Modern Israel began with a very small area of land allotted by the U.N. in 1947. Then the surrounding nations went after Israel, declaring war—5 nations against 1—with populations and military machines much larger than Israel’s. But Israel’s forces decisively defeated the Arab Muslim armies, and in the process Israel actually gained land.
A similar scenario happened 19 years later. In another attempt to “wipe Israel off the map, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq were defeated. Israel again gains land. The land is the familiar biblical areas of Galilee, Judea and eastern Jerusalem. This time Israel was stunned and didn’t know what to do with it. Israel’s generals and politicians were immediately ready to return much of it. However, the Arab nations refuse to even talk to Israel….at all. They refuse to sit in the same room with Jews. Self-defeating enmity.
And…. Israel still argues about what to do with it! Most world leaders insist that Israel must return it all—“go back to the boundaries of 1967,” they insist. “It belongs to the Palestinians and must be returned,” is their solution to the tension in Palestine. Some Israelis used to agree, but of late, not so. Why? Because the Palestinians have shown themselves to be fiercely intransigent.
The section of the land which Israel did give back to the Palestinians—Gaza—was turned into an armed camp from which tens of thousands of rockets have been launched against southern Israel.
Now, the land taken in two defensive wars is increasingly being settled by Israeli citizens, although certain well-defined sections include large Palestinian populations. It all is divided between Areas A, B, and C. with some ruled by the Palestinian Authority and some by Israel. Israeli “settlers” began the build-up there, and it has become a beautiful and well-developed area.
All right: so two wars have resulted in two major areas of land added to the portion being a part of modern Israel. The ancient homeland is now becoming the modern homeland, growing in both population and in land ownership.
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Just this week, even as I write, the news agencies are reporting that a major foreign policy move has been made by President Trump. No more is America leaving even a small residue of soldiers in the Middle East. Out come our troops from northern Syria. Rushing In are the troops from Turkey. Other countries will make their moves—Iran to increase its power base. And Russia the bear is likewise looking on with an appetite for power.
America is losing her power there.
The influence of a Christian Britain didn’t last long after Britain sponsored the Zionist enterprise. But then America took up the cause and became influential in Israel’s statehood. Now, after one hundred years of Anglo-Saxon-American influence in that area, one hundred years of close alignment with the chosen people and their land, the area is losing American military aid, and the ominous picture is one of ambitious tyrants ready to pounce on The Chosen.
The probability is that Israel will have to go to war again. In fact, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal states that Iran and Israel are already in what has to be called a war; and Iran’s continual threats repeat what all the nations around Israel said in 1947-48. They repeat what Egypt’s Nasser and his cohorts threatened in 1967--Israel’s annihilation. The cultures of Israel’s surrounding neighbors, even though they may have some agreements with Israel, remain inflated with anti-Semitic bombast. It is taught to the children and reinforced continually in broadcasts and telecasts and in celebrations of the murders of Israeli citizens. Don’t be fooled: these nations are not friends of Israel.
As I’ve written before, the whole area is being militarized by Iran and its allies and its proxies: Hizbollah, Hamas, the Houthis and others.
Now….here is my point: if Israel is forced to resort to warfare once again, it just may be that they will once again emerge from that future war with more territory. Syria is fragmented and Lebanon is controlled by Hizbollah. A future war could result in extending modern Israel’s borders into these two countries.
If the past gives us any indication of what the future holds, it may just be that God is not through enlarging the tents of Abraham’s descendants. Do you think this is far-fetched?
When Israel long ago became out of favor with the Lord, He empowered the enemies of Israel to chip off sections of the sacred land. But since, in our time, He has been drawing in His people from the ends of the earth, He has not only given them the victory over their enemies but has given them additional land through their victories.
If this happens again, would it be unfair? If we are entering God in to this equation, who are we to question His acts? But consider: Israel has done nothing but favors in the past few decades to other nations who have needed their assistance. Israel is a positive influence.
In my next blog, I intend to follow through and give examples of how Israel is being a helper to other nations. And the type of aid they are giving is welcomed by those needy nations.
1. Axiom: God is lord of the land of Israel.
2. Corollary: God uses the enemies of Israel. He hardens their hearts just as He hardened the heart of ancient Pharoah. Is that unbelievable to you, dear reader?
