Do Israelis Care About Peace?
What does the Bible say of the Media's Message About Israel?
Saturday, September 11, 2010
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Welcome back to Bible in the News after the summer, this is David Billington with you. We now hope to resume our weekly schedule, God willing. Barack Obama has finally been successful in forcing the Israelis and the Palestinians to take part in peace negotiations. Both sides will now be very concerned over who will be blamed for the failure of the talks. Last time it was very difficult not to blame the Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat at the time; Mr. Arafat turned down Ehud Barak's offer for an Arab state in most of the West Bank and Gaza strip. From the Palestinian Arab perspective probably the largest mistake they ever made. Now the Gaza Strip has been given to them by Israel unilaterally, however it is ruled over by the terror organization Hamas. The more secular Fatah (originally Yasser Arafat's terror organization) has the upper hand in the West Bank areas and are the ones negotiating with Israel, however they have little influence in the Gaza strip. This division makes the prospect of an Arab state in these areas problematic and unworkable and therefore the "peace talks" unworkable as well. Combine this with other factors such as Netanyahu's weak government, which may not be able to implement a "peace deal"; the Palestinians dependancy if not an addiction to UN aid and therefore little desire for a state of their own; Palestinians still teaching hate for Jews in school and not recognizing the Jewish state which still fosters a culture of terrorism. As a result of all this the potential for failure of the "peace talks" is very high, almost inevitable, and each side will be maneuvering to blame the other side for the "failure to reach an agreement". Everybody know this, all the involved politicians, journalists, middle-east affairs columnists, and media outlets.
Time Magazine evidently decided there was not much point in waiting for the peace talks to fail to blame Israel, why not just do it now! So Time Magazine's cover this week says: "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace". The feature article then introduces us to some affluent Israelis, making lots of money and enjoying life, who don't care about the Qassam rockets from Gaza - here subtly minimizing the daily terror many Israeli's have faced who live near Hamas ruled Gaza. The article then says: "A watching world may still define their country by the blood feud with the Arabs whose families used to live on this land and whether that conflict can be negotiated away, but Israelis say they have moved on." Here the writer reveals his own belief regarding the Arab Israeli conflict - that the Israelis stole the land from the Arabs. Anyone who knows the true history of the area, understands this is false.
Those Israelis who have put their trust in the peace process are no doubt disenchanted with it. Israel has made many sacrifices, including giving the whole of the Gaza Strip, including all the infrastructure they built into the Arab's hands, having to root out the thousands of Jewish residents in the process. They have also endured years of terror attacks, which often accompany peace talks. In Israel there have reportedly been 150 suicide attacks carried out and 500 prevented; 1,723 people murdered and 10,000 injured. Israelis have learned to exist in a state of terror.
The Time magazine article presents Israel as a affluent, decadent nation, having a good time, making lots of money who really couldn't care about the Palestinian Arabs. The article draws this conclusion mostly from a chat with a couple of guys in prosperous real estate firm and pictures of Israelis on the beach and a few statistics. Israel is just not that simple. Many Israelis are in poverty. The nation is deeply religious - Israel used to be a secular nation, that is a myth now. The conclusion of the article is based on affluent Israelis living in the costal cities. As Israelis say: Tel Aviv is built on sand, Jerusalem on rock. The conclusion of the article is built on sand as the majority of Israelis are left out of the picture.
More and more Israelis are not so happy with the "peace" the world wants to give them. They have seen the results of their withdraw from the Gaza strip and are hesitant to see a repeat in the strategic Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, now called by the media "The West Bank". Psalm 120 expresses this thought nicely: " My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war."
Bible believers should never expect the world media to be favourable to Israel, in fact the contrary is true. Revelation 16 says that just before Jesus Christ comes as a thief there will be teachings or spirits going out into the world. 1 John 4:1 tells us to try the spirits to see if they are of God. We are told that these teachings in Revelation are not of God. These teachings will bring the nations to the battle of Armageddon, a battle which has to do with Hebrew things. The Hebrew prophet Joel tells us more about this event in chapter 3: "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." The nations will be drawn to battle against Israel where God will judge them for how they have treated his people. We would not expect the world media to be sympathetic to Israel or God's people the Jews - we would expect them to be antagonistic tending to war. This is exactly what we do see. Here in Revelation Jesus is instructing us to be very wary of what we hear and the opinions that are expressed in the media, which is really the mouth piece of the dragon, beast and false prophet.
The media seems interested in presenting Israel as a secular ungodly nation - as this Time article does. In scripture Israel is portrayed as the "virgin daughter of Zion" (Lamentations 2:13). She is God's nation, pure and righteous. She was however polluted with the nations which became her lovers in place of God. Yet God will cleanse her again: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." (Ezekiel 36:25) The apostasy is portrayed as a drunken harlot, who acts immorally by wielding political power and making deals with the political rulers of this world (Revelation 18:9). She is a persecutor of the true followers of Christ, being drunk with the blood of the saints (Revelation 17:1-6). This is the Catholic Church, the only one who has consistently persecuted those who would not submit to her authority and who wields great political power in the world, admitting a stream of presidents and prime ministers into her palaces. This harlot knows of her immoral acts as she sits in luxury committing fornication with world leaders. She looks upon Zion a challenge to her holiness.
"Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion." Micah 4:11.
So the world wants to defile the daughter of Zion, the people of God. They want us to say: "Look at them, they are not God's people, they are no different than anyone else - they are not holy. They are an affluent, pleasure loving society who does not care for peace or their fellow man, God has cast them off."
"Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them." (Jeremiah 33:24-26)
Israel is so different to that which we see in articles such as this. They are to varying degrees, a religious society who has been influenced by the Bible for millennia. They have been shaped by tremendous suffering from the pogroms in Russia over 100 years ago, the atrocities of Nazi Germany, the Arab wars and terrorism. Today we see a growing Bible based culture developing in Israel. A people prepared for the Lord.
Come back next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com.
Printed: Saturday, September 11, 2010
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