“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
Originally published on Bible in the News:
July 25, 2014 – Audio, 26.55 MIN
As war rages on in the Middle East, Israel, and Jews all over the world are finding themselves being demonized by the world media.
This week saw several disturbing developments where public opinion moved against Israel in the face of the facts. The rise of anti-Semitism in Europe is especially alarming.
Fires of Anti-Semitism Rage in Europe
Uninformed and fuelled by media bias protests have sprung up all over the world. The most violent of these have been in France where riots have broken out, and Jewish stores and synagogues have been targeted. This isn’t an isolated situation that has been overblown. Even Laurent Fabius, Frances Foreign Minister, reflected that many Jews in France are afraid. Reuters reported Frances Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, confirmed that chants of “Death to the Jews” had been heard during a protested earlier.
In the first three months of 2014 more Jews left France for Israel than at any other time since the Jewish state was created in 1948, citing economic hardships in the stagnating economy but also rising anti-Semitism as a factor.
The cries of “death to the Jews” erupted into active violence July 13, 2014. The Jerusalem Post reported:
Palestinian sympathizers outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in central Paris that trapped some 200 terrified people inside the building. A street brawl ensued between the rioters and dozens of Jewish men who arrived to defend the synagogue.
The Article went on to state:
Since Israel launched its military operation against Hamas in Gaza, Jewish houses of worship in and around Paris have been targets.
On the Friday before the violence at the Synagogue de la Roquette, a firebomb was hurled at the entrance to a synagogue in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. The next day, a pro-Palestinian crowd gathered outside a synagogue in the Belleville neighbourhood of Paris and chanted about slaughtering Jews. And on the same day as the Roquette synagogue incident, rioters also attacked the nearby Synagogue de la rue des Tournelles.
The riot outside the Synagogue de la Roquette stood out because of the terror it incurred for those inside the shul who had assembled for a gathering in solidarity with Israel….
The police on the scene initially were badly outnumbered by the pro-Palestinian rioters. Azria said the five police officers present focused their efforts on guarding the building’s barricaded entrance while they waited approximately 10 minutes for backup to arrive.
The president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, called the incident an “attempted pogrom.”
Not only this, but Jewish store windows were smashed throughout Paris, reminiscent of Kristallnacht, or the night of broken glass that occurred November 9, 1938 at the incitement of Nazi officials. During this horrific event, Nazi storm troopers along with members of the SS and Hitler Youth beat and murdered Jews, broke into and wrecked Jewish homes, and brutalized Jewish women and children. All over Germany, Austria and other Nazi controlled areas, Jewish shops and department stores had their windows smashed and contents destroyed. Synagogues were especially targeted for vandalism, including desecration of sacred Torah scrolls. Hundreds of synagogues were systematically burned while local fire departments stood by or simply prevented the fire from spreading to surrounding buildings. An estimated 100 Jews were killed on this terrible night, while 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
The parallels to Kristallnacht demonstrate that the current crisis in the Middle East, and the backlash to Jews throughout the world, is not merely a localized political struggle but a religious and ethnic one. Jews are being targeted in Israel and all over the world because they are Jews. The world has learned nothing since 1938. During that time the world stood idle by while Jews were attacked.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
The growth of anti-semitism in Europe is to be expected prior to the invasion described in Ezekiel, Joel and Zechariah where the nations of Europe and Russia turn “against my people of Israel”. World opinion is turning against Israel at a shocking rate, and at shockingly high levels.
Tragic Media Bias
Perhaps a perfect example of tragic media bias was highlighted in an interview between Israeli Ambassador Ron Demer and CNN anchor Erin Burnett:
“What happened here is horrific, and we don’t yet even know the scale of how many children may have died. Initial reports indicate that at least sixteen are dead and the initial report said that this attack had come from Israeli tanks. As you know the Israeli military said it may have come from Hamas and a rocket which misfired. Do you know at this point with any more certainty?”
“No, I don’t know, but I do know who’s responsible for it, and that’s Hamas, because they’re using schools as weapons depots. And I think it would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter in Gaza not to mention that in the last week, we had two different UNRWA schools, where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas….”
“These are two different UN schools, you’re saying.”
“That’s correct, that’s publicly available information. It’s kind of an important fact for your reporter to mention. And in addition to that, he may have wanted to mention a statement that was made by – not by the Israeli Ambassador, not by the spokesman of the IDF – but by the UN Secretary General, yesterday. Not last year, yesterday. He said this:”
“The Secretary-General is alarmed to hear that rockets were placed in an UNRWA school in Gaza and that subsequently these have gone missing. He expresses his outrage, and regret, at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school…. By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities, and anyone using the UN schools as shelter.”
“This is yesterday. Do you not think that it’s relevant to report on CNN that the secretary general of the UN yesterday warned against the use of UN schools and shelter for rocket missile depots of Hamas…..[Ambassador it is relevant but let me ask…] I’ve been listening for two hours of reports on CNN. I’ve seen split screens, horrible pictures that any decent human being would be horrified by. I have not hear a single person say what I just said to you now. And I think that that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgements. Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world at Hamas to end this.”
