Archives For Israel

Last night the FIRM conference began in Jerusalem. Even though it was not an outreach event, but a gathering of believers, there was about a dozen Orthodox Jewish protestors, While they were not violent, they were very vocal. To be clear, the majority of Orthodox Jews in Israel do not act this way. I have had many wonderful connections with Orthodox Israelis over the years. But they were young and indoctrinated and probably sent by someone.

They became extremely aggressive and the police were called. However, because the area just outside the meeting hall is public, there was not much they could do. I was shocked at how they yelled at the police. It breaks my heart that someone has trained them act with such disrespect.

Finally, as they were becoming louder and louder, one of the leaders of the conference brought out a speaker and plugged in his iPhone. Suddenly praise music in Hebrew began to drown them out. The believers began to dance and worship, as the presence of God was obvious…and the young protestors left one by one.

Personally, I am not interested in a contest to see who wins a debate or a shouting match. My heart longs to see their zeal for the Law turn into a zeal for God and His Messiah. As I left they spotted me outside—just a few of them—and shouted at me, “Missionary! Missionary!” I responded in Hebrew, “I love and you bless you,” and continued on my way.

Take some time now and pray for these young men to have dreams and visions about Yeshua, their Messiah! Thanks!

The country of Lebanon has officially banned Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, from their country. It is not because she is the daughter of Zeus, but because she is a daughter of Zion! I am speaking of the Israeli star of the movie “Wonder Woman”, Gal Gadot.

As one writer put it, “many accuse her of being a Zionist.” Eww! Yuck! A Zionist! They should have just written Nazi. By the way, a Zionist is someone (like me) who believes that Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, as promised in Scripture.

While Gadot was not quite the fierce warrior that Wonder Woman is, she did train combat soldiers during her compulsory service in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). She is a huge supporter of the IDF, as can be seen in this Facebook post:

What Lebanon doesn’t understand is that in Israel, supporting the IDF is not merely supporting your armed forces—it is supporting your brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, sons and daughters. We are a civilian army, in which the gym rats and the computer nerds all serve together. Everyone serves. And it should be noted that when Gadot posted that on Facebook, Israel was on the receiving end of thousands of Hamas rockets aimed at killing and maiming as many Israeli children as possible.

Instead of expelling Hezbollah from their country, the terrorist group that has caused the deaths of countless daughters of Lebanon, they focus on the one country in the Middle East where Arabs have the most rights and freedoms. Israeli Arabs can vote for politicians and curse them in the same breath without any fear of repercussions. Head out to the beach in southern Tel Aviv any Saturday afternoon and you will see more hijabs than you can bargain for, as Muslim families freely and safely enjoy a barbecue by the Mediterranean.

In 2,000, when Israel left the South Lebanon buffer zone, we took in 10,000 Lebanese Christians who lived in the area because we knew Hezbollah would have killed them. Now, they enjoy a safe life in Israel.

The Arab nations have long fallen prey to exaggerations of Israel’s supposed atrocities—from believing that we kidnap Palestinian children on Passover to use their blood for Matzah (not kidding!) to believing rumors during Israel’s War of Independence that Jews were raping Arab women.

(Arab leaders like Hussein Khalidi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee put out the rumors. Reporter Hazen Nusseibeh confessed, “I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story,” recalled Nusseibeh, now living in Amman. He said, “We must make the most of this.” So we wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities.” This was confirmed by Abu Mahmud, a villager, “We said, ‘there was no rape,’ [but] Khalidi said, ‘We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.’”)

Now there appears to be a new rumor in Lebanon: Wonder Woman is real and she is fighting for the IDF! And she stole their falafel recipe!

 

 

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President Donald Trump YELLED at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem last week, saying,

“You tricked me in DC! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement [of violence against Israel],”

according to Israel’s Channel 2.

You might remember a few weeks back, the diplomatic Abbas came humbly to the White House, where he spoke of his peaceful people. He told President Trump:

“Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.  And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.”

But apparently, Trump was provided with evidence to the contrary. It’s that whole thing about words verses action. For instance, just this week the Palestinians named a women’s center after Dalal Mughrabi who, along with others from the PLO hijacked a bus full of Israelis and killed 38 civilians. The Norwegians, who provided funds for the Women’s Center demanded their money back and their logo be removed from the center. Good for them. Even the U.N., notoriously anti-Israel, pulled support for the project.

