Archives For Israel

The ELCA, not to be confused with the star of Frozen—that would be Elsa—has taken a brazen stand against Israel. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has voted to divest from Israel and encourage the United States to pull all support until Israel leaves what they call “Palestinian Lands”. I take just over five minutes here to explain that there is no such thing as “Palestinian lands”. M apologies to Methodists everywhere for my mistake at the end 🙂

It is interesting, but I was told by a former leader of an ELCA church, that while they were voting to marry and ordain homosexuals, a tornado blew that tore off the steeple of the church!

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While Hillary Clinton was lying, saying that the FBI’s “Security Review” exonerated her and while Donald Trump was picking a fight with the Muslim family of a fallen U.S. soldier, you may have missed this important story.

World Vision, though having a long history of being anti-Israel, is the largest evangelical humanitarian aid organization with offices in 100 countries and a billion dollar annual budget. However, it appears they can now boast the title of “Sponsor of Terrorism.” Well, maybe not knowingly.

Their man in Gaza, Mohammad El Halabi, has been siphoning off millions to support—not starving children or hurting widows, but the terrorist group Hamas!

“According to Israel’s Shin Bet security service, El Halabi diverted around $7.2 million of World Vision money to Hamas each year. That is the equivalent of 60 percent of the charity’s total annual funding for Gaza.” (NBC News)

Israel’s Shin Bet (FBI) says that 40% of the funds—around $1.5 million—that were designated to civilian projects, were given to Hamas combat units in cash. But don’t worry, Mohammad El Halabi’s World Vision appointed lawyer spoke to him.

“He told me he never, ever transferred any money to Hamas and he has never been a Hamas member,” [lawyer] Muhamad Mahmud said. (NBC News)

Israel arrested him on June 15 and his detention has been extended until August 2, which was several days ago. We assume he is still in custody.

Not surprisingly World Vision is standing by their man.

“World Vision stands by Mohammad who is a widely respected and well-regarded humanitarian, field manager and trusted colleague of over a decade. He has displayed compassionate leadership on behalf of the children and communities of Gaza through difficult and challenging times, and has always worked diligently and professionally in fulfilling his duties.”

Well yeah, if you are going to pose as a humanitarian in order to funnel funds to terrorists to build tunnels, pay their salaries and fund other nefarious operations, you are not going to wear your suicide belt to work. The whole point of a con is convincing the people giving you millions that you are a great guy—everyone loves Mohamed!

But it doesn’t seem that World Vision properly vetted their Gaza Chief as he was an active member of Hamas just a year before he was hired.

The facts included in the indictment describe El Halabi as having a master’s degree in engineering. A member of Hamas since 1995, in 2004 he joined the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. In 2005 he was hired by World Vision to carry out administrative assignments at the charity’s Gaza branch. (Jewish Press)

I guess he lied to his lawyer when he said he had never been a member of Hamas.

Outlined in the article from the Jewish Press are facts that should give pause to anyone supporting World Vision.  Some of the Hamas terror tunnels are covered by plastic sheets with the World Vision logo! Imagine that—a group committed to helping the downtrodden, was being used for acts of destruction and terror.

World Vision has demonstrated a passion to delegitimize Israel. For years the organization has spoken against Israel. Just last year Steve Haas, the World Vision vice president, accused Israel of apartheid, failing to realize that Israel’s Arabs, unlike those in Saudi Arabia or Syria, have freedom of speech, can vote and enjoy all the rights of other Israeli citizens.

I believe that the major dividing issue in the Church in the last days will be over the state of Israel. When Christian organizations defend an employee giving millions to terrorists, and condemn the only true democracy in the Middle East—not to mention, “the apple of [God’s] eye,” their is a huge problem! Yes, God said whoever touches Israel, touches the apple of his eye. (Zech. 2:8)

Messiah’s Mandate seeks to counter these unbiblical and erroneous claims through blogs, videos, podcasts and teachings. Our free eBook, which has been downloaded thousands of times, sets the record straight when it comes to Israel and so-called Palestine.

Your gifts enable us to make powerful media to combat the enemies of Israel. Please consider standing with Messiah’s Mandate by sending in your gift today. It is so simple. Just go to www.StandWithMMI.org.

Yeshua is not going to return to an anti-Israel bride! Help us turn the tide.

