Israel Forces Move into Gaza
But what will it Accomplish?
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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Hello again: This is the Bible in the News brought to you by Paul Billington--and the news is centered again this week on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This conflict seems to be taking another ugly turn with the Palestinians now using the kidnap weapon. First it was the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Then it was an 18 year old Israeli settler, Eliahu Ashen, who, it is now claimed has been executed. And now there is talk of a 62 year old man from Rishon Le Zion having been abducted. Following some of the horror that has been reported out of Iraq, it now seems to have moved to Israel.
Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers have attacked Gaza where Gilad Shalit is being held hostage. They have knocked out power. Planes have also buzzed the palace of the Syrian president. The army and airforce can make life difficult for the Palestinians of Gaza--but what can they do in the West Bank? Thousands of Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (that is Judea and Samaria), and if the Israeli Defence Forces cannot protect them, we may see some ugly retaliation by the settlers themselves. We must wait to see what happens.
What we are seeing of course, is the logical outcome of Israel's policies over several years. From Oslo, through the so-called "road-map," the disengagement from Gaza last Summer, and the obstinate as well as foolish determination to pull out of the West Bank. President Moshe Katsav has said as much in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. According to the report: "Katsav said that the government had made a mistake by receiving nothing in return for concessions to the Palestinians. He said that the disengagement from Gaza should have been coordinated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and that a unilateral realignment in the West Bank would have no diplomatic value... National Union chairman Benny Elon praised Katsav. 'The President traditionally doesn’t interfere, but he had no choice in this case but to scream because the reality is so extreme,' Elon said. 'Everyone, even if they are on the Left, has to admit that the disengagement was a mistake. If they don’t, it shows that they care less about the country than they do about their own fears of admitting that they were wrong.'"
How long will it be before Israelis understand that they CANNOT live side-by-side in peace with terrorists who have sworn to destroy their homeland. How can Israel ever make peace with a people who hold and perpetuate such a philosophy? It cannot work.
Fencing them off will not work either--as has already been proven by the Kassam rockets, the tunnels, the suicide bombers, and now the kidnapping and killing.
Israel of course is keen to please the United States, Britain--and even, if possible, the European Union. Even if the facts that we have mentioned were recognized and accepted by Israel--What can they do? Without the approval of the United States especially--just what can they do?
To find a Biblical parallel situation we can look at Isaiah 30:1-3.
"Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion."
As verse 7 says, "the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose." The modern counterpart to this of course, is that the United States helps in vain, and to no purpose. They cannot even help themselves in the Iraq situation--how can their wisdom and counsel be of any value to Israel?
The problem is, as stated here by the LORD in Isaiah 31:1; they "take counsel, but not of me." They "cover"--and the expression means, as some Bible margins point out--they weave a web, or MAKE A TREATY-- “but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin."
Putting it as plainly as we can: Israel is trusting in the United States and in world opinion, rather than in the God of Israel whose voice still speaks through the Book. Look at what Isaiah 30:8, 9 says:
"Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:"
The trouble is that Israel today is governed by those who do not believe in their Scriptures. They are socialists, they are humanists, they are rationalists--or as the Bible has it: "children in whom is no faith" (Deut. 32:20).
Another parallel can be made between the present situation and Bible times if we look at the period of the Judges. When Israel lacked faith they were smitten before their enemies, and in a sense, that is what we have been seeing. Israel has been surrendering land, and is preparing to surrender land--Holy Land!--in an effort to appease their enemies. They have retreated from the Gaza strip, giving Gush Katif over to the enemy, and are now planning a similar move, called "realignment." That is the latest term for this disastrous policy.
So what is needed? What should Israel be doing? The answer, of course, is to seek their God. Not hypocritically or with reservation--but wholly. When Israel cried unto their God during difficult times in their early history, God sent them a judge--he sent them a Samson, a Gideon or a Deborah. And those leaders of the nation saved them out of their difficulties and led them back to God. That is what is needed now. A military assault on Gaza that accomplishes nothing substantial, apart from locking up a few Hamas leaders, and then continuing to pursue policies that are rooted in faithlessness, will merely prolong the agony. Unless Israel takes full control of all Palestinian areas, there is no hope of a stable situation. I do not say this as a political statement, but simply as a statement of an obvious fact. The entire Hamas Government has to be rounded up and deported, while Israel takes control of the situation in order to impose stability upon its irresponsible and murderous neighbours--and the rest of the world should stop pretending that there is hope of a trustworthy Palestinian state emerging.
If Israel made such moves, doing what King Hussein of Jordan did to the Arafat gang in 1970 (they were sent to Lebanon), what would the world do? Sanctions? Initiate Armageddon? This situation is getting intolerable--and perhaps sanctions would be preferable! As to the world initiating Armageddon--well, one day that will happen, but not just yet. A few other pieces of the jig-saw have to be put in place first--and watching that happen is what the Bible in the News is all about. So join us again next week for another installment (God willing).
Printed: Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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