Watching Over Zion - September 28th 2017
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honour and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
“I, Jesus (Yeshua) have sent My angel to testify to you and to give you assurance of these things for the churches. I am the Root (the Source, and Life) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)
Pointers for prayer:
Christian Friends of Israel has just concluded its UK Tour with the CFI Jerusalem Directors and the annual CFI conference. Please do pray for much fruit from this tour. Please pray for unity between Christians, and unity between the Church and Israel. Please continue to pray against those who support Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, and pray that truth would be proclaimed where Israel is concerned.
Please seek the LORD for a greater understanding of God’s prophetic word about the nation and people of Israel today. Pray earnestly for God to give many in the Church the burden to pray, leading to a greater understanding of the current situation within Israel and the Middle East. Please pray that your church may be blessed in blessing Israel, according to God’s promise (Genesis 12:3).
A challenge to ‘Shine on Jerusalem’
At the time of writing this report, CFI UK’s CEO will be bringing the final meeting from the UK Tour of our CFI Jerusalem Directors, Stacey & Kevin Howard, to a close. Jacob has been with the tour since Monday 25th September, and has had meetings in Eastleigh, Faringdon and Bristol. For my section of the tour, I drove an incredible 1,786 miles traveling to Luton; Halesowen in West Midlands; Dewsbury; Branch FM (both West Yorkshire); Billingham, Stockton on Tees; Perth, Scotland; and then two days in Eastbourne at the CFI National Conference, before returning back to our home in North Yorkshire.
Following the call of God to serve an Israel based ministry can be very costly. As I shared at all the meetings that I was involved in – ever since my family and I stepped out in faith to serve the Lord full time for Christian Friends of Israel, we have known the great cost. Yet in many ways, I also appreciate the fact that we have never needed to leave our home for longer than a few weeks at a time. Our son, Matthew, has always been with us (apart from when I have been in Israel on my own). However, the cost for our CFI Jerusalem Directors is much greater. Stacey Howard (International and Executive Director of Christian Friends of Israel, Jerusalem) and husband Kevin (Director of Technology) took over from the CFI Jerusalem founders, Ray and Sharon Sanders, and left their children and grand-children, along with their home and careers in the States to follow their calling in Israel.
As we have travelled the UK, Stacey and Kevin have been sharing on just how this ministry in Israel is seen as ‘salt and light’ and why they feel today is a ‘season to shine on Jerusalem’. Speaking from the above Scriptures from the gospel of Matthew and the book of Revelation, Kevin shared on the background to being ‘salt and light’. In a very challenging message to the church, Kevin shared how salt - a crystalline compound sodium chloride, occurring as a mineral, is used for seasoning food and as a preservative etc. In Hebrew, the word ‘shamar’ ( ) ַרָׁמש – means ‘to keep, watch, preserve (Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it - Genesis 2:15; And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations – Genesis 17:19). In many ways, we should be grateful to the Jewish people, for they have preserved the Scriptures by passing them on generation to generation.
Regarding ‘Light’, Kevin stated that this is something that makes things visible or affords illumination: All colours depend on light. It’s an illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon. It’s the radiance or illumination from a particular source. However, light in the Greek is phós (φῶς, φωτός, τό). ‘Light-bringing’ in the Greek is phósphoros. This is where we get the word Phosphorus from. The two most common allotropes are white phosphorus and red phosphorus. From the perspective of applications and chemical literature, the most important form of elemental phosphorus is white phosphorus. White phosphorus is the most reactive, the most volatile, and the most toxic of the allotropes. White phosphorus gradually changes to red phosphorus. This transformation is accelerated by light and heat. When exposed to oxygen, white phosphorus glows in the dark with a very faint tinge of green and blue. It is highly flammable and pyrophoric (self-igniting) upon contact with air. Could the green represent life and the blue, royalty? And this is supposed to be how the dynamic Christian life is meant to be – us giving light to this dark world. Yet as Kevin stated, this is a long way from where we are within the Church. Kevin mentioned his Orthodox Jewish friend who stated, “We can have two Jews but three arguments,” to which Kevin responded, “but in the church, we have 30,000 denominations and if you have ten Christians in one room, one might never agree on anything!” [CFI UK will be producing the full talk in due time.]
So how do we become this salt and light that we are meant to be? How do we come together as Believers in the Lord and overcome division and barriers? And how do we show the people and nation of Israel that we are there for them; supporting them, loving them, and standing in the gap against the BDS supporters and anti-Israel and Zionist haters? Even as my section of the UK tour was coming to an end, my heart was full of grief as I learned of yet more Israelis killed by Islamic Arab terrorists, and my soul was full of anger as I listened and watched the venom and hatred being spewed out by Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and many others at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton this week. It is tough being called to Israel. It is hard being salt and light in this dark world. But as David Pawson once stated, “by God” how we need to be!
