Re posted from “Bible in the News“:
“It’s a war that is the end result of decades worth of fear and hatred on both sides”; so said a Facebook comment concerning the current war in Gaza. And many reasonable people view the long running conflict, between Jew and Arab in the Middle East, in this way.
But the strange thing is that if you ask an Israeli if he hates the Arabs, you are unlikely to get an affirmative. Even those Jews, often described as “militant settlers” by the media, not because they use violence, but simply because they’ve bought a home in what the world sees as the wrong place, and believe Bible prophecy; even they give surprisingly mild responses.
Hello this is Nick Barnes with Bible in the News.
One Jewish so-called militant I know, lives on the Mount of Olives, on the edge of Silwan, in a single Jewish apartment block, surrounded by Arabs homes. He was asked if he was afraid for his small children in such a place. His answer was that he teaches his children not to be afraid and not to hate.
And even in Israel’s very recent history, this imagined reciprocation of hatred is blatantly false. This current Gaza crisis began when three Jewish students, returning from school, were snatched from the street. The Arab population rejoiced, handing out sweets in the street, raising the new three fingered salute and chanting “death to the Jews”; and while the BBC reported that the Palestinian Authority were co-operating with the search, the official PA website displayed a cartoon showing three rats on the end of a fishing rod. In contrast, when an Arab teenager, Mohammed Abu Khadir, was murdered three weeks later, Israelis, high and low, expressed their shock, their revulsion, and their sympathy for the family. Even the mother of one of the three Israeli boys, said
“The murderers of our children, whoever sent them, whoever helped them, whoever incited towards that murder, will all be brought to justice. But it will be them and no innocent people. No mother or father should go through what we are going through now, and we share the pain of the parents of Mohammed Abu Khadir.”
Of course, this unidirectional hatred, of Israel, by the nations, is part of the curse delivered in Lev 26 & Deut 28. God says to Israel in Lev 26:17
I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
And all down the centuries the nations have found many and varied, and yet spurious reasons to hate the Jews. They have persecuted them; they have driven them from land to land. Pogroms, ghettoes, special taxes, laws against them owning land or marrying gentiles; death by fire; death by drowning; death by torture; the Jews have suffered this “perpetual hatred”.
And this hatred continues to this day. In many cases it is dressed up in a humanitarian and politically correct guise; facts are distorted; lies are told; balance and objectivity are abandoned; to allow a myth of genocide and apartheid to be spread.
The United Nations, for example, is generally seen as an organisation dedicated to preventing and mitigating warfare; as the forum for airing and solving disputes, and above all as the neutral and objective arbiter of international law, so that the poor and weak can be protected from aggression.
The reality is that the UN is simply a forum for countries to pursue their own self interest. Resolutions are passed, not because they are just, but because they suit the ends of those who can command a majority. Commissions and agencies are established to further the political ends of dictators and tyrants, and for this reason, it is well worth watching the satirical sketch “The one about the UN”, available on YouTube (1) – see link below.
The United Nations includes more than fifty Islamic countries, another 50 are Catholic countries (and only today Bolivia has declared Israel a terrorist state), together with anti-western countries that see Israel as an easy target. Consequently, from its creation in 1948, the Jewish State has always suffered at the hands of the UN. In all its major wars with the surrounding Arab countries, including the 1948-1949 war of independence, the UN has stood aside when Israel appeared likely to lose, and then intervened to impose ceasefires as soon as events moved in Israel’s favour.
And today there are many examples of the UN’s systemic anti-Semitism, but one will suffice – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East; UNRWA for short.
There are two United Nations bodies which deal with refugees; UNRWA, which is responsible for Palestinian refugees, and UNHCR, which takes charge of all other refugees throughout all 196 countries of the world. The funny thing is, that UNHCR, with its massive responsibility for the whole world, has less than 7000 employees (5), while UNRWA, who only support Palestinians have over 30,000 (4). And the UNRWA budget (2), is nearly half that of UNHCR (3).
It is UNRWA who is usually being quoted, when the media refers to the UN, as related to Israeli-Palestinian affairs. It is UNRWA’s officials and spokesmen who stand before the cameras as representing the neutral and objective view. And yet over 99% of UNRWA’s 30,000 employees are local Palestinians, and even the few non-Palestinian directors and spokesmen are people who have dedicated their lives to the cause. It is a travesty for media outlets to present men such as Christopher Gunness and Bob Turner as objective, humanitarian, witnesses to the conflict.