Furthermore, just reported today, we now know the extent of payments to terrorists and their families from the Palestinian government. No doubt, this is what caused President Trump to dress down the Palestinian leader.

“The Palestinian Authority has paid out some NIS 4 billion — or $1.12 billion — over the past four years to terrorists and their families, a former director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and ex-head of the army’s intelligence and research division told a top Knesset panel on Monday.”

No Respecter of Protocol

It is a HUGE breakage of protocol to rebuke a fellow head-of-state (though Abbas is technically not a head-of-state), especially in front of his team, but Trump is no respecter of protocol. Abbas, who had been treated gently by Obama, was shocked at the President’s tone and reportedly, there was stunned silence for several minutes.

Israeli Knesset Member Michael Oren is right when he says, if we created a Palestinian State tomorrow, it would fail the next day (or shortly thereafter). When you teach your children hate and incite them to violence, you are not preparing to govern a country. Instead of focusing on education, institutions, medical facilities, infrastructure or the economy, they are focusing on glorifying suicide bombers. The issue is not merely “Do Palestinians deserve a state?” but can they govern a state? And that’s in the secular area of the West Bank.

What about Hamas

Gaza has been overrun by Hamas, who makes the Palestinian Authority, corrupt as they are, look like angels in comparison. After they won the hearts of the people through building hospitals and schools, they staged a coup and have been running Gaza like Iran for a decade. Their citizens live in terror. (Haven’t seen that reported on CNN!)

There is very little focus on building a functioning state, but instead they rely on donations from state-sponsors of terror to pay their bills. They literally can’t even afford the electricity that Israel provides them, but rely on the P.A. to pay the bill! In this way, they can focus on the more important matters of building terror tunnels with stolen concrete meant to rebuild homes, stealing U.N. aid from their people and using women and children as human shields.

Diplomatic Quicksand

President Trump has no idea of the diplomatic quicksand that surrounds this issue—an unsolvable puzzle and that has sucked the life out of more than a few diplomats. You are dealing with a people that has been brooding for 70 years or more in a culture of religious and racial inspired hate. And if the President pressures Israel to give up land, then he will be at odds with the God who put him in power.

There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. (Joel 3:2)

My prayer is that President Trump will see clearly and understand that as Jeremiah said, a leopard cannot change his spots. I understand the temptation. He is a dealmaker. But you are not dealing with two equals. One, a thriving democracy—creating breakthroughs in medicine, technology and defense. Another, an archaic region that condones wife-beating, death without trial and teaches hate and murder on television shows for children.

It is difficult to be in the business of killing innocent women and children for decades, celebrating murder like a holiday and setting up suicide bombers as role models, and then to suddenly love life, govern in righteousness and show goodwill to your neighbors.

The Big Letdown

In Israel, we have gone from elation over the President’s bold promise recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the Embassy from Tel Aviv, to deep concern over a $350 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia and him suddenly becoming convinced that he can bring peace to Israel and her neighbors. Don’t get me wrong. Every Israeli wants peace. But we have learned time and time again, it takes two to tango.

The best hope for the Palestinians is a new leadership. But with Hamas on one side and the Palestinian Authority on the other, there is little hope that a genuinely peaceful movement could even survive to gain power.

Prime Minister is Sober

Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear this week that he is concerned. Yes, Trump has displayed more love and friendship towards Israel than Obama ever did, but Bibi made it clear that the US has not given Israel carte blanch as seen by the reversal on moving the embassy. The excitement in Israel over a Trump administration has quickly met reality.

“It is true that relations are warm and that there is a great understanding of our position, but a blank check? That is far from reality.”

“You heard President Trump. He came here, did extremely important things and touched us deeply, but he also said that he believes that Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) wants peace, and that I want peace. He also said that he believes that it is possible and necessary to arrive at an agreement.

“There is one fundamental thing that I always say: The reason there is no agreement is because they (the Palestinians) educate their children, generation after generation, that there will not be a State of Israel in any borders whatsoever.”

