Pieces in Our Time?
Vol: 48 Issue: 24 Saturday, September 24, 2005
Israel launched an air strike on two cars driving in Gaza City on Saturday, killing at least four Hamas terrorist operatives and wounding at least nine others.
The strike was in retaliation for an ongoing rocket barrage launched against Israeli cities by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
Israel had promised a “crushing” response to the rocket attacks, which lightly wounded five Israelis, and has massed troops along the Gaza border.
Israel had moved artillery cannons, tanks and ground forces to the Gaza border and threatened the “crushing” response Saturday, after Israeli towns were hit by the first major Hamas rocket barrage from the coastal territory since Israel’s pullout two weeks earlier.
Ariel Sharon called his Security Cabinet for a meeting to approve the military’s response, which is expected to last for several days.
The escalation was set off by an explosion Friday at a Hamas rally in the crowded Jebaliya refugee camp in which at least 15 Palestinians were killed. Hamas was holding a ‘military’ parade and showing off its weapons when a truckload of homemade explosives went off.
The explosion was witnessed by hundreds of Palestinians. Still, Hamas blamed Israel for its misfortune, launching the rocket attacks in ‘retaliation’ for the unrelated accident.
Israel closed its borders with the West Bank and Gaza Strip, meaning thousands of Palestinian laborers won’t be able to get to jobs in Israel.
But, to the average Gaza citizen Israel’s reprisals and the hardships they caused are increasingly being blamed on Hamas instead of Israel.
Many Gazans had also hoped for a return to calm after Israel’s pullout, and Israeli sources are hopeful that the new round of airstrikes will turn the local population against Hamas.
“We have to make it clear to the Palestinians that Israel will not let the recent events pass without a response,” Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said in a statement, referring to the Hamas rocket fire. “The response needs to be crushing.”
Since Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, it has become increasingly obvious that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has lost control of the Hamas-dominated Gaza population.
Yuval Diskin, in his first on-the-record briefing since taking over the Shin Bet security service in May, said the Palestinian Authority’s ability to enforce law and order in Gaza to be “negligible at best.”
Diskin said he is concerned that groups linked to the al-Qaeda terror network would find their way into Israel or the Gaza Strip over the newly porous border between Egypt and Gaza, following Israel’s withdrawal this month from the coastal strip.
In Egypt’s Sinai desert, “there is a strong infrastructure of world terror linked to al-Qaeda — stronger than the Egyptians themselves were aware of,” Diskin said. “The Egyptians are having a hard time getting on top of it.”
Diskin said he was afraid weapons smuggled into Gaza weapons would eventually find their way into the West Bank and violent groups would shift their focus there. Hamas has credited its attacks for driving Israel out of Gaza, and is calling for redoubled efforts in the West Bank, where Israel has 246,000 settlers.
Celebrations at the evacuated Samarian settlements continued Wednesday. Dozens of gunmen from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a violent group with ties to Abbas’ Fatah movement, fired in the air.
“This is our victory … the victory of your weapons,” Zakariye Zubeydi, a leader of the gunmen, told several hundred supporters. “We will continue to expel them (Israelis) from every centimeter of Palestine.”
With Palestinian lawmakers preparing a no-confidence motion Monday because of lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza, Abbas allies were exploring the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle to head it off.
If this were anywhere else in the world except Israel, the world would have long since sighed, shrugged its shoulders and told Israel to do what it had to do to restore order.
If this were anywhere else in the world, either Gaza would be under Israeli control, or under Palestinian control. But because this is Israel, when the Palestinians can’t control it, it becomes Israel’s fault.
If this were any other country in the world except Israel, the world would long since have abandoned its mad plan to turn part of Israel over to a cadre of admitted terrorists whose ultimate goal is Israel’s destruction, recognizing that a state made up of terrorists would be a terrorist state.
But this IS Israel, where the natural order of global politics does not apply. The world despises Israel, although it cannot quite put its finger on why.
Whatever human-rights violation charge can be hurled against Israel pales by comparison to those of Islamic countries, like Somalia, Sudan, Iran, or Syria. But nobody is demanding that an Islamic/Arab state give up any of its land for a homeland for Islamic Arabs.
Israel is the only Western democracy in the Middle East, surrounded by a sea of Islamic/Arab dictators, kings, despots and hereditary dynasties.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East that guarantees the basic freedoms of speech, assembly and religion to its citizens. Israel grants Islamic-Arab citizens equal rights with Israeli-Jewish citizens.
In Islamic-Arab countries, Jews have long since been deported, murdered or otherwise ethnically cleansed from Islamic territory. Freedom of religion is non-existent, as is freedom of speech or freedom of assembly.
Yet Israel is the evil entity whose oppression of the Islamic Arabs stands head and shoulders above the blood-stained repression pf dictators like Bashar Assad, Hosni Mubarak, or King Abdullah al Saud.
Indeed, Israel is so universally regarded as an evil usurper ‘stealing’ its its one-sixth of one percent of ‘Arab’ land that any nation who allies itself with Israel finds itself isolated from the rest of the global community.
Consequently, only one nation does consistently stand with Israel — the United States. As a result, Israel and the United States vie for the honor of being declared Islam’s Number One enemy.
How is it that the world’s two most hated countries are the two most closely identified with the Bible? If Israel is the world’s only Jewish state, it follows that America is the world’s only Christian country.
And their most implacable shared enemy is Islam — which claims descendancy from both Judaism and Christianity.
In reality, this is a spiritual conflict that has been ongoing since Michael was delayed from appearing to Daniel by the Prince of Persia. But, as we approach the final hours of the last days, that conflict is spilling out into this dimension, precisely as Scripture predicted.
The central prize in this spiritual war is what it has always been — possession of Jerusalem.
The world hates Israel because it is a constant reminder of God. Israel’s restoration after all these centuries nags at the global conscience; God said He would restore Israel to her original land grant in the last days, and there it is!
Paul described the mindset this way: “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.” (Romans 1:29)
The existence of Israel is just not convenient to the spirit of humanism that rules most of the world in these last days. It would be much better if Israel just sort of went away, allowing them to believe that Israel’s restoration was just a political coincidence, and her destruction would remove that nagging doubt about God.
So Israel keeps on making suicidal concessions, which in turn serve as a springboard for demands for even more suicidal conditions.
Eventually, Israel will either concede itself out of existence or be so weakened as to fall to the sword of Islam.
Either way, the whole ‘God’s Chosen People’ thing will be put to rest.
The ‘Road Map To Peace’ initiative is dead, whether the Quartet is prepared to admit it or not. Israel has no qualified interlocutor with whom to negotiate, and the terms of the negotiations are impossible to meet without committing national suicide.
“They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” wrote the prophet Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11)
The prophet Daniel predicted Israel would exist in a state of constant war until the Antichrist ‘confirms’ an existing seven-year covenant between Israel and ‘the many’.
That event signals the kick-off for the 70th week of Daniel and launches what we know as the Tribulation Period.
The 7 year agreement Daniel foretold exists. Israel exists. A revived form of the Roman Empire exists. The conflict exists. And the clock continues to tick.
Tick, tick, tick.