her rebirth in 1948.
Thirteen years after Oslo flared up, crashed and burned, followed recently by the “Road Map” and the “Two-State Vision” – all of which directly contributed to the explosive growth of Hamas – the nation of Israel is confronting a reality most its people have desperately hoped would never materialize for them.
They are learning – though still too slowly – that it matters not how much they give, how sincere they are, and how many risks they are willing to take. In the heart of the Muslim Arab there is no fertile ground for peace.
The threats – looming and lingering for so long – are mushrooming now, coming on thick and fast. It seems there is nowhere to turn; nowhere for the Jews to go; no escape route; no way out.
Like a massive boa constrictor, the menace lies in concentric, crushing circles around this tiny little land. The further its coils extend, the greater the peril they pose.
The inner circle is right here in Israel, the threat coming from Israeli Jews themselves, and from Israeli Arabs.
Israel’s Jews are deeply and bitterly divided, even as millions around them pray for and plan their destruction. It’s a rerun of 1,936 years ago, when Rome’s cohorts stood massed at Jerusalem’s gates, and the Jews inside the city did their enemy’s work for them, fighting among themselves instead of standing together against the foe.
Ask any Jew today the meaning of the phrase sinat chinam and he will tell you: It was the “baseless hatred” between Jews that led directly to the destruction of the Second Temple, the sacking of Jerusalem, the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews, and the dispersion among the nations of those who remained.
A quarter of a million Israelis – those living in the settlements in Judea and Samaria – have been effectively demonized by the overwhelmingly leftist Israeli and world press.
According to a recent survey carried out by the Rishon Letzion College of Management, Jews living inside Green Line Israel (inside the 1949 borders) hate the settlers almost as much as they hate the Palestinian Arabs.
It is a bizarre national reaction, fueled by fear and self-hatred, that sees Israelis holding the settlers responsible for the failure to arrive at peace; blaming them for the rampaging, terrorist-inflicted death and mayhem that unendingly plagues the nation.
Now, as the country heads for the March 28 general election, the division tears ugly and deep. Depressingly, the Kadima Party founded by the now comatose Ariel Sharon and run by acting-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – a party stinking with corruption and cronyism – looks set to sweep the vote. If he wins, Olmert is prepared to forcefully remove tens of thousands more Jews from their homes, and relinquish Israel’s heartland to the Arabs.
Israel’s 1.5 million Arabs (97 percent of them Muslim) are aligning with Hamas, turning themselves into a potent fifth column inside Green Line Israel. Their representatives in the Knesset (yes, Israeli Arabs have the vote and elected officials) regularly call for the dismantling of the Jewish state. They are planning meetings with Ismail Haniyeh – the Hamas leader recently appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. They travel north to Lebanon and meet with Hizballah, and side by side with that terror group’s leaders commit themselves to the destruction of Israel.
THE HAMAS AUTHORITY
The next circle is Hamas. After the world has for decades demanded that Israel accept the PLO as “the only true representative of the Palestinian people [sic]” those people dumped the PLO and chose for Hamas – the Islamist group specializing in massacring Jews on Egged buses and fanatically devoted to destroying Israel.
That uncompromising gang of murderers and their supporters – those “ordinary” Arabs US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice still insists really want to live in peace with Israel – lie 2.4 million thick in, among and all around Israel. From Gaza, rockets fall daily into southern Israel, mostly missing their targets, but being improved and upgraded. It is only a matter of time before serious casualties are inflicted on the Negev’s Jews.
On a Shabbat two weeks ago, as my family and I enjoyed the peace and tranquility that (somehow) can still be enjoyed in Jerusalem on the God-ordained day of rest – the start of a “new chapter in Middle East history” was marked in Ramallah, a few miles to our north, and in Gaza, a little way to the south-west.
There Hamas took over the new “Palestinian Legislative Council,” in which it now holds 74 of 132 seats – a clear majority of its own.
And yesterday (March 2) Abbas announced his decision to momentarily place the entire PA security apparatus under Hamas’ control.
Hamas is popular, invited to Turkey, Iran and Moscow while world leaders from other lands line up to extend an invitation too. “Don’t treat them like terrorists,” urges the EU. And whatever you do don’t stop sending them millions of dollars in an effort to starve them off terrorism.
