Tag archives: Israel

A Personal Reflection on Israel’s Never-Ending Conflict with Hamas

by Lela Gilbert

May 25, 2021

On May 20, a news alert on my computer tersely announced that Israel was launching retaliatory strikes into the Gaza Strip. And, as always, this was in response to volleys of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza into southern Israel. In fact, since some 50 rockets had struck Israel just since April, it was about time to react—yet again.

But the news story really came to life for me when a close friend started sending me WhatsApp messages from a bomb shelter in her Tel Aviv apartment building. She also forwarded photos and videos of skies alight with rockets and explosions in her own neighborhood.

She described how her building was shaking. And, later, on a phone call, I could hear blasts as Israel’s Iron Dome defense system blew up rocket after rocket, disabled before they could strike Israeli homes, hospitals, and schools.

Another friend wrote briefly that she was also in a shelter—safe but “Sleepless in Tel Aviv.”

Since I’d lived in Israel for more than a decade myself, those Hamas rocket attacks on civilian Israel neighborhoods sounded sadly familiar. In fact, by the time I returned to America in 2017, I had experienced several of Israel’s “operations” in Gaza. Time and again, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fought back to stop relentless attacks on Israeli cities, villages, and kibbutzim in the “Gaza Envelope”—the civilian area within reach of Gaza’s earlier short-range Qassam rockets.

The Hamas terrorist organization, which is funded by Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other radical Islamists, is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom, as well as other powers. The Hamas Charter is lengthy, but it quite clearly calls for the destruction of Israel, declaring in part,

Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. The Islamic Resistance Movement is but one squadron that should be supported…until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realized. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…

I first arrived in Israel during the 2006 Lebanon War. At that time, rockets and missiles were being launched from Lebanon into Israel by Hezbollah—another Iranian proxy. In several places I visited, sirens wailed and people grabbed their children and ran for shelter. It was an amazing introduction to Israel and its people.

Just after the Lebanon War ended, I moved into a Jerusalem apartment. And once there was a peace agreement, I traveled with some new friends to Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli city close to the Lebanon border to see the widespread damage and talk to some traumatized residents.

So I was introduced to warfare early in my lengthy stay in Israel. Between rocket and mortar launches from Gaza in the South, a seemingly endless string of terror attacks in Jerusalem, and insistent threats and posturing about Hezbollah’s arsenal in the North, wars and rumors of wars never really went away.

On a couple of occasions, I traveled south to communities in the Gaza Envelope during rocket attacks. With other Christians, I visited a kibbutz where residents had been under sporadic fire for some months. A group of elderly men and women were being bussed to Eilat—a tranquil beach resort—for a few days of relief from persistent, jolting “red alerts” in the night.

One woman with shaky hands told me that most of the children in their community were bed-wetters and many of the adults required anxiety medications. “I’m really surprised you came,” she said. “My own children won’t visit me here.”

As we were about to leave, we heard a large explosion nearby, just as the bus to Eilat was pulling out.

Another trip to the South was with representatives of a Christian group that was installing a donated bomb shelter in a children’s school. Again, the assaults on that small town of unarmed civilians had been relentless.

In November 2012, during Israel’s “Operations Pillar of Defense,” for the first time I heard air-raid sirens in my own neighborhood as Gaza’s rapidly-expanding Hamas rocketry arsenal attempted to reach Jerusalem. The sirens warned us to seek shelter more than once.

In every case, the starting point of the conflicts that I witnessed was Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists attacking Israeli civilians. And after tolerating relentless and unprovoked rocket fire, the misery on the ground demanded a military response. This most recent battle was no exception.

In early May, Israel pushed back against rioters on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, who among other aggressions, had gathered piles of large stones to drop on the heads of worshippers at the Western Wall. Also, because of an eviction notice issued to Arab families who were living rent-free—thanks to a decades-long property dispute—there was increasing violence, rioting, and a tough response by the Jerusalem Police.

And so it was that Hamas, once again, declared war on the Jewish State. They launched volleys of rockets—totaling some 4,000 deadly missiles—on civilian Israeli communities. At least 248 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes during the conflict. Gaza’s rocket attacks killed 12 people in Israel, while countless lives were saved by Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system, which intercepted some 90 percent of the incoming Hamas missiles.

Based on what I’ve learned, and on what I’ve seen and heard with my own eyes and ears, Israel has the absolute right to defend its existence. It also has the moral obligation to protect its endangered civilian population. And as long as the Iranian regime, Hamas, and other radical Islamists continue their quest to “Drive the Jews into the Sea,” Israel will eventually have to go to war all over again.

Let us all remember Israel in our prayers. As the Bible teaches us,

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.

Psalm 122:6-9 NIV

Washington Post asks: “What went wrong for President Obama?”

by Robert Morrison

November 4, 2014

We are all waiting for today’s critical election returns and for the post-mortems that will inevitably follow. But our hometown newspaper, the Washington Post, is not waiting for the ballots to be reported tonight (and maybe some to be cast in Louisiana on December 6th with, perhaps, some even to be brought in by dogsled in Alaska!)

No, the Post is doing a pre-mortem. They printed this headline an amazing headline in this morning’s edition. This reliably liberal house organ is jumping the gun with analysis of the President’s failure and the “many crises [in his second term] and less faith in his [Mr. Obama’s] ability to respond.”

Finally, the liberal editors are asking themselves a question I can answer for them.

