Welcome to the Bible in the News, this is John Billington joining you this week.
We are not saying that the State of Israel is perfect, far from it in fact, and I would say that, more for the way they treat some of their own citizens in the West Bank. As far as Israel’s Arab citizens are concerned, they have equal voting rights (including women), a number hold seats in parliament (even though they support Hezbollah). Arabic like Hebrew is even an official language. In fact the Arab citizens of Israel have it much better off than the Arabs in the nations around. And we must add that the true segregation is in the Arab cities like Bethlehem and Nablus where Jews are simply not allowed. They are Jew free, no Jews allowed. And if a Jew makes a wrong turn and ends up there by accident it may very well cost him his life.
So in order to show this great Apartheid the anti Israel mob runs to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank). It is said, look at the great wall Israel is building, look at all the checkpoints, all the soldiers and security, it's simply like living in a prison. This was not always the way it was, prior to the “second intifada” things were much different. There was no wall, much less security and Jews and Arabs mixed much more. Incredibly after the many suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the early 2000’s Israel added security. If any other country in the world was dealing with sniper fire and had people crossing their borders to become suicide bombers they too would add security, check points and walls. Its outrageous to suggest otherwise.
During that time, it was so bad many of the Jewish families living in Judea and Samaria would not travel with both mum and dad in the car in case they were attacked; they did not want their children to grow up as orphans. Sound exaggerated? Listen to the following quote from David Rubin's book “God, Israel, & Shiloh” (David Rubin living in Shiloh):
“Just taking a brief walk in my neighborhood in Shiloh, we come to the house of the Yerushalmi family, whose 17-year-old son Shmuel was killed in a bus bombing. Several houses further down the block lived Shmuel’s friend, 17-year-old Avi Sutton, murdered by terrorists who killed Avi and several other classmates who had been playing on or near their high school basketball court. On that same street is the Kessler family, immigrants from the United States, whose 19-year-old granddaughter Gila Sara was also killed in a bus bombing.
"Just around the corner is the Shoham family, whose five-month-old baby Yehudi was killed by a rock thrown at his head as he and his parents were driving back from a visit to his grandparents’ house. He was resting comfortably in his infant seat when the car was ambushed and the poor baby’s fragile skull was smashed. The doctors tried valiantly to revive him, but he died of his wounds after a several day vigil in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Walk down the hill from the murdered baby’s home and you come to the Apter family, whose son Noam, was in the kitchen in his yeshiva (religious seminary), which combines military service with religious studies. He and three other fellow students were preparing for the Sabbath meal for all the other boys who were sitting in the adjacent dining hall. Suddenly, two terrorists from the Islamic Jihad terror organization burst in the kitchen, shooting and wounding Noam and the others. Before Noam fell dead on the floor, he reached out and locked the door to the dining hall and threw away the key, thereby saving the lives of close to one hundred boys in the dining hall. These are only a few examples of the many children of Shiloh who have been killed or wounded by the fanatical Islamic terrorism that we are all facing.”
I find those words sad and shocking. Living in Canada I am just so far removed. I think the words of Psalm 120 are very appropriate - Psalm 120:6,7 - “My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.”
You simply cannot make peace with this type of person or people when this sort of thing is going on.
The incredible thing is that in the world's eyes the terrorism is somehow justified, as they say the Jews unjustly took the land from the Arabs in 1967. In reference to the 1967 war the following from the Jewish Virtual Library makes it quite clear:
“Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to King Hussein saying Israel would not attack Jordan unless he initiated hostilities. When Jordanian radar picked up a cluster of planes flying from Egypt to Israel, and the Egyptians convinced Hussein the planes were theirs, he then ordered the shelling of West Jerusalem. It turned out the planes were Israel’s, and were returning from destroying the Egyptian air force on the ground. Meanwhile, Syrian and Iraqi troops attacked Israel’s northern frontier.
"Had Jordan not attacked, the status of Jerusalem would not have changed during the course of the war. Once the city came under fire, however, Israel needed to defend it, and, in doing so, took the opportunity to unify the city, ending Jordan’s 19-year occupation of the eastern part.”
You can be as upset at Israel for defeating the Jordanians as you could be at David defeating Goliath. But the world is not just upset, they are seemingly furious and determined to reverse history. The level to which Israel’s haters will go should not be underestimated.
This week an extreme left wing organization named Breaking the Silence is in the news. The organization's purpose is to interview Israeli soldiers and ultimately dig up any dirt they can on Israel for the purpose of undermining and discrediting the state. Organizations like this are in abundance but what put Breaking the Silence into the news is that of its $1.8 million dollar budget 78% of its budget between 2012 and 2015 came from European governments, including Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, and the EU. Also what I found interesting but not surprising is that in 2014 the largest donor was MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops’ Organization for Development Cooperation.
What made this even more scandalous is that they were infiltrated by a whistle blower and it seems they are doing more than just trying to sway opinions, they are now being investigated for espionage against the State of Israel.
There is no doubt that Europe is against Israel led by the Vatican. The Vatican, the one who took 45 years to recognize the State of Israel and was one of the last in the world to do so, but recognizes “Palestine” before it is actually a state. This is to be expected when we look at the words of 2 Thessalonians 2 which clearly speaks of the Roman Catholic system which has grown from a corruption of the true gospel message. The seeds of this corruption go all the way back to the time of Paul himself, as he says in verse 7 - “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” All of this happened says Paul because “they received not the love of the truth,” verse 10. When we look at how this system handles the Bible doing everything from burning them to distorting the message, we should not be surprised by how it treats and views God’s people, and distorts the truth about them.
Unfortunately it is not just the Vatican (although I believe she leads the charge), the majority of the world is now against Israel. All you have to do is look at the UN votes against Israel. Even in America where they will often stand up for Israel, under the leadership of Obama the US has been highly critical of Israel and the building of settlements. Anyone who looks at a map honestly knows that it is impossible for Israel to give up the west bank and still have a solid defense. But few care, about as many cared about Israel when the Iranian Nuclear deal was struck.
Back here in Canada there has been a change of government and the Liberal party was voted in. Under the previous Conservative government with Stephen Harper as the Prime Minister it was considered one of the most pro Israeli governments in modern times. They stood up for Israel on the international stage at the UN to an unprecedented level. Knowing that Israel has so few friends it is sad to watch the new government back away from a pro Israel position.
Now it must be said, if you saw any of the news coming out of the AIPAC conference with all the US presidential hopefuls speaking, it seemed like they were trying to one up the last one on how pro Israel they were. The truth is that it would be nice for Israel to have a friend in the world but in most cases there is far more talk than action. In the end when we look at the prophecies, it is clear that no one is able to stop the northern invasion of Ezekiel 38. The only help that Israel gets in Ezekiel 38 from its human allies is a questioning of her enemies.
The Jews have a history of few human allies and in the end it will not be a human power that delivers them. When the northern invader comes, Israel will no doubt feel very lonely. But the help that comes will be more than any country could offer. The words of the prophets are quite clear, and in particular the following words from Joel 3:1,2,16,17 -
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
"I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land…
"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
"So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”
Nothing like a little surprise for the world, and especially for the Vatican and those participating in Israel Apartheid Week. As Psalm 2 says - “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”
May that day soon come.