3. Corollary: God uses the evil purposes of sinful men and women to bring glory to His name and cause and blessings to His people.
Obviously, Israel is not having an easy time of it. She is hurrying to develop new military technology to fend off—protect herself—from the encircling powers.
Watch and pray.
An admonition to Israel:
“Look to the rock from which you are hewn,
And to the quarry from which you were dug.
Look to Abraham your father
And to Sarah who bore you….
Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
The people whose heart is my law:
Fear not the reproach of man,
Nor be dismayed at their revilings….
I am the Lord your God
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--
The Lord of hosts is his name.”
-- Isaiah 51:1-2, 7, 15 (ESV)
DEFINITION OF DEMOGRAPHY: Population numbers and the vital statistics within that population (like within certain age ranges).
CAUTION: Don’t confuse “Demography” with “Democracy”
1948: THE BEGINNING OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL: Israel’s founders wanted a Jewish state. O. K. And….they also wanted a democracy.
That was a problem. Guess why? They knew they would be inclusive…they would include the Palestinians who were also living there. But what if the Palestinians had more people than the Israelis did? Then, it wouldn’t be a Jewish state, because the Jews could easily be outvoted by the Palestinians.
Therefore, they needed to have more voters than the Palestinians—more people eligible to vote in order to have Jewish laws, Jewish holidays and unlimited Jewish immigration.
Solution #1: Give up the sections of the land that had a lot more Palestinians than Jews. Give up part of the land that the United Nations Plan was allotting them. The response to that solution: “NO! Not on your life.”
Solution #2: Expel some of the Palestinians presently living there. The response to that solution: “Very definitely NO! Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, in writing to his son, dated October, 1937, said: “We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place….there is enough room for ourselves and the Arabs in Palestine.”
Solution #3: THE BEST solution: get more Jews into that new Israeli State so that it would have a Jewish majority. If it were going to be a Zionist, Jewish state, there would have to be more Jews than all other nationalities combined. Right? Right.
So…get more Jews in there! Promote immigration to Israel!
O. K….there was the challenge! The first challenge had been to acquire the land. Both the League of Nations in 1922 and later, the United Nations in 1947 voted to allot part of Palestine to the Jews. So, the Jews had their place; but they needed more people.
Many had warned that a Jewish nation was nothing more than a fanciful dream, because when the Zionist Congress convened at the turn of the 20th century, there were only one hundred thousand Jews in the land.
Plus, about fifty years later, at the beginning of the new state, the warnings by demographers continued predicting doom. Why? Because Arab birthrates were far higher among the Arabs than the Israelis. Arab families were much larger.
But two waves of Jewish immigration occurred in the years after Israel became a state in 1948.
1. First, as soon as the Israelis declared their independence in 1948, the North African nations (Egypt, Libya, Moracco, etc.) expelled all their Jews, confiscating all their possessions. That increased Israel’s population by around 500,000--with a branch of Jews and Judaism (the Mizrahi) that boasted a high birthrate. What a blessing!
But decade after decade the skeptics proclaimed a demographic disaster on the horizon: not enough Israelis to hold onto the land! We’d better….the Israelis had better… give up a large section of their land, because the number of Arab/Palestinians are overtaking us!
“Demographic disaster is at hand!”
A pessimistic study by an Israeli Haifa University professor was cited by journalists and liberal politicians as they urged Israel to give up land. “Give it up!” they cried. “The Arabs will soon be in the majority!”
Many Israeli Jews as well as Jews abroad were adamant--Israel—so small—would have to give back all of Judea and Samaria which was dumped in their laps at the end of the Six-Day War of 1967.
2. But, the second major immigration of Jewish people came from Russia following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s. That added more than a million Jews to the Israeli fold. Wow!
Still, the skeptics were not through. Neither was Yassir Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization who declared: We will make life unbearable for Jews by psychological warfare and population explosion.
Arafat considered the wombs of Arab women as his secret “demographic bomb.”
But, a dramatic sea change has startled those who are informed:
The Turn of the Millenium
Something has happened to the Israeli populace as well as to the Palestinians—in their birth rates--an utterly dramatic change in a relatively short period of time!
In 2,000, for each Arab child born in Israel there were two Jewish children: a ratio of 2/1.
