Dec 29, 2008

Grieving Over Gaza

By Jim Fletcher

When Ariel Sharon led an operation inside the Gaza Strip in 1971, that should have finished the matter of Palestinian terrorism. The Israel Defense Forces, including elite commando units, rooted-out PLO/Fatah and calm prevailed there for some time. Of course, any time in the last decades when Israel was not vigilant militarily in Gaza, chaos reigns.

Besides the military/terror threat to Israel emanating from that cesspool, there has been a steady campaign to take away Israel’s legitimacy from the area. Up until the time of the painful withdrawal of thousands of Jewish citizens in Gaza communities in 2005, it was being said that the Jews had no historical claim to the area, anyway.

Wrong. Of course.

The place is promised to the tribe of Judah eternally by our Creator. Look at a map in the back of your Bible; there you’ll see the inheritance. Samson was from Gaza. The region is part of the Land of Israel.

Needless to say, this is a laughingstock in our culture today, this idea. “Greater Israel” is an idea that has been discredited by scholars, politicians, media figures, even Christian leaders! The History Channel, news magazines (propaganda rags), and even Christian publications constantly attempt to marginalize Israel, in order to shrink her geographically.

Rockets are fired from Gaza every day into Israel. The world is silent. Now, Israel is forced to contemplate another venture into Gaza, into the teeth of millions of angry Muslims. Hamas now has a 16,000-man virtual army, with sophisticated equipment and 50 miles of tunnels for the carrying of ammunition and weaponry.

It is supremely ironic that Sharon himself carried out the withdrawal from Gaza over three years ago. No one knows the terrain of the country better than “The Bulldozer.” Sharon fought in all Israel’s wars and was staunchly committed to her security. Then, for reasons known only to him, it was decided that no Jew would live in Gaza; the hothouses and homes and farms would be abandoned, left to a sick enemy.

Sharon now lies in the twilight of a coma that has finally taken his 80-year-old body. He knows nothing of the chaos fostered by Hamas.

Yet Sharon, reviled by so many Jewish and Christian Zionists, rescued his people time and again before beginning his fateful premiership. His political heirs, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni, have bungled Israel’s deterrent ability and now her enemies sit in the night, licking their lips in anticipation of finally defeating the “Zionist Entity.”

You know the situation must be dire when lame-ducks like Olmert and Livni mull a military operation.

But here I would caution my pro Israel friends not to judge too harshly. Even if Bibi Netanyahu wins the February elections (and indications are that he will), even the only strong leader Israel has will be tested like few can comprehend.

None of us know or understand even a little the intense international pressure brought to bear on Israeli leaders, whenever her satanic enemies threaten to wipe her out.

Notice, though, this irony that cannot be mere historical coincidence.

A decade ago, when Netanyahu was prime minister, his “equal” in the White House was none other than that good Southern Baptist boy, Bill Clinton. The latter schemed against Netanyahu for three years, harming Israel’s security and bolstering the terrorists like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. Squeezing Israel is always a favorite pastime for diplomats and the morally bankrupt leaders we’ve suffered under.

We had a strong Israeli leader paired with a weak American president.

When George Bush took office, he dealt with Sharon and Olmert, who led the disastrous expulsion from Gaza and war in Lebanon in 2006. (Of course, my premise here is predicated on the idea that Bush was a “strong” leader.)

A strong American president versus incompetence in Jerusalem.

Now that Bibi stands on the edge of the prime minister’s chair again…we have Barack Obama entering the Oval Office.

The pendulum swings again: a strong Israeli leader opposite a president who is either naïve or dangerous.

Is this coincidence, that we humans can’t get two leaders together who can finally put an end to the seemingly eternal war between the Palestinians and the Jews?

It is no coincidence. Time and again in the Bible, which is all true, God tells us that He alone will save His people. Man cannot save himself. He can only destroy himself. God will protect Israel and He doesn’t need the right combination of principled leaders in high places.

How marvelous to see yet again the intervening Hand of the Creator of the Universe. What doesn’t make sense to the world — an inability to solve the Arab-Israeli crisis — makes perfect sense to the person who understands reality, which is found in the Bible. It is as I always say: “If the Bible were true, what would you expect to see in the real world today?”

You would expect not peace or the dominionism of a Rick Warren, who believes man can usher in a glorious earth for the Messiah. You would expect chaos and strife and utter failure in the diplomatic community.

This is exactly what we see, as we grieve in a way over the mess of Gaza, but look forward to the glorious conclusion brought by the Prince of Peace, who will come with His own brand of dominionism.

Gaza will have peace, not when it is emptied of Jews, but when they return for good.