Here’s what went wrong for President Obama:

  1. He allowed himself to become the willing accomplice of Planned Parenthood. He told Speaker Boehner he would veto any Continuing Resolution of Congress that takes away even one dollar from this evil enterprise that dismembers a thousand unborn American children every day.
  1. His Obamacare legislation will force millions of Americans to pay for the killing of unborn children. This will be the greatest expansion of abortion since the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling.
  1. He has “evolved” into the nation’s most powerful marriagender. Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, a law we could have passed through Congress without a single Republican vote. Just 18 years ago, Democrats joined Republicans in supporting marriage. As recently as 2008, Barack told voters he believed “marriage is between a man and a woman and God is in the mix.” [emphasis added.]

Apparently, if you like your God you can keep Him. But President Obama has moved on on marriage. He has suddenly become aware that the Constitution all along has required every state to recognize counterfeit marriages. For a man who proudly tells us he taught Constitutional Law, this is an amazing, if tardy, discovery.

  1. He presides over the most anti-Christian administration in U.S. history. Never before have so many churches, pastors, priests and Christian citizens found their religious freedom so gravely endangered. Liberal reporters think this is rightwing hysteria and respond: “What about those Bible riots in Philadelphia in the 1840s?” Gotcha, they say. NO. Those Bible riots—deplorable as they were—were never instigated by the President and backed by the full power of the federal government. Today, Catholic bishops, Lutheran church body leaders, Evangelical pastors, Mormon officials, and rabbinical association spokespersons are united as never before in our nation’s history to push back against President Obama’s threats to religious freedom.
  1. His is the first administration in our history openly hostile to Israel. Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, favored the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt met with the Saudi king in 1945 in an effort to persuade him to accept a Jewish State. Harry Truman boldly recognized Israel 11 minutes after it declared its independence in 1948. But President Obama is pressuring Israel to permit the creation of a PLO Terroristan on the West Bank of the Jordan River. President Obama refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but he went to reunited Berlin to bask in the adulation of German crowds.

For these and a host of other, lesser, reasons, this president has lost what the Chinese call “the Mandate of Heaven.”

Barbara Walters spoke to this world-weary sense that liberals have about the Obama Presidency when she sighed: “We thought he was going to be the Messiah.”

And Newsweek editor Evan Thomas cooed early in this administration that President Obama at Normandy “hovered over the nations like a sort of god.”

Can Mr. Thomas tell us what his god said at Normandy? Can President Obama remember what he said there? In 2009? In 2014?

Our God speaks. And through His Word, we learn of his tender concern for children, even those in the womb. We learn that He created marriage because it is not good for man to be alone. And we learn that when it comes to speaking His Word, we are to obey God and not men.

Our Founding Fathers believed that religious freedom was essential for political liberty. That’s why they guaranteed it in the Constitution they gave us. Socialist governments have always been hostile to three institutions—the family, the church, and free enterprise.

So we should not be surprised that President Obama is having mounting difficulty. It is a sign of a healthy body politic that the immune system is starting to reject his ruling philosophy.

Candidate Obama shocked Clinton Democrats when he said, “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not. And in a way that Bill Clinton did not.”

Barack Obama was promising liberals he would be their Ronald Reagan. But Reagan quoted the Founding Fathers’ wisdom more than any of his four predecessors and more than any of his four successors.

Perhaps that is why, respecting this country’s foundation and not seeking to “fundamentally transform this nation,” as Mr. Obama has, that Ronald Reagan was a success and this president is not.

The View from my Adirondack Chair

by Robert Morrison

August 29, 2014

I am very much looking forward to the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. I’m getting a head start today by having lunch in my back yard with a good friend.

Working from home has its decided benefits. It’s been a good and productive week for me. (I hope my boss agrees). My friend and I will be sitting in my favorite birthday gift — my new Adirondack chairs. This very American invention seems to symbolize peace, order, creativity. Sitting side-by-side with a friend, in animated conversation, is one of life’s joys.

But there is a certain bittersweet quality to these days. We have never had a nicer summer in Maryland. Blue skies, low humidity, picnic suppers at the sea wall in Annapolis, watching red sails in the sunset, enjoying a summer of peace.

Yet the world has seemingly never been in worse shape, but here at home, peace is precious. The Mideast is exploding. War between Israel and Hamas brings condemnation — as usual — of those who are defending themselves from terrorists. From Gaza, Hamas has been tunneling under the Israeli primary schools and staging rocket attacks on their hospitals. The French have an old expression for this: “This animal is very wicked; when you attack it, it defends itself.”

The president this week announced to the world: “We have no strategy yet for dealing with ISIS.” Truth be told, this president has no strategy yet for dealing with ISIS, Iran, the PLO, Russia, or China, or Boko Haram. Not since Jimmy Carter’s uncertain course has the Ship of State been so obviously adrift.

I had the honor of interviewing President Carter’s own choice for Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Malcolm Toon had been a thirty-year diplomat. He told me in 1982 that the only time in his career that he feared for the United States was when Carter was president. “I had never seen the Soviets so contemptuous of American weakness,” Amb. Toon told me then.

President Bush erred, badly, in saying he had looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and had seen “a good man.” He looked into the Russian strong man’s soul, Mr. Bush announced. Russian dissident writer Vladimir Bukovsky spoke to a Victims of Communism Dinner shortly thereafter. Asked about George W. Bush’s statement, Bukovsky deadpanned, with his lugubrious Slavic intonations: “I have looked into eyes of many KGB agents. I have never found it a particularly soulful experience.”

It took years for George Bush to gain a better understanding of Putin and his conduct. But at least he got it. Not so this administration. Vice President Joe Biden related how he had told Putin “I don’t think you have a soul at all.” This prompts one to ask: Is there a Nobel Prize for Jackassery?

The Obama administration’s UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, is famous for her evoking of “Soft Power,” whatever that is. But in the UN this week, she declaimed that the Russians had to stop “lying” about their activities in Ukraine. Why, Madame Ambassador, must they stop lying? Are you going to invoke Soft Power against them? Liberalizing Czech Communists tried Soft Power in 1968. The Kremlin crushed that Prague Spring under the tank treads of their T-34’s. So much for Soft Power.