In 2010, for each Arab child born in Israel there were three Jewish children: a ratio of 3/1.
In 2020, two years from now, if current trends hold, for every Arab child born in Israel there will be four Jewish children: a ratio of 4/1.
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“The word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem….Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts?....I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people, and I shall be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.” Zechariah 8:1-3a,4b-8 (NRSV)
I was checking the reports I get from the Middle East, and I hit on this one about the European Union’s support of the Islamic Republic—IRAN.
It’s shocking. European leaders are making love to Iran.
EXAMPLE: Federica Mogherini who is, or was, (this report is dated 2/1/2019) busily traveling around the European continent acting as a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic—a lobbyist for the nation which is causing all the commotion right now-- that threatens the world economy.
But we all know the damage that Iran has incited across the Middle East and Europe ever since its revolution began in 1975.
We know about the Iranian proxies in the Middle East--Hizbollah, Hamas and the Houthis—all made up of Islamic terrorists.
We know that the Islamic Republic currently is holding a good number of EU citizens as hostage.
And….we know who the two arch-enemies of Iran are.
America is one of those arch-enemies. Why? Because America is free, because America has been strongly Christian, because America protects and assimilates the Jewish people, because America’s culture is becoming decadent (ouch!) and because America is the chief roadblock in their path of bringing on the caliphate and the Islamic messiah (the Mahdi).
Israel is the other arch-enemy of Iran. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, has called Israel a “cancerous tumor of a state that should be removed” and has stated that there was no cure for Israel but its annihilation.”
The cause of their hatred is complex. Israel’s ancient narrative clashes with that of the Muslims. Israel does not tolerate tyrannical government while Middle East Muslim nations are just that. The religion of Islam shows itself to be tyrannical in that the crime of converting to another religion is death.
In last week’s blog I pointed out how, in spite of American sanctions, Iran is working successfully in a long-term project of arming and sponsoring paramilitary formations to open up the long northern route from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean and Israel. Yes, the sanctions are hurting, but Iranian control is still expanding.
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European Leaders Cozying Up
It is this nation, Iran, for which European leaders spend their energies to promote. In their way of thinking, Iran is poor and needs European assistance and understanding. And furthermore, their citizens are not Arabs but attractive Persians.
The Report from “Israel News Digest” by Amir Taheri says that “The EU’s spokesperson for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, has devoted most of her immense energies operating as a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic of Iran. She has visited more than 30 countries to present the Islamic Republic as the poor little lamb facing the American big bad wolf.”
And another European leader, former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel “praises the Islamic Republic as a rock of stability in the Mideast.” Unbelievable.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, who wants to restore the former glory of the European community, has proposed offering a line of credit to Iran of 15 billion dollars (big deal) and the removal of sanctions. He is troubled by the fact that the export of French products to Iran has fallen by 42 per cent and…. French company factories are sitting idle there in Iran.
And this concerning Britain: Iran “controls at least a dozen tax-exempt ‘charities,’ often used for financing violent groups across the globe or simply for money laundering.” There you are--an English charity aiding in the effort to transform Britain and all of the EU into part of a great Muslim Caliphate.
Now, the bombing of Saudi Arabian oil facilities is giving the Europeans pause, and the European leaders are forced to call a “time out” on their Iran-coddling. But that is a temporary measure.
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QUESTION: What is the mindset of the Europeans?
The European Union refused to place in their constitution anything referring to God.
The European Union thus is godless. The nearly empty churches and cathedrals still standing are a testimony to their empty souls of the European population.
Europe--predominately secular, largely dependent upon America for its defense, with low birthrates (to maintain their selfish pleasures), borrowing against tomorrow’s generations, its morality replaced with nothingness…and yet, opening its arms to Islam and the attendant Sharia law. How can this be?
MY CONCLUSION: The spirit of anti-Christ is active in Europe. Sound like an overstatement? More on this later, Lord willing.
MY PERSONAL FEELINGS: My heart goes out to the Europeans whose lives are lived according to the Pleasure Principle and whose souls, it seems, are pretty nearly empty.