Bibi clearly thinks that President Trump is mistaken to believe that Abbas wants real peace. Bill Clinton learned this the hard way with Arafat, when, after investing countless days in a peace deal, Arafat simply said no, took his marbles and went home to start the second intifada. Hopefully Trump will see sooner rather than later, and by the tone of his rebuke to Abbas, it is looking like sooner, that peace with Israel has never been what they’ve sought—rather the elimination of Israel.


Dear friends, we are outgrowing out space at Tiferet Yeshua and we are “Expanding the Tent”. We are doubling our seating capacity from 150 to 300 and we will start live streaming our services to reach Israelis wherever they may be.

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For those who were watching closely when President Trump spoke in Israel, you may have noticed that he dated the Arab/Israeli conflict.

“We know, for instance, that both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children. And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis, which has dragged on for nearly half a century or more.”

What happened a half century, or 50 years, ago? Israel won the Six Day War, taking control of the Old City of Jerusalem. By saying this, President Trump’s speechwriters were clearly saying that the source of the conflict is Israel’s occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and not Arab intolerance of the Jewish nation.

This is straight out of the fictitious, Arab version of the conflict. The Saudis have been saying for years, “Go back to the 1967 borders and we will make peace.” But this was not the Saudi position before 1967, when she sought Israel’s destruction. Abbas told Trump during his visit to the once-Jewish city of Bethlehem:

“Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements … The problem is not between us and Judaism. It’s between us and occupation.”

Let’s Check History

If that were true, then the Palestinian Liberation Organization would have been created in 1967, or after. Before 1967, Israel did not occupy the West Bank or Gaza. However, the PLO, the organization that Mahmoud Abbas leads, was created in 1964—three years before Israel won Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Gaza and the entire Sinai Desert.

Arab League Summit in 1964 where the PLO was Created to “Liberate” Palestine.

It was the Arab league, a group of 22 Arab states (13 at the time), who created the PLO when Israel’s width was a mere nine miles in some places. That includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and others.

Okay…follow me here…53 years ago, before Jerusalem was restored to Israel, the entire Arab world birthed a movement dedicated to the Liberation of Palestine. Are you tracking with me? This means that the Palestine they wanted to liberate was not East Jerusalem or the West Bank—as they were not in Israel’s hands at that time. They wanted to kill every Jew in Israel and fill the Mediterranean with their blood.

Gamal Nasser shared, via Cairo radio on May 16th, 1967, the Arab’s aim for the Jews:

“The existence of Israel has continued too long. We welcome the Israeli aggression. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. The peak hour has come. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel.”

If you still have doubts, how about this one:

“The Zionist barrack in Palestine is about to collapse and be destroyed. Every one of the hundred million Arabs has been living for the past nineteen years on one hope – to live to see the day Israel is liquidated… There is no life, no peace nor hope for the gangs of Zionism to remain in the occupied land.

“As of today, there no longer exists an international emergency force to protect Israel…The sole method we shall apply against Israel is a total war which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence.” – Cairo Radio’s Voice of the Arabs broadcast

Notice the use of the words, “occupied land.” If the conflict only began after Israel won the Six Day War, and the occupation refers only to the West Bank and Gaza, what are they talking about before Israel had the West Bank and Gaza? Clearly the goal, as stated, is to destroy Israel completely, including Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Need more proof?

“Brethren and sons, this is the day of the battle to avenge our martyred brethren who fell in 1948. It is the day to wash away the stigma. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa.” – Radio broadcast by Iraqi President Abdel Rahman Aref.

Now, what does God say? Through the prophet Amos He declares:

“I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. (Amos 9:15)

When Abbas tells President Trump that his only issue is the occupation, he is not referring to Israel’s victory in the Six Day War—but rather to Israel’s victory in the 1948 War of Independence, 69 years ago. Again, Abbas is the president of the PLO, created to destroy Israel before Israel ever took control of the so-called occupied territory.

Politicians!

So the concern I have for President Trump, the politician, is that he has many advisors, such as Secretary of State Tillerson and National Security Advisor McMaster, advising him to seek a comprehensive peace deal between the Arabs and Israelis, which will no doubt go against the word of God. God says He “planted Israel in their own land.” I can only assume they are advising him to use the embassy as a chip and will seek to get something from Israel in exchange for moving the embassy. Already they have called on Israel to transfer more land to the Palestinians in exchange for exactly nothing. This is dangerous.

