Dec 29, 2009

Tough Times

Jim FletcherBy Jim Fletcher

It’s pretty easy to say that Israel is in the most difficult spot of its 60-year existence.

Iran is the obvious threat, with its nukes on the horizon. The Islamic state is the biggest sponsor of terror in the world, and has placed Hezbollah on Israel’s northern doorstep. Further funding of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and who knows how many other groups make the whole region a powder keg.

Then there are the political developments. As Europe plunges deeper into a pagan world view — I insist that the Continent’s real problem was its abandonment of the Bible more than a hundred years ago — so she drifts farther from Israel. It isn’t mentioned often, but this is why Europe’s capitols harbor such vile hatred for the Jewish state. They first bought into Replacement Theology, then abandoned theology altogether.

Then there are the conventional threats to Israel; Pakistan and India are always a step away from nuclear showdown, but just watch a common cause develop, and they’ll turn their attention in that direction. It is not out of the realm of possibility that they will look westward. And we know from Revelation that a gigantic army from the east does just that in the last days.

Of course, there are also the political attempts to liquidate the Jewish state. First, by establishing another Arab state (“Palestine”) on half of Israel. Secondly, if that attempt fails, a bi-national state has been proffered. This would mean an end to a Jewish majority.

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu also faces a real threat to Israel’s deterrence, if he agrees to Hamas’s demands to free prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit. Bending to that pressure would further erode Israel’s reputation for bold action.

But through all this, it would be a mistake to assume that Israel has not been down this road before, and ended each episode in triumph. This is where the Mystery of History factors in.

In 1948, David Ben Gurion was facing some pretty serious threats. His “air force” consisted of a few rattle-trap planes. His regular army, many of them survivors of the Holocaust — doctors, lawyers, accountants — were learning to fire weapons, literally on the run. The battles for Latrun, Jerusalem, and other key spots indicated quite clearly that Someone was fighting for the Jews. They should have been wiped out.

Another somewhat overlooked threat came in 1964, when the PLO was formed with key help from the Egyptians. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood, spiritual forefather of Al Qaida, provided all sorts of help for the “Palestine Liberation Organization,” and cross-border terrorist actions kept Israel constantly vigilant. Yasser Arafat’s elevation to chairman of the PLO ensured that a psychopath would head the organization for decades.

Still, Israel is here.

Who can forget another existential threat, the Yom Kippur War? Only six years after the war victory of biblical proportions — The Six-Day War — Israel was pushed to the brink by a surprise attack by Syria and Egypt. Israel’s Golda Meir had been warned, but decided against a preemptive strike. The subsequent invasion by the two Muslim neighbors almost cost Israel everything.

Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s famous remark, that the “Third Commonwealth” was in danger (hearkening back to the First and Second Temple periods), exposed the seriousness of the situation. Several days of desperate fighting culminated in Ariel Sharon’s famous crossing of the Suez Canal, which forced a cease-fire.

That engagement led to the series of horribly misguided peace efforts that have led us to where we are today: Israel still in peril, and the nations blind to the evil designs of the Arab states.

Again, though, Israel is still here. Against all odds.

I fully expect, because our Creator has revealed His power to us time after time, that Israel will continue to survive. The decisions facing Benjamin Netanyahu will become mere footnotes of history, stretching back to the first Jewish leader, Abraham.

God walked with the man from Ur. He still walks with his descendants.

Related Links

Iran to launch counterattack if Israel strikes - Ynetnews
Hamas: Shalit swap negotiations still ongoing - Ha'aretz
Netanyahu returns after meeting Mubarak - Jerusalem Post
Israel says Jewish immigration up 17 pct in 2009 - European Jewish Press
It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine): How to stop worrying and learn to love these End Times - Jim Fletcher (Book)