I recently read the book The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray. For many people in Western Europe, the glories of reason and science were enough, they thought, to fill the vacuum left by their rejection of religion (Christianity). In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, “the nearest thing they had to a creed was a belief in ‘human progress.’” Another point: “Death and the fear of it fills the space that was once absorbed by the business of God.” There is the feeling that the world is complex, and we shouldn't waste our time and energy searching for answers.
Spiritual emptiness, moral weakness and political cynicism in Europe—this is the breeding ground for the toleration of the criminal activities of Iran.
Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail
Let the nations be judged before you.
Put them in fear, O Lord,
Let the nations know that they are only human.
-- Psalms 9:20 (NRSV)
Under the U. S. sanctions against Iran, that nation is getting poorer by the day. Inflation is running at 40 percent per year.
And yet, Iran’s area of influence is continuing to grow in the Middle East. Militarily it continues to gain ground.
QUESTION: How can this be?
ANSWER: Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are now weakened by devastation. This increases Iran’s regional strategic position.
So now, Iran has much more military power than just its own. It has its “proxies.” These are Hamas, Hizbollah and the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement in Yemen. The long northern route from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean has gradually opened up for the Iranian Shiites and Iran’s “Revolutionary Guard.”
And…the news now coming out of Yemen tells us that Saudi Arabia is losing Yeman to Iran. The Houthis are now consolidating their control, setting up a government and working with the Revolutionary Guard of Iran to carry out attacks on targets deep inside Saudi-Arabia.
And…. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard “has no peer in the Middle East.” So reports the Wall Street Journal with this ominous op-ed title: “THE IRAN-ISRAEL WAR IS HERE.” (p. A15, Wed., Aug. 28, 2019)
Think about that.
Iran, the regime most fiercely opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel has, for the last couple of years, taken control of this direct route to Israel and the Mediterranean coast.
Now, as per the title of this blog and quoting from the article:
Iran treats this entire area as "a single operational space," moving its assets around at will without excessive concern for the national sovereignty of the governments in Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus.
The article also makes this statement:
“Israel is largely alone in this fight.”
QUESTION: Why is Iran expanding its “Operational Space” in the Middle East?
ANSWER: To gain power, yes, but much more: to attempt to bring in the Messiah and the End Of Days.
Ryan Mauro, political analyst for the Clarion Project, says that some of the newer Iranian troops are called Ansar al-Mahdi (“Supporters of the Messiah”).
The Mahdi, according to Shiite tradition, is the redeemer of Islam who will appear with Jesus who will, at that time, declare himself a Muslim! Shiite forces will then, with their armies, move down to Israel and conquer Jerusalem. In the end, Shariah law will be established throughout the earth.
But consider this:
1. Israel’s military seems to become more technologically advanced by the day.
2. The following consideration from the Prophecy of Isaiah presents both a beautiful and powerful divine assurance. The Lord speaks to His Chosen:
You whom I took from the ends of the earth
And called from its farthest corners,
Saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off’;
Do not fear, for I am with you,
Do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Yes, all who are against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
Those who strive against you shall be as nothing
And shall perish.
-- Isaiah 41: 8-11, 13-14 (ESV)
QUESTION: Does this scripture pertain to the present-day? someone may ask.
ANSWER: Yes. There have been many signs that the Lord has created favorable times and events for the recent return to the Holy Land. (A later blog for this. See also my book: Israel The Chosen). God is now doing a NEW thing. Israel has been the recipient of divine discipline and judgment, but is now being blessed with divine Providence operating on her behalf.
The first two lines of the above prophecy describes Israel’s return from the ends of the earth. The following lines constitute God’s assurances--more significant by far than America's assurances!
The Israeli public likes assurances from the United States since we are their staunch and able ally. Oh, yes. but, comparatively few of them at this point embrace the thought that now, in this 21st century, GOD is assuring them of His favor.
“I have chosen you and not cast you off.”
Yet, some do believe. From talking with them, I know that some Israeli Jews are confident that the prophetic word is believable and that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is still their God and that His arm is strong to save.
So…the Wall Street Journal article was informative; but it was wrong when it declared that “Israel is alone in this fight.”
She is not.
Psalms 105: 24-25 and the State of Israel
“The Lord made his people very fruitful
and made them stronger than their foes,
whose hearts he then turned to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.”
What parallels there are between Israel of old and present-day Israel!