We in America can thank God for our safety — and thank the U.S. military, too. There’s a quote — probably misattributed to the great English writer George Orwell — that says “people sleep safely in their beds because rough men are ready to do violence in their behalf.”

What the U.S. military does is not violence. The U.S. military has always been a force for peace. When obliged to use force, even deadly force, it is not engaged in violence. The “authorized use of deadly force” is what distinguishes legitimate and civilized nations from those — like Russia under the Communists, like the Nazis in Germany, like Hamas, Iran, or ISIS today — whose use of force is always violence, never legitimate.

Every Sunday, my wife and I join in prayers at Chapel for the families of young Americans who have died the previous week defending us. We thank God for the sacrifice of these heroes. They are not rough men ready to do violence. But they are brave men, capable men, men and women ready to defend our peace, our freedom, our laws and our Constitution, with their very lives.

To my friends and dear readers enjoying this last breath of summer may I share this poem?

The Last Rose of Summer

Tis the last rose of summer,

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone;

No flower of her kindred,

No rosebud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!

To pine on the stem;

Since the lovely are sleeping,

Go, sleep thou with them.

Thus kindly I scatter,

Thy leaves o’er the bed,

Where thy mates of the garden

Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,

When friendships decay,

And from Love’s shining circle

The gems drop away.

When true hearts lie withered,

And fond ones are flown,

Oh! who would inhabit

This bleak world alone?

The Roots of the Islamist Movement

by Connor Headrick

August 18, 2014

The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip has reignited debates about moral culpability, civilian casualties, and the actual history of the relationship between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. What drives both sides in the conflict? What are their ultimate goals? In a recent article, I examined the stated purpose of Hamas, a terrorist group with the self-articulated goal of destroying Israel and the Jews.

How can such a claim be taken seriously? In the West, we find it hard to grasp the fact that calls for genocide can be issued with utmost conviction and commitment. How can a movement of individuals desire the destruction of an ethnic group? Can it really be out of pure racism or hatred? Surely there must be another explanation.

And so we come to one of the darkest movements of our day: Islamism. The Islamist movement is defined by Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum as “an ideology that demands man’s complete adherence to the sacred law of Islam and rejects as much as possible outside influence, with some exceptions (such as access to military and medical technology). It is imbued with a deep antagonism towards non-Muslims and has a particular hostility towards the West… Islamism is, in other words, yet another twentieth-century radical utopian scheme. Like Marxism-Leninism or fascism, it offers a way to control the state, run society, and remake the human being. It is an Islamic-flavored version of totalitarianism.”

Again, the idea of Islamism as an ideology that is actually serious about promoting a totalitarian society strikes our Western sensibilities as strange. Surely, we may think skeptically, there must be some misunderstanding, some nuance to the situation that simply isn’t apparent.

As complex as every movement is upon deeper examination, the core tenants of the Islamist movement are very black and white. At the root of Islamism is a desire for the establishment of Islamic government under Islamic law, and an accompanying hatred of and desire for the destruction of the Jews. Hamas’ Charter is a clear example of this, but Islamism is much bigger than simply Hamas. The history and statements of the movement itself prove it.

Islamism, German analyst Matthais Kuntzel explains, was born in the 1930s, and it grew into an immediately recognizable organization. “It was the Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in 1928, that established Islamism as a mass movement,” Kuntzel writes. It was and remains to this day the ideological reference point and organizational core for all later Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda and Hamas.” Incidentally, Hamas was spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Article Two of its own charter declared it to be one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine.

The Brotherhood itself was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Egyptian born in 1906. Middle East scholar David Meir-Levi writes, “While still in his teens, the young al-Banna and friends…met frequently to discuss the situation in the Middle East, to argue about the ills of Arab society, and to lament the decline of Islam. Their angst was in large part a reaction to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the end of the Muslim Caliphate, the British occupation of Egypt, and the resulting exposure of Arab society to Western values.”

Though the group began as an organization which met to preach on the need for moral reform, the face of the Muslim Brotherhood soon changed. “As the group expanded during the 1930’s and extended its activities well beyond its original religious revivalism, al-Banna began dreaming a greater Muslim dream: the restoration of the Caliphate. And it was this dream, which he believed could only become a reality by the sword, that won the hearts and minds of a growing legion of followers.”

The “Caliphate,” according to the Encyclopedia Britanica, is “the political-religious state comprising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.” () In other words, the goal of the Brotherhood is to re-establish Islamic hegemony over lands once ruled by Muslim leaders.

Kuntzel further analyzes the primary goals of Islamism in its formative days. He writes, “It is true that British colonial policy produced Islamism, insofar as Islamism viewed itself as a resistance movement against ‘cultural modernity.’ The Islamists’ solution was the call for a new order based on sharia. But the Brotherhood’s jihad was not directed primarily against the British. Rather, it focused almost exclusively on Zionism and the Jews.”

Meir-Levi introduces a major player in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood: the Hajj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In the Great Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, Al-Husseini “incited his followers to a three-year war against the Jews in Palestine and the British who administered the Mandate. In 1936 the Brotherhood had about 800 members, but by 1938, just two years into the ‘Revolt,’ its membership had grown to almost 200,000[.]”

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood was not peaceful, either. “To achieve that broader dream of a global jihad,” Meir-Levi writes, “the Brotherhood developed a network of underground cells, stole weapons, trained fighters, formed secret assassination squads, founded sleeper cells of subversive supporters in the ranks of the army and police, and waited for the order to go public with terrorism, assassinations, and suicide missions.”