Ironically, UNRWA has completely different rules to UNHCR for determining who is a refugee (14, 15). Under UNHCR rules, you are only a refugee if you personally had to flee from your home country. Any children, born subsequently, should be accepted as citizens in the country where they were born, and be integrated by that state, and UNHCR works to see that this is what happens. In contrast, most UNRWA refugees are grand-children or great-grand-children of those who fled in 1948 and have never even seen the land claimed for them. Consequently, this means that if the normal rules were applied, instead of there being 5 or 6 million refugees, there would probably be less refugees(6) than there are UNRWA workers!
What is more important, however, is that the refugee camps should have long since disappeared. These refugees should have been absorbed into their host countries, in the same way that over 100 million refugees, under the care of UNHCR, have since the 2nd World War. However UNRWA has connived to keep them in camps, instead of working for their integration and acceptance as normal citizens (9, 10, 11), and in countries such as Lebanon and Syria, the camps are essentially prisons, in which they are detained. They are denied citizenship, though born there, and prevented from obtaining employment, purchasing property or accessing school and medical services (7).
UNRWA’s policy has proved incredibly expensive, and as number of these unfortunates grows, the problem becomes bigger each year. Nevertheless, this evil system has been perpetuated, to prevent a solution. In practice Israel’s enemies have been allowed to use these people as pawns in the campaign to destroy the Jewish state.
But God is allowing this madness to continue for a purpose; we read in Zech 14
Zec 14:1-4 KJV – 1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives
Today the nations are fighting against Jerusalem in word, diplomatically, by boycott, divestment and sanctions. Today the media focuses on Israel, in a way which excites the hatred of people all over the world. Tomorrow the fruits of this hatred will “gather these nations against Jerusalem to battle”. And “Behold”, God warns, “the day of the LORD cometh” and in that day “shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle”.
And the reason God will go forth to fight against the nations, is at least in part vengeance for what they have done against his people and against his land. We read in Isa 34v1
Isa 34:1-2, 8 KJV – 1 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. 2 For the indignation of the LORD [is] upon all nations, and [his] fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. … 8 For [it is] the day of the LORD’S vengeance…
The day of His revenge
…[and] the year of recompences
…for the controversy of Zion.
And likewise we find in Joel 3, v1
Joe 3:1-21 KJV – 1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,
…so it is clearly in the time of the restoration of Jews to the land…
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there…
…or judge them there – why?
… for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
And this is why he is to judge them; for or because of his people, who they have scattered and His land which they have parted.
And this pattern is seen in many of the “Armageddon” chapters. And so in Eze 38v3 and 39v1 God says
“Behold, I am against thee, O Gog”
And in Eze 38v10 we are told that Gog’s intention to invade the mountains of Israel is an “evil thought”. Consequently God says to to Gog in Eze 38v15
Eze 38:15-19 KJV – 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. 17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days [many] years that I would bring thee against them. 18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, [that] my fury shall come up in my face. 19 For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
This year there have been over 28,000 deaths in Syria, more than 7000 in Iraq, 5000 in Nigeria, 2300 in Pakistan and 1200 in the Central African Republic (8). In these wars, there have been mass civilian executions, beheadings, crucifixions and generally little effort protect non-combatants. Yet Israel, who has done more to protect civilians in a combat zone, than any other combatant in the history of warfare (12, 13), is the country being vilified yet again.
We yearn for the day when…
…out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Until then, God willing, we have opportunity to learn from God’s word, and to familiarise ourselves with Bible prophecy, so that we can see God’s hand moving the nations according to His purpose. This is Nick Barnes; see you again soon (God willing) for another edition of Bible in the News.
- 1. “The one about the UN” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW4FTAcwL0k
- 2. UNRWA budget 2013-2014 is US$1.4billion http://www.unrwa.org/how-you-can-help/how-we-spend-funds/core-programme-budget
- 3. UNHCR 2013 Budget US$3.0billion http://www.unhcr.org/51c991a79.html
- 4. UNRWA has over 30,000 staff http://www.unrwa.org/careers/working-unrwa
- 5. UNHCR has only 6,696 http://www.unhcr.org.uk/about-us/key-facts-and-figures.html
- 6. There are less than 50,000 Palestinian refugees by UNHCR rules http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugee
- 7. Conditions in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon http://www.anera.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/LEBRefugeeReport.pdf
- 8. Ongoing wars http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts
- 9. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=124×213594
- 10. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/How-UNRWA-became-a-barrier-to-peace
- 11. http://docstalk.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/unrwa-barrier-to-peace.html
- 12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM0fTss0UX4
- 13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOKAL_Y3xYY
- 14. http://www.unrwa.org/palestine-refugees
- 15. http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=179&Itemid=54