As I point out in my book, Israel the Chosen, when the Jews in modern times began to settle in Palestine it was then ruled by Ottoman Turkey—a progressively corrupt and cruel administration. The land itself was riddled with wars between villages and raids by Bedouins in which it was a common practice to:
cut down trees,
fill wells with stones and
break down reservoirs and cisterns.
The Ottoman Turks were O. K. with that as long as they got their taxes.
When the Jewish immigration movement expanded following World War I, the land had a transformation. Industries and a labor movement were established, and through the hard work of swamp-drainage and cultivation, the land became productive. As the above Psalm says above:
“The Lord made his people very fruitful.”
At the same time, the enemies of the Jews began to spew forth their venom. The Arabs hated the Jews even before the return of the Jews. Then, it was because they despised them. But upon the beginning of the rebirth of Israel, it was because they now feared them, for, as the Psalmist says, the Lord “made them stronger than their foes.”
Rising up amidst the “House of Islam” is this tiny powerful nation--to the Arabs “a cancer in the body of the Arab nation,” a “dagger in the heart of the Arab” as other Arabs call it. A tweet from Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that “[Israel] has no cure but to be annihilated.”
Should we be surprised? Not at all. Not those who read the scriptures—the Tenakh (Old Testament). “…whose hearts he turned to hate his people.” Same situation as in ancient times.
QUESTION: Why would the Lord turn the hearts of Israel’s neighbors to a hatred of His people? That is a strange work of God! So let’s consider that. Let’s ask, “what if...?”
-----What if the neighbors of Israel accepted the Jews?
-----What if there was acceptance and interaction between these two peoples—the Jews would fraternize with idolaters? A multitude of friendships would form—sexual encounters would happen--intermarriages galore between Jews and those of other religions.
That did happen in Israel’s history—intermarriage between Jewish and Moabite, Jewish and Samaritans, Jewish and other foreign women who practiced abominations.
QUESTION: But what ULTIMATELY would happen??
THE ANSWER--SIMPLE: then the Israelites would lose their distinct identity. Then the religious practices would become blurred, mixed up. Then the commandments of the Lord would be modified or worse yet, forgotten.
That is happening today in America. Many recent reports of American synagogue leaders are being published revealing the alarm in the Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism.
The covenant between the Lord God and the Hebrew people had to be strong, for the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a jealous God. There is none like Him, He is the God of creation and redemption, and His people are a Chosen People—chosen to be a witness and a blessing to the whole world.
So if the Muslims/Arabs became friends with and friendly to the Israelis, it could mean trouble—big trouble for the covenant. Therefore…it is better that they NOT get along.
IT IS BETTER SO THAT the Jews in the new State of Israel will again learn to trust in their God.
IT IS BETTER THAT there NOT be children of mixed marriages, so that the Jews remain Jews and bear witness to the One and Only True God.
IT IS BETTER THAT the Israelis be threatened by their neighbors, so that they will trust in the God who brought them into being and still loves them.
QUESTION: Why don’t any of the peace efforts work? Could it be that the Psalmist is right yet again? Note the last two lines:
…whose hearts he then turned to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.
The chapter in my book on “The Peace Offers” tells of how Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Bill Clinton struggled to induce Yassir Arafat to accept the Declaration of Principles in the year 2000. Did it work? NO! Barak conceded much; but Arafat went into the talks with no strategy, no flexibility and unprepared to give. Yet the signing took place.
Arafat’s approach to negotiations was just like Mohammed’s: make a treaty with the enemy; make it so that it anesthetizes the opposition. Then later, surprise the enemy with attacks.
So, shortly after the handshakes between Arafat and Rabin on the White House lawn, Arafat proclaimed to his Palestinian audience on Jordanian television that his agreement should be understood in terms of Mohammed’s “Plan of Phases”—the PLO would get what territory it could from further negotiations and then….use that land as a base for pursuing its ultimate goal of Israel’s annihilation. (SEE: p. 150 of Israel the Chosen)
Arafat was doing just what was described in the Psalm--dealing craftily with God’s people.
How much insight into the modern situation we can acquire by checking out these powerful statements of the Tenakh (Old Testament).
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Lord of nations. Watch….and be wise.
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Who is blind but my servant?...