Islamism has a history of violence and the pointed goal of re-establishing an Islamic Caliphate. Here, the history of Islamism grows even darker.

It was during this time,” Meir-Levi writes, “that the Muslim Brotherhood found a soul mate in Nazi Germany. The Reich offered great power connections to the movement, but the relationship brokered by the Brotherhood was more than a marriage of convenience. Long before the war, al-Banna had developed an Islamic religious ideology which previewed Hitler’s Nazism. Both movements sought world conquest and domination. Both were triumphalist and supremacist: in Nazism the Aryan must rule, while in al-Banna’s Islam, the Muslim religion must hold dominion. Both advocated subordination of the individual to a folkish central power. Both were explicitly anti-nationalist in the sense that they believed in the liquidation of the nation-state in favor of a trans-national unifying community: in Islam the umma (community of all believers); and in Nazism the herrenvolk (master race). Both worshipped the unifying totalitarian figure of the Caliph or Führer. And both rabidly hated the Jews and sought their destruction.”

The historical ties between the Nazism and Islamism are not simply ideological similarities. The relationship between the two movements is frightening. Meir-Levi adds:

When the Second World War broke out, al-Banna worked to firm up a formal alliance with Hitler and Mussolini. He sent them letters and emissaries, and urged them to assist him in his struggle against the British and the westernized regime of King Farouk. The Intelligence Service of the Muslim Brotherhood vigorously collected information on the heads of the regime in Cairo and on the movements of the British army, offering this and more to the Germans in return for closer relations. During the ‘Great Arab Revolt’ of 1936-9, which al-Husseini helped organize and which Germany funded, the swastika was used as a mark of identity on Arabic leaflets and graffiti. Arab children welcomed each other with the Hitler salute, and a sea of German flags and pictures of Hitler were displayed at celebrations.

Additionally, when al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, fled from British troops sent to end the Arab Revolt, he found his way to Berlin, where he worked with the Nazis for the remainder of World War II. Kuntzel notes, “Based in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, he had directed the Muslim SS divisions in the Balkans and had been personally responsible for blocking negotiations late in the war that might have saved thousands of Jewish children from the gas chambers.”

Chuck Morse, a journalist, radio show host, and author who has written extensively on the ties between Islamism and the Nazis, states, “It should be noted that the main line of propaganda used by Hitler and the Mufti against the Jews was that there was a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. This was the basic thesis used against the Jews by Hitler in Mein Kampf and previously, in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a Russian forgery that was widely disseminated in those years.”

Al-Husseini’s actions are further documented by Meir-Levi: “On March 1, 1944, the Mufti called out in a broadcast from Zeesen: ‘Arabs! Rise as one and fight for your sacred rights. Kill the Jews wherever you find them. Kill them with your teeth if need be. This pleases God, history, and religion. This saves your honor.’ His goal, with the help of the Nazis, was ‘to solve the question of the Jewish elements in Palestine and in other Arab countries as required by national interests, and in the same way as the Jewish question in the Axis lands is being solved.’ His own memoirs, and the testimony of German defendants at the Nuremberg trials later on, showed that he planned a death camp modeled on Auschwitz to be constructed near Nablus for the genocide of Palestine’s Jews.”

After the end of World War II, however, Western leaders allowed al-Husseini to escape punishment “to avoid spoiling their relations with the Arab world,” as Kuntzel puts it. It was this same al-Husseini who, along with al-Banna, spearheaded the movement to reject a two-state solution in 1947.

Meir-Levi continues:

[W]hen the question of Palestine came before the United Nations, he and Hassan al-Banna urged the Arab world to unite in opposition to it. The two men saw in the UN resolution for the partition of Palestine an example of the ‘Jewish world conspiracy,’ even though the plan provided for an Arab state in Palestine alongside of the Jewish one. But in their view a state for the Arabs of Palestine took a back seat to the eradication of Zionism and the annihilation of Palestine’s Jews. No Arab head of state had the courage to contradict al-Husseini’s rejectionism, and the Arab world’s enthusiastic reception of his message of hate and genocide ended any possibility of the peaceful implementation of the UN resolution and the creation of an Arab and a Jewish state side by side in the Palestine Mandate (80% of the Mandate had already been allocated to Jordan, whose population was more than two-thirds Palestinian Arab).

The wars against Israel in the following years further illustrate that the hatred of the Jews was not merely rhetoric. It was a firm belief which drove the Islamists to action.

As the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia and Morocco invaded Israel in 1948, the general-secretary of the Arab League, Abd al-Rahman Azzam (aka Azzam Pasha), who had previously stated privately that he considered the partition of Palestine to be the only rational solution, now stood shoulder to shoulder with the Mufti. ‘This war,’ he declared on the day of the Arab attack, ‘will be a war of destruction.’ It was: but it was the armies assembled by Arab generals, many of whom had fought with Rommel in behalf of the Third Reich that were destroyed.

Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb, who visited the United States in the 1950s and was upset by what he perceived as the West’s cultural corruption, perpetuated the core ideologies of Islamism and the hatred of the Jews. Meir-Levi examines Qutb’s influence on Islamism:

But whatever America’s intentions, Qutb declared in his seminal essay, ‘Our Struggle against the Jews,’ it was crucial to understand that the Jew was the root of all the world’s evil. Picking up on the Nazi ideology he had ingested as a member of the Brotherhood, Qutb wrote that Jews were responsible for the world’s moral decay, and the West’s animalistic sexual depravity. It was the Jews who had created the anti-Islamic doctrines of atheistic materialism, godless socialism, and democratic individualism. The Jews, therefore, were the perpetual enemies of Islam. This essay, arguably the single most important manifesto of Islamic fascist anti-Semitism in the modern world, was distributed in millions of copies throughout the Islamic world with the help of Wahabbist Islamic sect in Saudi Arabia.”