And so the interview went on with the ridiculous notion that Israel should have entered hostile territory, sent soldiers into the school where they were being fired on from and checked it out before firing back.
UN Accuses Israel of War Crimes
While addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has suggested that the Israeli military might have committed war crimes by shelling and launching airstrikes on civilian neighbourhoods in Gaza.
We are continuing to document several other cases in which family residences were destroyed, with reported loss of civilian life, and in which preliminary indications suggest, not even a single member of an armed group was present. Then just two days ago, on 21st July, shells hit the Al-Aqsa hospital in Der-Albella, reportedly killing three people, and wounding dozens of others including doctors.
These are just a few instances where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes, Every one of these incidents must be properly and independently investigated.”
Israel is charged with war crimes for defending itself from the shower of rockets by trying to take out the network built by the attackers.
When the investigation was put up to a vote, 29 countries voted in favor, 17 countries abstained and only the U.S. voted against the initiative.
Never in the history of warfare does the attacked supply the enemy with food, water and medical supplies in the heat of the conflict. Maybe after, but never during. Yet Israel has repeatedly done this.
Israel is under siege as was described by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview:
We regret any civilian death, but those lay entirely at Hamas’ door. Hamas is deliberately targeting our civilians. They have fired 2000 rockets at Israel’s cities. 75% of our population has to be in bomb shelter alert of 60-90 seconds. They are digging these terror tunnels from Gaza, from homes in Gaza to penetrate Israeli territory. They have emerged there and killed Israeli’s and run back, or tried to run back into their territory. So we’ve had to take action.
What Hamas is doing, very cynically, is embedding its rocketeers, its rocket caches, it tunnels, terror tunnels in homes, in hospitals, and in schools. When we take action, as targeted as we can, they then use their civilians as human shields. So Hamas is both targeting civilians and hiding behind civilians. That is a double war crime. Therefore all civilian deaths fall on their shoulders….
Netanyahu went on to point out that Hamas wants to kill its own citizens:
The interesting thing is this, we’ve asked the civilian population in Gaza, the people, who are not our enemy, they are hostages of Hamas, we’ve asked them, “please leave”. We’ve texted messages to them, we’ve called them up with cell phones, we’ve dropped leaflets. Hamas says no, don’t leave stay… They have plenty of exit points and they know it, but Hamas is saying, “don’t use them”. Hamas wants to kill civilians on the Israeli side, and the amazing, grotesque and gruesome fact is, they want to have as many civilians killed on the Palestinian side, because it gets you to ask me these questions. Of course our goal is not to hurt a single individual, not to hut a single civilian. What they are doing is a double war crime, and it should be condemned with the most forceful action. These people are like ISIS, they are Al Qaeda, they are like Hezbollah, and the other Iranian proxies. They don’t give a whit about the Palestinians, and all they want is more civilian deaths….
The Israeli prime minister also pointed out that Israel has done what the international community has asked and this has created the vacuum for Hamas to thrive:
We handed over Gaza to the Palestinians. We did what the international community has always been telling us: “Take out the settlements, go back to the 1967 lines, hand back the key to the PA.” We did, to the Palestinian Authority they promptly were booted out by Hamas. Hamas with Iran at its back, as Iran has been financing , equipping them, training them, giving them thousands and thousands of rockets. They have turned Gaza into a terror fortress. I think the goal will be after we have obtained a sustainable quiet, to work with the international community, to demilitarize Gaza from the rockets, and to shut down these terror attack tunnels….
In response to questions, Netanyahu confirmed that Israel has agreed to 3 separate cease fires, while Hamas as refused them all:
But you are right about one thing, I accepted, I called for a cease fire right away. Then I accepted the Egyptian ceasefire, backed up by the Arab League. Then I accepted a UN humanitarian cease fire, which Hamas rejected as well. Then we did a humanitarian cease fire, which Hamas has rejected too. Hamas doesn’t care. I think the last thing you want to do is reward them….
The Lengths Which Israel Goes to Protect Civilians
I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.
Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.
Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population.
Hamas, like Hezbollah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents.
The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights….
During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks.
Despite all of this, of course innocent civilian lives were lost . War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes.
More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice its own civilians.
The world has learned nothing from what happened in Cast Lead and has risen to condemn Israel again. In an interview just the other day, Kemp addressed the same scenario Israel is facing today:
There are war crimes being committed in Gaza, and the death of children, babies, men, and women in Gaza is undoubtedly a war crime. But it is a war crime being committed by Hamas, not by Israel. As far as I can see, and I have watched this campaign very closely, Israel is conducting the campaign in an exemplary fashion. Of course there will be mistakes, and there are errors and difficulties… but Israel as far as I can see is exercising the maximum possible restraint. The only thing they can do, short of what they are doing, is sit back and take it from Hamas. They cannot do that. How can the government of Israel allow its civilian population to be hammered by missiles time and time again and do nothing about it. There is no country in this world, including the United Kingdom who would put up with missiles coming in towards it citizens and sit back and take it.