Who is blind as my dedicated one…
Or blind as the servant of the Lord….
He sees many things, but he does not observe them.
~ Isaiah 42
GOD’S DIAGNOSIS OF HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE: Blindness has set in.
QUESTION: Is this the only time they have had this malady?
ANSWER: No. Many times in biblical history, the smart Jews were creating their own civilization. But they weren’t looking closely at their own deteriorating culture.
QUESTION: What about today’s European and American Jews, in particular?
ANSWER: The Jewish people are intelligent and are filling high posts of endeavor in politics, education, science and technology. But there is something wrong. They have lost their cultural/religious moorings. Many of their rabbinical leaders see and acknowledge it.
In the magazine, First Things, David Klinghoffer says this: “We American Jews know…in our soul, that we have gone astray….”
Leonard Fein in his book Where Are We? The Inner Life of America’s Jews: “We have neither the vocabulary nor the categories for serious conversation [about the religious life]….So we avoid the subject which is not hard to do since our friends and neighbors, for the most part, also prefer to avoid it.” Pp. 218-219
The vision problem stems from Israel’s renunciation of faith. Oh yes, they may refer to “their faith”; but what I am speaking of here is not something subjective: “my faith” and “your faith”. Not that….but this: faith in the biblical sense—faith in the living God Who speaks and judges and blesses. The source of that faith is the covenant—the covenant outlined in the Torah—that which the synagogue attendees profess to honor. That source is the Covenant.
The vision problem stems from Israel’s refusal to worship the Lord with heart and soul….indeed, from ignoring God altogether.
Some of the Jews to whom I have spoken will not acknowledge God. They blame their lack of faith on the Holocaust. They say: “How can I believe in a God who permits such a catastrophe?
QUESTION: What were the Jews doing before the Holocaust in Germany? They were ignoring God, ignoring their Jewish heritage, intermarrying with Gentiles, and many of them even ignoring and denying their very identify as Jews. But, the Nazis were skilled and determined to find every single person’s identity in order to exterminate, to the best of their ability, any trace of Jewish ancestry. What an irony!
Therefore, because of the Nazi crimes, the identity of every strain of Jewishness in the population was uncovered.
The Jewish identity which many German Jews wanted to cover was revealed. They cast it off in whole or in part in order to be integrated into liberal German society and later in order to escape the Nazi concentration camps. They rejected Judaism-- its tradition, peculiar laws and what they felt was its odd appearance.
QUESTION: What are the Jews doing today? We know that they have been restored to their land, with about half of them having made their return. And the eyes of the Israelis are gradually becoming open to their source of life. But what about the American and European Jews?
Today’s Jews in America and Western Europe, are generally affluent, self-sufficient and ignorant of the Law and the Prophets. They crave the respect and honor of their environment. They have gone much of the way towards complete assimilation.
Even by their own standards, the picture is not good. The synagogue used to occupy the central position in the Jewish community. Now, attendance is at a low point, and consistent participation is light.
That which is preached from the Reform Jewish pulpits is usually a rehash of the positions of the Democratic Party.
The Jewish population is in a steep decline in both America and Europe. Racial intermarriage is at an all-time high, and with it the loosening of family ties.
The Jewish birthrate is exceedingly small, indicating that the preservation of the Jewish community is not of much value to young couples.
But all of this is not the basic cause of the Jewish cultural and spiritual downward spiral. It is this: There is very little interest in the Word of the Lord. Indeed, that very phrase is so strange to the modern Jew that he would run from any discussion of it. And that is the basic cause of the Jewish vision problem. They do not see. They do not understand. And they flee from anyone who would want to discuss this subject.
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Yet….with all their obstinance, God has not given up on His people. Listen! He follows up on His criticism, with this: “I have called you by name, you are mine….you are precious in my eyes.” (Isaiah 43:1, 4)
God has not turned into an anti-Semite! These are His Chosen. He is facilitating their return to the land. And He will renew their spirits.
Eventually, they will have their eyes opened! Eventually they will see that their destiny is bound up with the Messiah to whom they have turned a blind eye. But the day is coming when their eyes will be opened!
In the prophecy of Zechariah we find this amazing portrayal of the Chosen People. WHERE? In Jerusalem, of course.