Three Israelis murdered by Arab Terrorist An Arab Palestinian terrorist shot and murdered three Israelis on Tuesday – two security men and one Border Policeman – and seriously wounded another security guard in the Jewish community of Har Adar, just north of Jerusalem. The terrorist, who had a permit to work in Israel, was shot dead. The incident occurred as Arab Palestinian employees were arriving to work. Security officials began suspecting him, at which point he extracted a weapon from his shirt and fired, hitting four. Volunteer doctors and paramedics from Mevaseret treated the injured, three of whom were listed in critical condition. Only a few moments later, all three were pronounced dead at the scene. The fourth victim, in his early 30s, was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.
What was ironic about this terrorist attack was the fact that many of the Jewish Community knew the man. They knew him as someone who fixed things for them around the house - and that is quite common in Jewish Communities. Arabs from nearby Muslim communities are frequently employed as labourers for domestic and construction work, but of course there are no headlines to tell the story of the harmony that so often exists between Jews and Arabs within the Jewish State of Israel.
According to one report in Israel National News, the blame of this murder lies at the feet of Abbas. In his report, Jack Engelhard wrote in Arutz Sheva, “Mahmoud Abbas is his name and why this leader of the “Palestinian people” has not been arrested is a confounding mystery. Abbas – through his leadership in the PA (the Palestinian Authority) – is directly responsible for the slaying at Har Adar. Only days before the attack he called for “Days of Rage.” The terrorist responded with deadly gunshots and Abbas is still a free man. Baffling! Back in July, also “Days of Rage,” and this time three members of the Solomon family were murdered as they sat down for a Sabbath meal and to celebrate the birth of a grandchild. Abbas does everything except pull the trigger and walks the streets untouched and unscathed.” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement praised the Har Adar terrorist as a ‘Martyr’. The ruling Fatah movement in the Palestinian Authority rushed on Tuesday to praise Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Jamal — the terrorist who murdered three Jewish Israelis. On its official Facebook page, Fatah honoured the killer by posting his picture alongside the text, “The one who carried out the operation in Jerusalem (Har Adar) is Martyr (Shahid) Nimr Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Jamal.”
Sadly, the world’s mainstream media continued its biased coverage of the attack in Israel, presenting poorly reported accounts of Tuesday’s deadly terror attack. CNN’s headline read: “Three Israelis killed in shooting at West Bank crossing,” without mentioning that the shooting was committed by an Arab Palestinian or that it was an act of terrorism. Most of the media framed the murders in the context of “Israeli settlements” in the “occupied West Bank,” essentially justifying the deadly attack. NBC reported, “Three Israelis Shot Dead by Palestinian at West Bank Settlement” with no reference to terrorism in the headline. NBC quoted the Israeli Security Agency which pointed out that the terrorist’s spouse had left him and their four children several weeks ago, but failed to report that the terrorist violently abused his estranged wife. The BBC report was better, but still had its shortcomings. The BBC‘s headline read, “Palestinian gunman kills three Israelis,” mentioning the terrorist’s identity, but failing to mention that the attack was terrorism. The BBC has been criticized in the past on multiple occasions for its anti-Israel agenda and even its false reporting on events in Israel. For more failed headlines on this terrorist attack, see Honest Reporting here: http://honestreporting.com/har-adar-terror-attack-headline-fails/ .
May we pray for the families and friends of the three Israelis killed by the Palestinian terrorist. Pray also for all who live in Har Adar and the surrounding areas. Sadly this murder has not only wiped out the precious lives of three Israelis, but has also made life much harder for all those Arabs who simply want to earn a decent living. Not all Arabs agree with the PA and Hamas – many are happy to work with Israelis. However, Hamas have again confirmed their true nature by praising the attack in the same way as the PA have. For a very good historical perspective on the town of Har Adar click here.
Before I move onto the next story, I’d just like to point out one clear issue that pretty much sums up the Arab-Israeli conflict. What Jack Engelhard of Arutz Sheva stated above regarding Abbas does need serious consideration. Think about it this way…The emblem of Fatah or the Palestinian Authority/PLO has the whole of Israel as the Islamic Palestinian state in green– there is no room for any Israeli nation here. The emblem of Hamas has two swords upon it – there is no peace here. The emblem of Hezbollah has an assault rifle upon it – not exactly a peaceful statement. However the emblem of Israel has two olive branches. It would clearly appear that one side wants peace, while the other sides clearly don’t.