We need to be praying for President Trump—Praying that he has a divine visitation of God regarding Israel and that he is not influenced by well-meaning politicians who think there is a political solution to this spiritual battle. President Truman had to stand alone against the most powerful Secretary of State in U.S. history, George Marshall, when he was the first head of state to recognize the new state of Israel. May President Trump find similar courage.

Silver Lining

While Trump did say that the conflict was 50 years old, he added two words that were not in his prepared notes. He said, “…this crisis, which has dragged on for nearly half a century or more.”

It was a small gesture, as any student of history knows that the Arab aggression against the Jews returning to Zion goes back nearly 100 years. It was 70 years ago that five Arab nations sought to annihilate Israel in the first few days of her existence. But it did show that President Trump was not unaware of what he was reading.

As believers we need to pray for the President, whom I believe is called to recognize Jerusalem, despite internal and external pressures, and, also, we need to let our voices be heard. Remember, this is a democracy and, if you are American, you have a role to play.

Nothing New

Other than his historic visit to the Western Wall and the love he is showing for Israel, there hasn’t been a huge difference policy-wise from Presidents before him.

  • He still thinks that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the key to Middle East peace, whereas it is clearly Arab aggression going back 100 years and now, radical Islam. If the Arabs had accepted a peace deal with Israel in 1948, we would not have the conflict we have today.
  • He wants Israel to give up land for a so-called peace.
  • He is pushing for a two-state solution which will most definitely lead to another Islamic terror state like the Iran he so despises, but on Israel’s border.
  • Like Bush and Clinton, he has made promises regarding the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving of the embassy, and not yet fulfilled them.

The key is prayer. There are spiritual forces at work here.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12)


Dear friends, we are outgrowing out space at Tiferet Yeshua and we are “Expanding the Tent”. We are doubling our seating capacity from 150 to 300 and we will start live streaming our services to reach Israelis wherever they may be.

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As Air Force One took off Wednesday from Ben Gurion Airport, ending the President’s 28-hour whirlwind trip to Israel, Israelis were not sure what to make of his trip. After visiting the center of Islam, Saudi Arabia, and the heart of Judaism, Jerusalem, he headed to the Vatican to meet with the Pope.

The Trump Doctrine

With two thirds of his trip concluded, we are beginning to see what may soon be dubbed, the Trump Doctrine. It is worlds apart from the Obama Doctrine. Obama’s first foreign trips were nicknamed the apology tour where he apologized for U.S. arrogance in Cairo, Turkey, and France—to Arabic Newspapers and before the Turkish parliament. He even apologized for the CIA, to the CIA.

He shunned Egypt after the secular military overthrew the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood. He gave Saudi Arabia the cold shoulder. And then, the unthinkable—he made a peace deal with the notoriously dishonest, state-sponsor of terrorism, Iran. A deal that was criticized by not only the right, but also by many on the left, as being short-sided and extremely naïve.

President Trump is strengthening ties with natural allies, rather than trying to make friends with those sworn to our destruction. He had an extremely successful visit in Saudi Arabia where he signed a $350 billion arms deal with the Sunni stronghold. Not only is this good for the U.S. economy, but it sends a clear signal to Iran that they should be careful.

Symbols over Words

Next, he flew to Israel where he prayed at the Western Wall. This was a powerfully symbolic way of saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel without actually saying; Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. In other words, he wasn’t there to connect with the Dome of the Rock. Personally, I would have preferred him to be more vocal in his support of Israel and to have announced the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem—as he promised. Nevertheless, he is the first sitting U.S. president to pray at the Western Wall.

Let me clear—announcing the move of the embassy would not have been a wise move politically, but it would have been the right move biblically. President Trump has never been a particularly religious man—though some claim he has had a recent conversion. No doubt, he has reached out to many Christian leaders for advice, but based on his actions this week, he sees the alliance of the United States and Israel as strategic, not covenantal.

A New Coalition

President Trump is trying to build a coalition between moderate Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I must state that none of the states are free of the most radical elements within Islam, but the governments are seeking stability in the region. Saudi Arabia is hardly a secular state and could be labeled as the father of modern radical Islam (Osama Bin Laden, September 11th terrorists), but its government is not seeking (as is ISIS and Iran), a caliphate—a government led by a successor to Mohamed. Internally, they are stuck in the seventh century, but are not aggressors to other nations.