When asked about the concept of Israel using disproportionate force, this was his response:
I have heard a number of people such as Ban Ki-Moon, and our own Prime Minister David Cameron, and President Obama, suggesting that Israel should do more, and in some cases saying that Israel should do more, to protect civilian life. I’d like to hear them explain what it is that Israel should do? As a man of 30 years military experience I cannot think of one single thing that Israel can do more to protect civilian life than what they are doing now. I think they have gone further than other country, any other military, that I’m aware of, or that I’ve seen in taking such steps to stop the death of innocent civilians. But when you are fighting an enemy, Hamas, who wants you to kill their civilians, who sometimes force their civilians to stay on military objectives that you are legitimately attacking, casualties are inevitable….
Colonel Kemp also said Hamas was not alone to blame in the tragedy that has happened in Gaza:
The international community, I think, should bear some culpability, because Israel was subject to month after month, even in this round, of rocket attacks, delivered onto its territory. Despite the Israeli ambassador in the UN, appealing for the UN to something to try and mitigate this and bring pressure down, the UN ignored it, so I think there is culpability outside.
The reality is the world is drunk with the wine of the media distorting fact and judging the situation by distorted sound-bites and video clips skewed to paint Israel as the “bad guy”. Really, it is a demonstration of an age-old hatred that predates the Nazis, the inquisition, the Romans, Greeks or Babylonians… it goes back to the beginning. It is the enmity that exists between the people God chose to put his name on, and those who are not interested in God’s ways:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
The scriptures predict that the world will turn things upside down:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
This is exactly what we are seeing in the world today. A wicked organization like Hamas is being defended by the Media, while Israel who is trying to defend itself is being condemned throughout the world.
In fact, a first century Jew, the Apostle Paul wrote the following of the way the world would end up if it rejected the knowledge of God:
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:28–32)
The world does not like to retain God in its knowledge, and gullibly uses media manipulation to frame its morality. The description in Romans fits what we are seeing today Hamas, the media who support it, and the UN have become “inventors of evil things.” One of the accusations is that they are “without natural affection” which is defined as heartless, or lacking normal human affection. This couldn’t more aptly describe a government that willingly sacrifices its own children to gain media attention. This is like the child worship of Molech performed by the ancient Canaanite nations inhabiting the same regions. Christian governments should not make the mistake of sanctioning child sacrifice and having “pleasure in them that do them”.
The battle that is really raging is one for truth, as was pointed out by Netanyahu in 2012 when addressing a group of Israeli young people:
If I said what is the greatest battle we face, of course we live in a tough neighborhood, and we have to defend ourselves. We have the bravest soldiers in the world to do that. But the most important battle we have to fight is the battle for the truth, and all of you can become ambassadors for the truth, and ambassadors for Israel.
Britain Defends Israel
One of the bright sparks out of this whole conflagration has been Britain’s realization of Israel’s plight. When Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond visited Israel this week, he and Netanyahu held a joint press conference :
I think you as a representative of the UK, of Britain, have a special understanding, at least an historical understanding of what Israel is undergoing. There has only been one other instance where a democracy has been rocketed and pelleted by these projectiles of death, and that is Britain during WWII. Israel is undergoing a similar bombardment now. We are responding in our own way, by targeting the rocketeers and seeking to ferret out these terrorists, who are hiding behind civilians while firing at our civilians. This is a double war crime….
Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond had the following to say:
I am here because the UK, along with the rest of the international community, is determined to do what it can to help to bring this current conflict to a quick end. Britain has been very clear, I have been very clear, Prime Minister Cameron has been very clear, that this current cycle of violence was triggered by Hamas firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli towns and cities indiscriminately, and in breach of international humanitarian law. Britain has also been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens….
Bible students have been expecting Britain to support Israel eventually, because she is the Merchant of Tarshish who is joined by the young lions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States in opposing Israel’s invasion in the latter days, for we read:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Britain at times looses its way, and forgets what direction the prophets have pointed it in, but the angelic hand turns them around the job designated in the scriptures in the end. In America the House of Representatives approved a non-binding resolution backing Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks.
What can we do. The most powerful weapon is prayer. James tells us,
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
So we are instructed in the Psalms:
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, And prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.” (Psalm 122:6–8)
So the duty of all Bible believers is to fervently make this prayer, continually:
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, Which shall never hold their peace day nor night: Ye that make mention of the LORD, Keep not silence, And give him no rest, Till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6–7)
What we look forward to is the day when Moshiach, the Messiah is revealed, described by Isaiah:
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and might, The spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, Neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, And reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, And faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” (Isaiah 11:1–5)
We look forward for that day. Join us next week for another edition of the Bible in the news on bibleinthenews.com. This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.