Is this the true face of Labour? According to an article by Jason Groves, Daniel Martin and John Stevens for the Daily Mail (27 September 2017), the UK Labour party is getting nastier and nastier as Jeremy Corbyn came under fire following more allegations of anti-Semitism. And there were further vile slurs on the conference floor in Brighton this week. The Daily Mail reported, “The city council's Labour leader even warned the party would not be allowed back unless Mr Corbyn halted the anti-Semitic abuse that has hit this week's gathering. The equality watchdog also intervened, telling Labour to do more to prove it was not a racist party. It called on Mr Corbyn to 'root out' anti-Semitism.” Deputy leader Tom Watson pledged an investigation into how anti-Semites had been allowed to address the conference fringe and question whether the Holocaust had actually taken place. He described their claims as ‘disgusting’. In an attempt to hit back, Mr Corbyn tried to round on interviewers, saying anti-Semitism was completely at odds with Labour’s values. ‘This is not a nasty party,’ he insisted. However, many of the fringe speakers did raise issues of great concern. When one considers there is a ‘Labour Friends of Israel group’, should they not be greatly concerned by the fact that a call to expel Jewish activists from Labour was greeted with cheers at a packed fringe meeting at the party’s conference in Brighton? Members of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel were targeted at the meeting this week, held by the ‘Free Speech on Israel’ group, and chaired by leading anti-Zionist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. Wimborne-Idrissi, who won a standing ovation on Monday morning when, speaking in the international debate, she told Conference: “There is no problem with Jews in the Labour Party” Really? Wimborne-Idrissi’s speech was the most obnoxious, anti-Israeli propaganda I have listened to of late. It dresses up lies as truth; hatred as love, and sells this arrogant BDS drivel to a new level. Her ignorance regarding how much Israel has blessed the world is amazing. Her ignorance regarding Gaza and Hamas is outstanding. And sadly, the ignorance of those applauding her is equally outstanding. Should you really want to you can watch and listen to Wimborne-Idrissi here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4zpURgqhJw. One person on Social Media stated after watching her rant, “Many of you will be aware of Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and her rampant hate of all things Jewish state. From standing on a stage with Hezbollah flags to accusing Israel of ‘exploiting’ the Holocaust, this is a highly unsavoury person. Well, guess what? Here she is at Labour Conference now claiming 'this party does not have a problem with Jews' which is greeted with huge applause!”
Another person on Social Media stated, “I was at CFI UK's national conference this past weekend and listened to Andrew Tucker speaking, who is a lawyer and has worked in the EU & UN establishments. He would absolutely destroy the lies this woman [Wimborne-Idrissi] just spewed. And what's worse is the masses just take this drivel on board and applaud it and won't ever research the history for themselves. Naomi probably denies that there was ever a Jewish Temple Mount too!” There have been many scathing comments on Social Media regarding the Labour Party’s anti-Zionist issues; however I’m unable to put them in print here.
Another keynote speaker at a fringe meeting was Miko Peled, a Jerusalem-born anti-Israeli who now lives in America. At the Labour conference Peled was sporting a large pink Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions badge, and he refused to call Israel “Israel”, but rather “Palestine”. Peled made a series of claims about the spending power of “the Zionists”, including a suggestion that “every person standing for city council in America gets a five star trip to Israel, all expenses paid”. “Billions” had been invested in a campaign to “silence the Palestinian voice”, he said. He repeatedly called Israel an “apartheid” state, and stated that the Jewish state was “a racist and colonialist project”.
It’s a shame this next Palestinian Arab wasn’t allowed to speak at the Labour Conference. Please keep watching this next video, as the key speaker stuns the United Nations. Watch as U.N. heads turn in disbelief as PLO lies are exposed by a Palestinian Arab and former Hamas member. Palestinian delegates look in shock, as UN Watch brings their surprise guest speaker -Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef—to expose PLO propaganda: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2NaiX-hvVQ
Holocaust denier sentenced to visit Concentration camps. A court in Belgium has ordered a Holocaust denier to visit a Nazi concentration camp every year for the next five years and write about his experiences. Laurent Louis, 37, was given the unconventional sentence last week by the Brussels Court of Appeal. In June 2015 he was convicted and given a six-month suspended jail sentence and fined over $20,000 by the Correctional Tribunal of Brussels for making statements that consciously downplayed the atrocities committed by the Nazi Germans that ruled Belgium during World War II. The trial focused on online statements he made that questioned the number of Jews killed in Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. In 2014, Louis said in parliament that “the Holocaust was set up and financed by the pioneers of Zionism.” Louis entered parliament as a representative of the small centre-right People’s Party, but he was later kicked out. In a statement issued Sept. 20. 2017 following the ruling, Louis said he would carry out the ruling and “repent every year in a death camp.” He said the sentence would be “very educational and very powerful on a human level,” and called it a chance to “denounce current genocides,” according to the Times. Louis has called Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip a genocide and said Zionism was worse than Nazism.
David Soakell (CFI Church Liaison Officer (UK) & WoZ News Report Correspondent)
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/