Qutb, whose understanding of American history reads a like a junior high parody, even hated the fact that Americans have green grass lawns. He was instrumental in providing continuing momentum for the Islamist movement.

Kuntzel brings us full circle in his statement addressing how we interpret these behaviors from a Western mentality.

The refusal…to recognize the substance of Islamist ideology — the death cult, the hatred of the Jews, and the profound hatred of freedom — leads back again and again to the mistaken ‘discovery’ that the ‘root cause’ of terrorism is U.S. policies. Ultimately, the refusal to recognize al-Qaeda’s true motives results in a reversal of responsibility: The more deadly the terrorism, the greater the American guilt.”

He continues

The same pattern explains the bizarre reaction to the Middle east conflict that is widespread in the West: The average observer, ignorant of the anti-Jewish content of the Hamas Charter, has to find some other explanation for terrorism against Jews, which must be — Israel. It is not the terrorists who are guilty, but their victims. Finding suicide terrorism incomprehensible, Westerners rationalize it as an act of despair that invites sympathy…Here, too, following the principle of ‘the more barbaric the anti-Jewish terror, the greater the Israeli guilt,’ the bombers’ victims become the scapegoat for global terrorism. The old stereotype of Jewish guilt is thus amplified in contemporary form — and only encourages the terrorists.

The hatred of the Jews within Islamism is not an antiquated notion that has died away through the years. It continues to this day. Meir-Levi observes, “The long legacy of Arab and Palestinian Nazism, and the Hitlerite themes of lebensraum, ethnic cleansing and genocide, continue to echo in the Middle East today. Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, said of the Jews after the Lebanon war of 2006: ‘If they gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them nationwide.’ Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas Foreign Minister, says: ‘I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it.’ And most chillingly, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President of Iran, looks ahead to the next holocaust and final solution: ‘The use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once said, “Now, as for Israel, if history has taught the Jewish people anything, it is that we must take calls for our destruction seriously. We are a nation that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust. When we say ‘Never again,’ we mean never again.”

The infamous al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, expressed a hatred toward the Jews which even played into his opposition toward America. He said in a letter addressed to the American people, “The Jews have taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense…Your law is the law of rich and wealthy people…Behind them stand the Jews who control your policies, media and economy.”

In a post-9/11 trial in Hamburg, the ideas of Mohamed Atta, one of the pilots who flew aircraft into the World Trade Center, and the others among the conspiracy came under scrutiny. Kuntzel reports, “One participant in the Koran circle meetings, Shahid Nickels, said Atta’s Weltanschauung was based upon a ‘National Socialist way of thinking.’ Atta was convinced that the Jews were striving for world domination and considered New York City the center of world Jewery, which was, in his opinion, Enemy No. 1. Fellow students who lived in Motassedeq’s [another of the al-Qaeda cell responsible for the 9/11 attacks] dormitory testified that he shared these views and waxed enthusiastic about a forthcoming ‘big action.’ One student quoted Motassedeq as saying ‘The Jews will burn and in the end we will dance on their graves.’”

The violence of the Islamist movement is especially clear today within Iraq, where the self-proclaimed Islamic State has declared itself to be the new Islamic Caliphate. The article ISIS and the Birth of Early Islam” compares the violence in Iraq today to the violent expansion of Islam in its early years, stating, “When an invading force entered a non-Muslim land, individuals had three choices: convert to Islam, pay a tax (jizya), or die. Fast-forward to today and this is the very same thing that is happening to Christians in Iraq by the Islamic State.” The same article observes, “Christian homes are being marked with the Arabic letter ? (nun) for Nazarene, reminiscent of the Jewish Star of David in the early days of Nazism in Germany. Thousands are fleeing, dying, or being left for dead by having food and water sources cut off from them.” Other Islamic nations and organizations are not happy with the creation of ISIS, but one fact is clear: ISIS is the product of a virulent Islamist ideology that utilizes violence against those who do not adhere to its tenants.

The movement of Islamism and its calls for genocide of the Jews now and throughout history are real. Let us recognize the Islamist movement as the threat it is, and stand up against the perpetuation of a belief that calls for the annihilation of Israel and all Jews.

Canada Celebrates Israel Democracy

by Robert Morrison

May 5, 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement today expressing Canada’s goodwill on the occasion of Israel’s birthday. The statement is a sincere one and represents the admiration that goes out from one democracy to another.

Reading the Prime Minister of Canada’s statement made me want to check www.whitehouse.gov to see how our own very eloquent president would greet the Israelis. I looked and looked, but couldn’t find anything. You can get the President’s witty talk at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. Mr. Obama admitted that last year, the first of what we pray will be his last term, was a bad one for him. Why, it was so bad, the president jibed, that “even the 47% were telling Mitt Romney they were sorry.” That was funny.

But no message to Israel, the only democracy in the Mideast. No kind words to our only trustworthy ally in the region.

Well, maybe I could find it on the State Department website. Surely, Sec. of State John Kerry would like to make nice to Israel. He needs to after his infamous gaffe comparing Israel’s future to “apartheid,” like South Africa’s past.

Checking in at www.state.gov, I searched and searched for birthday messages to Israel. Nada. None. Nowhere.

I did find a glowing statement about our improving relations with (drumroll, Marine Band, please) ANGOLA! Well, that’s good news.

Digging deeper into the State Department’s informative website, I learn that ex-Sen. Russ Feingold is Mr. Kerry’s Envoy to the Great Lakes.

Who knew we even had an envoy to bodies of water?

Which only serves to remind me that Israel could teach our water borne envoys a lot. As in parting the waters, stilling them, and walking on them.