 

Rami Kleinstein, Israel’s version of Elton John or Billy Joel, and like me, an American immigrant to Israel (albeit, he came as a child), has a song called Matanot Kitanot, or Small Gifts. In it, he speaks of the cultural experience of Friday. You see, there is no comparable thing in other countries to Friday in Israel. I am not merely speaking of Shabbat, which begins Friday night—but all that is Yom Shishi in modern Israel.

There are only two verses in this song, and I can only assume that his intention is to compare the Friday experience from his childhood to the Friday experience as an adult living in Tel Aviv. Let me explain. Friday as a child meant coming home from from school, mom cooking all kinds of ethic wonders and then, dressed in white, fathers take the children to the synagogue. After prayers a delicious multi-cource meal—the Erev Shabbat meal—was waiting at home.

This meal is the central, galvanizing force of the Israeli family. I have no doubt that many broken marriages were saved as a result of the spouses realizing that divorce meant no Erev Shabbat family meal. Almost everyone—atheist Jews, religious Jews, not-so-sure-what-I-believe Jews—gather with their families for Erev Shabbat. Klienstein writes:

Another Friday, breathing the air,
 Light and shadow are playing “tag” again.
 The table is set, childhood photos on the wall,
 White processions are returning from the synagogue, 
And that smell which scratches my heart,
Sneaking in and opening doors,
 To a small joy, to the same old song
which is being passed along for generations.

But then Kleinstein grows up and marries a woman who would become one of Israel’s most beloved singers, Rita, divorces many years later, as he continues his successful music career. Now in his fifties as a secular Jew living in Tel Aivi, it is different. For Tel Aviv’im (people from Tel Aviv), Friday morning is sacred. The kids are at school, but you are not at work. It is like Saturday morning in the U.S. but without children. Shabbat, or Saturday here, is family day, but Yom Shishi is a break for the adults.

You go to a café, newspaper in hand—or more recently, your iPad. You could be alone or with friends. Maybe a date to the farmers’ marker, like Elana and I had this morning.

For others its mountain biking on Mount Carmel or hiking through the hills surrounding Jerusalem. Or maybe a walk with your dog on Rothschild street with all it’s trendy cafés and restaurants. I presume that the adult Kleinstein, a Tel Aviv celebrity, seeks to convey this picture in the second verse.

Another Friday—balcony and newspaper,
The sun, like worries, is slowly being erased, 
Simple melodies crawl through the window and there is no longer any storm which can hide the silence.

I remember my first trip to Israel. On Friday night in June 1991, I went with Elana’s brothers to their Moroccan synagogue. Moroccan Jews are Sephardic (as opposed to Ashkenazi [European] like my family) and their style of worship is much more lively than the stoic chanting in Hebrew with which I grew up. Dressed in white we retuned to Elana’s mother’s matchbox apartment and had a festive meal. I felt like I was dreaming and had gone back in time. Every family in that city was eating together.

That was 25 years ago. Thirteen years ago we moved to Israel and raised our kids here. However, in the past few years our children, now adults, have moved back to the U.S. How quiet Erev Shabbat has become for me and Elana. It’s hard. And a little sad. We are not used to ‘quiet’ on Erev Shabbat. And many of our friends who have dual citizenship are in the same boat.

But on the other hand, Elana and I, who had our first child nine months and three days after getting married, are enjoying the freedom at the young age of 50 of waking up on Yom Shishi, going to a café, shopping at the farmers’ market at the port of Tel Aviv or taking a walk on the beach—we are getting to live like a young couple, 28 years after the fact. That I like.

And with FaceTime, Skype and the like, our children are always only a few megabytes of bandwidth away.

Times change and so do we through the different stages of our lives. But one thing is sure: Elohim, who does not change.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Gen. 2:2-3)

Kleinstein ends his melodic tune with the words that we pray every week in the Kiddush, as we invite in the Sabbath, words that we will pray tonight at our congregation and will be chanted very shortly all over Israel:

Ki banu bacharta , ve’otanu kidashta…
Baruch ata adonai mekadesh hashabat

For thou hast chosen us and sanctified us…
Blessed art thou, God, sanctifier of the Sabbath.

This morning the sirens will blare at 10:00 AM and we will stand in silence all over the nation of Israel. Every year we remember the 6,000,000 Jews slaughtered by Adolf Hitler. However this year, sadly, we must answer again, the absurd question: Was Hitler a Zionist?