Iran must be stopped. Syria must be stopped. Assad cannot be a long-term solution nor can ISIS. Lebanon is weak, and more and more is dominated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah is both a political party in Lebanon (with one third of parliament) and they have their own army apart from the Lebanese Army. This is extremely destabilizing. Iraq has moved closer to Iran and further from the U.S.

Under former President Obama, the U.S. abandoned Iraq, pulled out our troops too early and allowed ISIS to fill in the vacuum. President Trump’s plan is to build a partnership between the Saudis, Egypt and Jordan, and the Jewish State, Israel.

Even after writing this I saw that this was indeed Trump’s plan was to build good will between Israel and her historic enemies. A Trump official said, “the first step [toward peace] … is to bring relationships that are warm and strong privately and bring them more public and also set forth a common set of principles that everyone wants to abide by.”

This is most likely why, in his seven public appearances here in Israel, he did not mention Jerusalem, settlements, the embassy or a Palestinian state—all trigger issues that would cause tension in building these relationships. I get it. But when will be a good time to tell the Arabs that the U.S. is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? When would be a time that it would not be a possible deal breaker? And yet, Netanyahu is not going to compromise on Jerusalem. Sharing at Jerusalem Day celebrations, he declared:

“The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. The correction of a historical injustice that was achieved by the heroism of our fighters 50 years ago will stand forever.”

The question is, where will President Trump—who has many voices counseling him on this—ultimately land on the Jerusalem.

Not All Roses

Now comes the concern. President Trump and Netanyahu clearly have two separate strategies. The U.S. President sees making peace between the Palestinians and Israelis as a first sign to these Arab nations that there could be a peace deal between them and Israel.

“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people.” (TimesofIsrael.com)

Netanyahu, on the other hand, sees it quite oppositely. Peace can only come between Israelis and Palestinians after there is peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. And let’s be honest. How can we even talk about peace between Israel and the Palestinians while Hamas is fully in control of all of Gaza? We cannot make peace with terrorists. And the more moderate Palestinian Authority is still in the business of paying off terrorists.

In light of the U.K. terror attack on Monday night, with President Trump still in Israel, Netanyahu stated the obvious:

“If the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.” 

How does President Trump expect Israel to even begin to establish peace with such a culture of murder that the PLO has created?

In his speech in Israel, there was lots of love for Israel, but few specifics. No mention of moving the embassy to the “eternal capital Jerusalem”, as he boldly proclaimed before he was president. For example:

“Through your hardships, you’ve created one of the most abundant lands anywhere in the world, a land that is rich not only in history, culture and opportunity, but especially in spirit. I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people.”

Sounds great, but no meat.

Conclusion

From a political point of view, it was a brilliant visit. From a biblical point of view, it fell short. I saw many posts online where people made excuses for the President breaking his promise. “He knows what he is doing…he has more information than we do…he is taking his time.” And therein lies my fear. We all howled over how former President Obama was treated with Messiah-like reverence. Let’s not make the same mistake with President Trump. He is a man and even if God has brought him to this moment, he is still accountable to the voters. That is how democracy works. Our voice is important.

It is up to voters to demand that politicians keep their promises. And even though I would agree that this President has been treated worse by the media than any president I can remember, he can’t blame the media for his not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital or for not moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

I will say it again—politically, it was the right move. Why upset the Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians? But viewing this biblically, God gave President Trump an opportunity to please heaven and he missed it. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. No doubt his trip was originally planned with that in mind so he could recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. I think such a move would have brought favor on him and the United States. Still, it was so much better than Obama. And his visit to the Western Wall was an enormous symbolic gesture. He hit a double, but he could have hit a homerun.

You will arise and have compassion on Zion (Jerusalem), for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. (Ps. 102:13)


Dear friends, we are outgrowing out space at Tiferet Yeshua and we are “Expanding the Tent”. We are doubling our seating capacity from 150 to 300 and we will start live streaming our services to reach Israelis wherever they may be.

We need your help

We have raised $37,000 of the needed $200,000. You can partner with us here or learn more here. Thank you for helping is Reach Tel Aviv!

 

 

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