This is a day for the rest of us to thank God we have friends in Israel. Who blesses you I will bless; who curses you I will curse says the Lord.

That promise comes to us from an even higher authority than the president, the secretary of state, and even higher than the White House Correspondents.

To read the entire statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, click here.

From Jerusalem, D.C.

by Robert Morrison

July 24, 2013

There were quizzical looks as the speaker brought greetings to several thousand Evangelical Christians gathered in the nation’s sweltering capital this week. Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau solemnly greeted the attendees, “To all of you here in Washington, D.C., I bring a message from Jerusalem, D.C.” Jerusalem, D.C.?  Then, he intoned, Jerusalem, David’s Capital. That emphasis was clearly needed. It reminds all of us why Jerusalem must never be divided again.

And it would be a good pointer for our own State Department. There, President Obama’s appointee, Victoria Nuland, recently danced around the question of whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel or not. (Nuland might consider trying out for the 2016 Olympics. She’d be sure to win a Gold Medal for Ice Dancing with this cold, mechanical performance.)

Minister Landau has spoken of the pre-1967 borders of Israel as “Auschwitzlines.” He means that it would not be possible for the Jewish state to defend itself if forced to live within those constricted borders. And that’s exactly what Israel’s enemies want.

We who gathered in the Washington Convention Centerwere happy to hear Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He came to us via satellite link from Jerusalem.  He thanks the 1.4 million members of CUFI—Christians United For Israel—for their constant support. And he referenced the colorful banners we saw displayed throughout the halls.

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. [Isaiah 62:1]

The Prime Minister spoke directly to these supporters. He has the capacity to around State Department paper shufflers and dissemblers. He described the scene we should recognize in the Bloody Crescent we call the Mideast.

From the shores of the Atlantic to the northern regions of India, we see a sea of turmoil.  Israelis the only beacon of light and hope in the region.” As speaker after speaker reminded us, Israelis the only country where the Christian population is expanding, and where Jews, Christians, and Muslims have religious freedom.

Israelis the best partner of the United States,” the Prime Minister continued. What was interesting about this video presentation was its sobriety. Benjamin Netanyahu smiled only when he spoke of his son, once his student, now his Bible teacher. “We read the Bible,” he said, “it tells the Truth for all mankind.”

He averted to the conflict in Syria, where internecine warfare between Alawites, Shiites and Sunni, Druze and Kurds has left Christians in the crossfire. But he did not call for U.S. or Israeli intervention in that civil war. His comments about Syria—whose fate seems to mesmerize some Washington politicians of both parties—seemed intended to show us the kind of neighbors with which Israel must deal on a day-to-day basis.

Then, he turned to Iran. Many Western journalists are convinced that the election of Hassan Rouhani as president will mark a major new departure for the Islamic Republic. But Rouhani has boasted of how he hoodwinked Western arms inspectors when he wasIran’s nuclear negotiator. Rouhani is the tool ofIran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks with an air of authority. He is not one to get excited about the Arab Spring or the Iranian “elections.” He doesn’t think it is so important when Tehran’s organ grinder changes out monkeys.

One way or another, Iran will be stopped,” he says with grim resolution. “We are capable of defending ourselves. We will guard our country. We will protect the Jewish people’s future.”

In my lifetime, I can remember only one such American ally. Only in 1982, when British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sent a war fleet to the South Atlantic to take back the Falkland Islands did we see seen such courage, such determination. The Argentine military junta had seized the islands and was set upon suppressing the British population there. Britain might still be a Britain without the Falklands. But she would no longer be Great Britain. Asked if Britain might lose to the Argentines, Mrs. Thatcher echoed Queen Victoria: “The possibility of defeat does not exist.”

If Mrs. Thatcher could show such resolve defending an obscure, distant group of windswept, rocky islands—with more sheep than people—then how much more can we expect the Israelis to defend their very homeland? The Jewish people got a second chance after Hitler’s Holocaust sought to annihilate them.  Israelis that second chance.

Anyone who doubts their determination has only to meet the three young Israeli Defense Force (IDF) officers who gave a briefing. With crisp, military precision, they described their duties. They told what it is like to live in a town where a young mother hears an air raid siren. She knows she has just 15 seconds to stop the car, get her little children out of their car seats, and shelter them in one of the roadside cylinders seen everywhere. Just 15 seconds before a Hamas or Hezbollah rocket slams into her town. Our IDF briefers know that it is this young Israeli mother they serve. It is she and her children whose lives they cherish and protect.

Sec. of State John Kerry wants Benjamin Netanyahu to sit down and negotiate with the kind of people who send those thousands of rockets into Israel, firing indiscriminately. How much more territory can he be pressured into giving up? The formula for forty years has been “Land for Peace.”  Israel gave up the land—Sinai, Gaza, the Southern Lebanon security zone, Jericho, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. And where is the peace?

British Col. Richard Kemp, who commanded his nation’s forces in Afghanistan, spoke of Gen. Orde Wingate, the Evangelical Christian who trained Israel’s armed forces even before there was a State of Israel. Col. Kemp quoted Israel’s famous one-eyed war hero, Gen. Moshe Dayan, who said “Wingate taught us everything.”

Today, said Col. Kemp, the Israelis are teaching us everything. Amen to that. I only hope our American leaders will learn in time. 