According to former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, he was definitely a Zionist. The Leftist Labour party member, who has a long history of anti-Israel activity, said this:

“Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism – this, before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

When Mr. Livingstone realized that he just claimed that Hitler “went mad” meaning, he was a normal bloke when elected (by the way, he was not elected, but that is another story), he backtracked, while still doubling down on his ‘Hitler is a Zionist’ claim,

“He was a monster from start to finish but it’s simply the historical fact. His policy was originally to send all of Germany’s Jews to Israel and there were private meetings between the Zionist movement and Hitler’s government.”

The next day after he came under intense attack for his absurd comments, he seemed to backtrack, claiming,

“I’ve not said that Hitler was a Zionist, what I said was his policy in ‘32 was to deport Germany’s Jews to Israel.”

Actually Kenny, you did, you said, and I quote, “He” meaning Hitler “was supporting Zionism.” Supporters of Zionism are called Zionists.

But was Hitler a Zionist?

It is true that Hitler made conditions so bad for the Jews—even before the Holocaust, that 60% of Germany’s 300,000 Jews had fled by 1939. Some of the Jews, 50,000, only 1 in 6, made their way to British controlled Palestine[i]—as Israel was not yet a nation.

British historian and author Roger Moorehouse was quick to set the record straight.

“Indeed, there was a scheme in place called the Ha’avara (or transfer) Agreement, made in 1933 between the new Nazi government and Zionist German Jews, to facilitate emigration to Palestine.”

But to be clear, this had nothing to do with Hitler wanting to see a Jewish homeland created—it was about getting the Jews out of Germany. And the Zionists who met with him were not colluding with the Nazi, but terrified at what would happened if the Jews didn’t get out of Germany. Just listen to Hilter in Mein Kamph.

“While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a [Jewish] state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb [Gentiles]. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.

You can’t be a Zionist and an anti-Semite at the same time!

A Zionist is one who believes that the only safe plan for the continuing existence of the Jewish people is their own homeland in their historic birthplace—the Land of Israel. A Christian Zionist is one who believes that the promises of God to Israel regarding the Jews returning to Zion are valid, such as:

 “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:24)

‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ For the Lord will deliver Jacob … [The Israelites] will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion.” (Jeremiah 31:10-12)

“New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile … They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them … I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted…” (Amos 9:13-14)

Hitler hated Jews. Hitler wanted to kill every Jew. That would be make him an anti-Zionist. He was not weeping over Ezekiel 37, praying for the dry bones to come back to life as he enjoyed his morning Weiner schnitzel.

“Zionists are Nazis!”

But none of this is the issue here, friends. Anybody with half a brain knows that Hitler was no Zionist. The goal of these leftist elites, like Ken Livingstone, is to connect the word Hitler with the word Zionism. If you can somehow justify the ridiculous claim that Hitler was a Zionist, then you can make the claim that so many on the far left love to make—ZIONISM IS ACTUALLY NAZISM…IF YOU ARE A ZIONIST, YOU REALLY JUST A NAZI IN DISGUISE.

Founding editor of the Times of Israel agrees. He writes:

…that what the ex-London mayor has been trying to achieve by asserting, obscenely, that Hitler was a Zionist, is to push all right-thinking people who consider the Nazis the epitome of evil toward a similar conclusion about Zionists. In short, Livingstone wants as many people as he can reach to equate Zionism with Nazism, and thus to intensify hatred for Israel, weakening it and isolating it.

Make no mistake, that is their goal, to equate Jews, fulfilling the call of God by settling the land that God promised to return to them, with bloodthirsty, demon-possessed Nazi, killers.

But God is not intimated by their unequal weights and balances.

When “the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed … The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” (Ps 2:2, 4-6)


 

[i] The word Palestine was a name that the Roman’s had given to the region. Since the Roman conquest in 135 CE there has never been an independent state there, until 1948 when Israel was rebirthed. There has never been a nation of Palestine.

In the 2012 Presidential race, former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich got into trouble when he said that the Palestinian people were invented. We live in a day and age where honest history submits to revisionism, so as not to hurt people’s feelings. While we don’t seek to intentionally hurt anyone, as Israelis, we feel it is urgent that the world knows the truth. In this three part series, you will be equipped to answer the lies perpetrated by the enemies of Israel. (Part 3, coming)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

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