“And I [the Lord God] will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him….” (12:10a)
Recently, I had the privilege of having breakfast with a missionary who went for a short trip to Jordan.
This is what I heard from him concerning Israel, neighbor of Jordan.
No one is allowed to pronounce the proper noun, “Israel.” Since my friend had some contacts in Israel, he had some things to tell his Arab contacts in Jordan. So in conversation, he replaced the name “Israel” with “the people over the border.”
NOTE: Most of his conversations were with the leaders of the Christian congregation in Jordan. There, too, the ban applied.
MAPS including Israel—Also banned! In Jordan, as with other places in the Middle East, Israel is not on their maps.
They’re playing “Let’s Pretend.”
If they could, it seems like Jordan, like ancient Moab, would seek to have a curse placed on Israel.
QUESTION: Don’t Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty in effect?
ANSWER: Yes…signed in 1994. In Washington D. C. there gathered together President Clinton, King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin of Israel where they signed the “Washington Declaration.” That piece of paper proclaimed that “the state of belligerency between Israel and Jordan has been terminated” and included other nice-sounding words.
Yet…King Hussein continued, in agreement with his people, to make false charges against Israel, accusing the Israelis of killing Arab children en masse. And NOTE this: the Jordan street got no news of the peace agreement through Israeli television, only from Al-Jazeera.
A Recent Word from Jordan
Jordanian Academic Dr. Ahmad Shahrouri, professor at Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, spelled out his thinking about the Jewish people—Jordan’s neighbors.
In a television address on July 14, 2019, he said that all the land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, insisting that the Muslim conflict with the Jews is an existential conflict. He described the Palestinians as that land’s eternal people who have lived there for 7,000 years. He says that just because the Jews passed through that land for what he says was just a 70-year period in ancient history, it gives them no rights whatever to the land.
This is a professor at the University of Jordan, state-supported, the oldest, largest and most prestigious university in Jordan.
Much could be said about the privileges that Palestinians enjoy in Israel, but this one is key: the Arabic language is a required course in all Israeli schools. Many more Palestinian privileges are enumerated in my book: Israel the Chosen.
Dr. Shahrouri blasted the present State of Israel and all Jews in that land by this statement: “It is either us or the Jews in Palestine. When Jews say Jerusalem is theirs, I want to smash their heads.” (MEMRI, July 14, 2019)
To the Muslims of the Middle East, Israel is a cancer in the body of the Arab nation. You see, geographically, Israel is right there in the middle of Muhammed’s body.
The Rejection is so complete that one must not and cannot speak that hated particular proper noun-- I S R A E L .
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The Desired Curse
In the Old Testament story of the ancient Israelites trudging towards the Promised Land (Numbers 22-24), the king of Moab (just east of the Dead Sea) refused permission for the Israelites to use the Moabite road north. Instead, he found a prophet who he hoped would pronounce a curse on the Israelites. The prophet he found was a non-Israelite whom the king was certain would comply—Balaam.
But though Balaam wanted to please the king of Moab, he found he could not. He couldn’t, because the Lord God of Israel, God Almighty, so impressed that old prophet Balaam, and the sight of Israel in such a beautiful and orderly encampment--also so impressive, that it made a curse impossible.
So instead, we have Balaam’s poetically beautiful BLESSING upon Israel which is recorded in Numbers Chapter 24. (The whole story is in Numbers 22-24)
The oracle of Baalam, the son of Beor,
The oracle of the man whose eye is opened,
The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
Who see the vision of the Almighty….
How lovely are your tents, O Jacob,
Your encampments, O Israel!
Like palm groves that stretch afar,
Like gardens beside a river,
Like aloes that the Lord has planted,
Like cedar trees beside the waters…
He crouched, he laid down like a lion
And like a lioness, who will rouse him up?
Blessed are those who bless you,
And cursed are those who curse you.
And so, the leaders of Jordan would do well to come to terms with the chosen people of the Lord: your curses will not work; your threats are meaningless; and it would be well with you if you would accept those whom God is blessing (though your religion sees the Jews as descendents of pigs and monkeys.
NOTE: The present-day nation of Jordan includes, in its territory, the ancient territory of Moab where the plan to curse Israel was originally hatched. Israel’s history is Israel’s present!