Israel’s Bicentennial Gift to America

by Robert Morrison

July 4, 2013

In New York on that two hundredth Fourth of July, 1976, the Parade of Tall Ships sailed majestically down the East River. My Coast Guard buddy, Lt. Cdr. Bill Albanese and I were especially eager to see the procession of sailing vessels from all over the world. Bill brought his son, Dante, and I brought my nephew, John. We wanted the boys to experience the all-out celebration of America’s Bicentennial from the vantage point of Governors Island. The Coast Guard’s training barque, Eagle, had the honor of leading the way. Above us on that brilliant sunny afternoon loomed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

After Op Sail concluded, we watched the nighttime fireworks that seemed to go on forever. Millions of our fellow Americans celebrated with us from sea to shining sea. Riding back to Brooklyn that night, with the boys asleep in the back seat of the van, Bill and I listened as WCBS Radio’s reporters noted that there had been no homicides in New York City that day.

That was not so halfway across the world in Uganda. There, at Entebbe Airport, one of the hundred hostages on board an Air France jet parked on the tarmac was taken off the plane. She was murdered by soldiers of dictator, Idi Amin. Dora Bloch was a frail, 75-year old Jewish woman from Britain. The hundred hostages remaining on board were Israelis, or Jews from other nations who had been held for a week after Palestinian terrorists had released the flight’s non-Jews.

Suddenly, we heard that almost all of the remaining hostages were free. An Israeli commando team had flown thousands of miles and liberated the Jewish passengers threatened hourly with death. The leader of the commandos was Jonathan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu. Today, Benjamin is the Prime Minister of Israel.

Jonathan did not live to wear the victor’s laurels. He was the only one of the heroic commandos to die in the Entebbe raid. Three of the passengers were killed in the rescue effort, but so were all the Palestinian hijackers and their German Communist comrades.

The news of this amazing rescue capped America’s Independence Day celebration.  We had always been close to the Jewish people. Our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin had seriously proposed a design for the Great Seal of America that depicted the Children of Israel being freed from bondage in Egypt. Now, we were seeing these Children of Israel being freed from their own bondage in Uganda. The waves were not parted for them, but the clouds were. Idi Amin’s decade of murder and misrule began to unravel from that fateful night. Soon he would be forced to flee Uganda for exile in Saudi Arabia; the world saw this clownish killer no more. 

Israel’s fearless action on our Bicentennial Fourth of July was an amazing gift to America, too. They showed that faith and courage can work miracles. The Entebbe Raid required careful planning and great skill to bring off successfully, to be sure. But faith comes first. “He who believes is not afraid,” sings the Israeli satirical group, Latma.  (I call them “Saturday Night Live” for our side.) The Latma video commemorates the Israeli War of Independence and highlights the miracle of Entebbe.

We should remember our Bicentennial and Israel’s Operation Jonathan when dealing with Iran’s rulers. And we should remind those murderous mullahs of the fate of Idi Amin. WE who believe are not afraid.

Thou Shalt Not—Abandon Israel!

by Robert Morrison

May 3, 2013

South Africa’s parliamentarian, Kenneth Meshoe, rose to contradict former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at an Israeli Embassy event this morning. “Israelis no apartheid regime,” said the deputy who lived decades under the racist policies of his home country. The head of that nation’s African Christian Democrats said “any Christian who doesn’t align with Israel “should be prayed for.”

And that’s what Liberty University Law School Dean Mat Staver did in his remarks. Dean Staver called on Christians to support embattled Israel and then cited the presence of Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (Ret.-USA), FRC’s Executive Vice President in the crowded Jerusalem Hall.

Floyd Corkins wanted to kill everyone at FRC,” Staver said of the confessed domestic terrorist who shot FRC’s Building Manager Leo Johnson last August, “and that’s another reason why Christians and Jews must stand together.” Dean Staver reminded his hearers that the Holocaust “didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of an accumulation of policies” all of which tended to place the Jews outside the protection of law and incite resentment of them.

One after another, Christian speakers reasserted their support for Israel. Their words brought to mind a similar gathering I attended in Washington more than twenty years ago. Israel’s Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, was expressing his thanks to American Christians and Jews for their staunch support of his surrounded country. One attendee rose to question him. “Mr. Prime Minister, I run a large public relations firm here in Washington. I give generously to Israel, but I have to say, you are always portrayed in the media as saying no. I know in public relations it always helps to put your case in more positive terms.”

We in the pro-life, pro-family movements are often told the same thing. Don’t say you’re anti-abortion; don’t say you oppose abolishing mothers and fathers in our laws.

Prime Minister Begin stroked his chin and looked out thoughtfully from behind his thick glasses. “I thank you for your support for the Jewish state,” he said in a courtly European manner. “And I will consult my Cabinet colleagues about your helpful suggestion of a more positive way to state our necessary positions.”

Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he added: “But Mr. Public Relations man, I hope you will grant us this much: In our region, there are certain honorable precedents for Thou Shalt Not!”

Indeed there are. Ambassador Michael Oren arrived to a standing ovation. One of my Christian friends had been confused about this learned man who speaks American-accented English. Is he Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. or America’s ambassador to Israel, my friend wanted to know. “Just listen to him,” I said, “he’s pro-America and pro-Israel. He can’t be an Obama appointee!”

The ambassador gave a quick and stunning tour d’horizon of Israel’s perilous position. He most diplomatically avoided saying that this new and deadly danger for Israel was the result of the Obama administration’s policies. He has to work with them.

Iran, he said, could have nuclear weapons and delivery means that could hit New York—or Galveston, Texas. Europe would not be safe. Even worse than North Korea with nukes, Iran’s mullahs are the world’s leading exporter of terror. Syria. No one knows what may happen there. “Jerusalem is to prophesy what Hershey, Pennsylvania is to chocolate. And we just don’t know!” But we may see a vast stash of chemical weapons fall into the hands of Hezbollah in South Lebanon—“Hezbollah, that has 70,000 rockets trained on Israel.”