World media like the BBC and the increasingly Arabized CNN are well-practiced in the art of sanitizing terrorists. As they did with arch-Jew-killer Yasser Arafat, they are pushing the line that the Hamas is really pragmatic and reasonable. The blood that soaks them? Well, that’s Jewish blood – cheap stuff, expendable.
In Lebanon, directly across Israel’s northern border, Hizballah is waiting for war. The Iranian-sponsored group represents Lebanon’s largest community – the Shi’ites. Its leadership daily hurls vitriolic volleys at Israel and has, since the IDF’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, deployed over 12,000 missiles against the Jewish state. They are able to reach deep into the Galilee and as far south as Haifa; some carry non-conventional warheads.
North-east of Israel sits Syria, a close ally of the Hizballah. After recently withdrawing from Lebanon, its influence into that country is increasing once more. Syria is Israel’s most implacable foe. Concerning its despotic leadership the American Foreign Policy Council’s Missile Defense Briefing Report No. 197 (February 22, 2006) states:
The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus is continuing to make substantial progress on its missile capabilities, courtesy of the DPRK. Geostrategy-Direct (week of February 20) reports that over the past three years, North Korean assistance has helped to substantially enhance Syria’s existing arsenal of Scud-D medium-range missiles. According to the intelligence newsletter, Syria’s upgraded Scuds now boast a range of some 700 kilometers, as well as a separating warhead capable of carrying chemical or biological payloads.
For months Syria has been squirming under the international spotlight on its involvement in the February 2005 assassination of Lebanese President Rafic Hariri. Instead of opening up, Assad is off to Tehran next week to meet with Iran’s Hitler-like Ahmadinejad. Cooperative strategies will certainly be the order of the day.
There, in the unstable and arrogant Ayatollah-run Iran, lies the outer coil of this malevolent snake. In the vanguard of the global jihad, the devoted servants of Allah who rule over what was once Persia push on toward the realization of their avowed purpose: to destroy the Little Satan (Israel) and engage the Great Satan (America) as they take the world for their god.
Iran’s president has flipped the birdie at the West, trashing the Holocaust as a myth, openly calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, and actively working towards the achievement of that goal, undaunted by – in fact basking in – the agitation of the world.
Already in Iran’s arsenal: long range North Korean missiles and plenty of WMD warheads to tip them with; and the ultimate Muslim motivator: conviction in the inevitability of victory, and the wholehearted readiness – the desire in fact – of untold numbers to sacrifice themselves as shaheeds in this holy war.
Meanwhile anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world; new cases being reported every day. In France a Jewish man is abducted by kidnappers who demand a ransom from his family – everyone knows that Jews are rich. When they are unable to pay he is found naked, tied to a tree, with burns and other injuries all over his body. He dies on the way to hospital.
In a rash of copycat incidents, anti-Semites armed with long knives have been targeting synagogues in Russia.
This coming Sunday we will learn whether a “Palestinian”-made movie glorifying suicide bombers who kill Israeli Jews has been chosen to win an Academy Award.
DARK AND DESPERATE
All told, the mortal danger towering over Israel today far exceeds what was stacked against Europe’s Jews as they unsuspectingly entered the 1930s, en route to Auschwitz.
The spiraling trend of the past decades foretells that it will not be much longer before the world, with the exception – perhaps – of the United States – finally concludes that Israel as a small and soon-to-be-truncated country is a nuisance and a consistently destabilizing threat that simply has to go. The Jews may be offered a choice between being second-class dhimmi citizens in a Muslim Arab state, and resettling somewhere else.
This suggested “solution” has already been proposed. It spells a third Diaspora from which Israel will revive, return and resurrect no more.
Truly, the hour is desperate, and dark. After its millennia-long effort to destroy the Jewish people, the spirit of Amalek appears poised to win.
AND YET, DAWN IS AT THE DOOR
As desperate and hopeless as things seem to be, for those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the only God – there is every reason to hope.
We do not know when this night will end and dawn will come. But this we do know: It always gets darkest just before dawn.
And at dawn, God is going to move.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning – yes, more than those who watch for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
(2 Peter 1:19-20)
Friends of Israel, lovers of Israel’s God: Watch, pray, and hold fast to this hope.
Ever true to His Word, which He is watching over to perform, God is going to act. When He does, it will be in such a way that the nation of Israel, and the nations of the world, will know without any further doubt, that He is LORD.