October 26, 2015
I don’t know what you did for dinner last night, but I’m sure it was a bit different than mine.
Despite the American headlines, Cheri and I are in the middle of a trip to Israel, along with 25 friends from the Master’s and Barnabas communities. Sunday evening, we were in Sderot, a city of 24,000 in the southwest of the country, just one mile from the Gaza Strip – the 24 x 6 mile area in which 1.5 million Palestinians reside, harboring hatred for the Jews who live next door.
In an 8 month period in ’07/’08, 771 rockets and 857 mortar bombs were fired from Gaza into Sderot. It is called “The Bomb Shelter Capital of the World.” Officials say that 75% of the children 4-18 suffer from PTSD. Many of the people living in Sderot are older Jews who immigrated from Eastern Europe.
In collaboration with Jews for Jesus and Chosen People Ministries, we hosted 40 Holocaust survivors from Sderot for dinner. Music – along with spirited Hebrew folk dancing – was on the program, along with an unrehearsed chorus (our travel group) singing Christian praise songs and meaningful testimonies of faith. Many told us – through interpreters – how grateful they were to have us there, since few Americans venture into their community because of the risk. Our only explanation was the love of Jesus that we came to share…
Yishai Fleisher is an Israeli journalist whose editorial appeared on Thursday in the Jerusalem Post, under the headline: “10 Things You Should Know About the Latest Wave of Jihad.” You’ll not find it in your local American newspaper, but it’s worth pondering. A summation of his proposition to the beleaguered Jews in Israel:
- We should stop feeling guilty. The current attacks are unprovoked, and young Palestinians are ambushing soldiers and police with knives, guns and cars. The lethal response is called for, and appropriate.
- The Jewish fighting spirit is back. Terrorism seeks to demoralize, but the Jewish community is standing firm, and supporting their public servants. They will not shrink back.
- When we’re terrified, they win. Bullied for thousands of years, the establishment of the Jewish state demonstrated – and continues to affirm – the Jewish resolve to overcome their enemies, whatever their strategies.
- Don’t mess with us. You’ll lose. The current administration in the USA – and, the UN – are standing with Israel’s attackers and invoking recrimination against the Jews. The Jews don’t care about their clouded public image; they care about their survival.
- Thanks, “World,” but we can take care of ourselves. If Israel was waiting on reinforcements from the international community, they would wait forever (or, until a sea-change of political sentiment in America). They’re self-reliant, by necessity.
- The jihad is a force of chaos. To quote Fleisher: “This fight is between two forces in the universe: the creative and the destructive. Israel is about life, innovation, clean water, farming, education, medicine and health and prosperity… But jihadism is like a veil of darkness, repressive and regressive. It sees no value in individuals and only seeks to suppress people into conformity…”
- Our kindness goes too far. Again: “…while jihadism is the enemy, out-of-control liberalism is its real enabler. Jihadism exploits Western liberalism as a weakness and a portal to spread its (jihadism’s) venom…”
- Don’t mess with Allah. Fleisher graciously uses Allah to refer to the Muslim God as another name for Jehovah, and demonstrates from history that God – by any name – has demonstrated His favor for Israel against the hate-driven destructive attacks of her enemies. Mess with Israel: mess with God. You’ll lose.
- We will never leave. The extremist Muslim position is the utter destruction of Israel: the elimination of its six million Jewish population. The declaration of the Jews in their homeland: they will never – ever – vacate their Promised Land.
- Jerusalem is at the heart of it. The United States; the United Nations; UNESCO: there is a conspiracy of power brokers out to create a false history that gives equal – or, greater – legitimacy to Muslim claims to Jerusalem than those held by the Jews about their ancestral, historic capital city. Jerusalem is not an option; no amount of declaration by vaunted modern world political leaders can effectively rewrite history… except for the uninformed – and, often highly-educated – gullible village idiots whose grasp of reality is wanting.
Most of America’s news machine has become a mouthpiece for fallacy and political correctness that turns a blind eye to Muslim extremism and a critical stare to the Jewish people who returned to their homeland in 1948 to establish their presence in the place God promised Abraham, 4000 years ago.
I felt safer last night in Sderot than I would have felt in St. Louis: the leadership in Israel is committed to standing up to violent extremism, while our leadership in America has adopted the recurring habit of blaming the victim, and then condemning them for self-defense.
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (God, to Abraham, in Genesis 12:2-3.)
America may want to consider which side of that binary equation we’re on, today. As for me and my house? We’re blessing Israel…