He spoke of the stalled “peace process.” Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Fatah faction, dares not hold an election because he knows Hamas—which ousted him and his corrupt gang from power in Gaza—would win that election. Abbas is trying to effect reconciliation not withIsrael—but with Hamas. And Hamas, Amb. Oren reminds us, does not simply want to wipe out all Jews in Israel; they want to wipe out all the Jews on earth.

Again, Amb. Oren is too diplomatic to point out that U.S. taxpayers are getting hit for hundreds of millions of dollars to line the pockets of Mahmoud Abbas and his thugs while he makes nice with Hamas.

Egypt is of great concern for Israel. Amb. Oren notes that all their hopes in the Mideast were based on a stable and more democratic Egypt. Well, that was then. Today, Egypt is spinning out of control. Famine is a possibility. The Muslim Brotherhood breathes hostility to Israel and the Jews. He tells us that the Salafists in Egypt are, if anything, even worse. Eilat, Israel’s port city on the Gulf of Aqaba, has been hit by rocket attacks for the first time. Now, Egyptian control over the Sinai—a vast region Israel gave back to Egypt more than thirty years ago—is slipping and the desert area is home to terrorist gangs. A recent Israeli raid into Sinai killed two terrorists—one from Saudi Arabia, the other from Yemen.

A nuclear Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Ambassador doesn’t need any notes. He only has to look at the map.

He didn’t mention the Mediterranean Sea, the one place where Israel seems not to be menaced. Oh, wait. I forgot. The Turks sent a flotilla to arm Hamas in Gaza from the sea in 2010. On his recent trip to Israel, President Obama twisted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arm to get him to apologize for the loss of life on the Turkish peace ship. [Maybe President Lincoln should have apologized to the Confederacy for attacking the Merrimac, the South’s ironclad blockade breaker?] Israel’s satiric group, Latma, explained the Turkish flotilla better than the Obama’s spokesmen at the State Department have done.

Despite this world of woe, despite dangers as great for the Jewish state as those of May, 1948, and May, 1967, the Ambassador is smiling, upbeat, confident.

This is our 61st anniversary, he says. “There are more people who speak Hebrew today than speak Danish or Finnish, and we will soon overtake Swedish speakers. We have more Nobel Prize winners than most countries have Olympic gold medalists. We have the second most highly educated population (after Canada) and our Israeli Defense Force is larger than France and Britain combined.”

He concludes with remarkable words of faith. America is the most religiously observant country of any developed nation. And Israel exists because of faith. Israel will not go down. Israel will live, he says, as the audience rises to their feet, cheering.

For Americans, and especially for us as Christians, we have only one ally in the Mideast. And the Israeli people are the only genuine friends America has there. We’re constantly being told that if we would only abandon Israel, we would have peace and friendship with everyone the world over. Then why did Chechens bomb us in Boston?

Abandon Israel? Menachem Begin was right: Thou Shalt Not!

He Who Believes is not Afraid”

by Robert Morrison

September 17, 2012

It was certainly good to man the FRC booth at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit. I always encouraged my college students to walk precincts. It’s a great way to get to know the American people. It gives you invaluable experience if you ever want to work in politics. At the Values Voter Summit, the precincts walk to you. People from all over the country, and even the world, voluntarily come together to defend faith, family and freedom. We had many great speakers—all of whose addresses are now available online.

My favorite speaker was my friend, Leo Johnson. Leo received the Faith, Family, and Freedom Citation for his heroic actions at FRC’s Washington headquarters on August 15th. Leo has said that he believed God put him in that place at that time to stop the shooter from making FRC another in the all-too-familiar roster of mass homicide attacks. Leo believes and that his faith gave him courage to advance toward the shooter and disarm him. Leo took a bullet in the arm and kept struggling until the attacker was subdued. Big Bill Bennett got a good laugh talking about mountain climbing. “When I climb a mountain, the mountain knows it’s been climbed.” I’d say, when powerful Leo subdues you, you know you’ve been subdued.

The Israelis have courage, too. They need it. Until recently, they only had deadly enemies on the North, Northeast, and East of their small country. In the past few years, since this administration has been lavishing olive branches and U.S. gold on Islamists, Israel now has deadly enemies approaching them from the West and the South. Surrounded. These enemies come by air, land, and sea. And they even tunnel under the desert.

But the Latma satirical group is unafraid. They’ve put out this video for the Jewish New Year. It amazes me how they can so bravely and humorously defy their foes. The mullahs breathe annihilation and the star of the video, Noam Jacobson, sings that Israel’s Air Force will have them for lunch. I’ve been sharing these videos for a year or more. I call them Saturday Night Live for our side. The Latma funsters prick the balloons not only of their nearby enemies—just google “Latma” and “Three Terrors”—they also go over the top with a sendup of Vladimir Putin. Putin still has 27,000 nukes! [Google “Latma” and “Putin”]

This most recent YouTube video is amazing in another respect. All the previous ones I’ve watched were funny, but made no direct reference to faith. This one, however, reviews the long history of the Jewish people and shows how their haters have most often wound up on the same gallows they intended for the Jews. (I confess I really liked Noam turning aside to spit on the ground at the name of Haman.)

These are dangerous times. We all sense it. We need courage. The theme of the Latma Jewish New Year video is “He Who Believes is not Afraid.” That message is necessary for the Jewish people, but it is also a light for the Gentiles.

I remember the first words we received from Rome in 1978 when the world learned that Karol Cardinal Wojtyla of Cracow, Poland, had been elected Pope: Be Not Afraid. I was serving on a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in the Bering Sea. We had to board Soviet vessels every day. It could have been dangerous. I am not Catholic, but one of the “Separated Brethren” whom the new Pope John Paul II now addressed with words of faith and courage. There is probably no greater distance on earth than that from the Pribilof Islands to the Eternal City of Rome, but in those perilous days, his courage was contagious.

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