Sunday, November 12, 2000

A Christian viewpoint

More than one of my recipients have forwarded me this article & suggested that I forward it to "the list". It comes from which I have previously referred to. I can't find the specific link, so I quote it here in full.

REFLECTIONS FROM CLARENCE WAGNER, "Bridges for Peace" Christian non-profit organization in Israel and the territories working to bring peace through dialogue between Jews and Arabs

The tension in the air in Israel is palpable. Such widespread fighting in the streets, all over the land of Israel, between Israelis and Arabs has not been seen since the days of the Six Days War in 1967. Shots can be heard cracking the air in Jerusalem, along with almost non-stop sirens of ambulances and police vehicles. IDF tanks are on the perimeters of the city of Jerusalem, in Jewish neighborhoods, which border the West Bank, in an effort to protect citizens who may be attacked by mobs of nearby Palestinians. In my own neighborhood of Gilo, which borders Bethlehem where shots have been repeatedly fired in apartment buildings, I find the presence of the tanks and soldiers on the frontline comforting. We have seen by the horrendous attack upon two Israeli reservists captured, tortured and killed in Ramallah, just what these mobs can do.

Living in Jerusalem and watching the scenes of violence shown on the international news channels, I am amazed at how well the Palestinian propaganda machine works. Each of the speakers over by international journalists. It is as though they are in cooperation to discredit Israel.

Consider these questions? Did you ever notice that the conflicts with Israeli troops are always at checkpoints, borders, and positions approved by the Oslo agreements? The Israelis are not marching into the midst of Palestinian communities. Rather, they are valiantly defending their posts, as mobs of violent Palestinians march upon them with the intent of overrunning the positions and killing them. Should these positions be captured, one does not have to speculate on what would happen to the soldiers - as was seen clearly on October 12th when Israeli reservists were brutally tortured, beaten and murdered in Ramallah What if these angry mobs moved through these checkpoints into Jewish neighborhoods? Can you imagine what destruction, conflict and death would take place? Of course the IDF seeks to keep these angry mobs contained at the border.

Why do the Palestinians send their children and youths to the "front lines" to be martyred? The Palestinian Authority pays the families $2,000 for a death and $300 for an injury to advance the cause of the Palestinians and seek international sympathy for the Palestinians. The individual Palestinian is sacrificed for the ultimate goals of the community, which is Muslim doctrine.

Why is it that the only leaders who call for peace are the Israeli Jewish leaders, while the Palestinian leaders call for more and more violence. The Moslem clerics have called for two consecutive Friday "Days of Rage" (on the Moslem holy day). Can you imagine Christian ministers or Jewish rabbis calling for "days of rage" on their Sabbath days in order to kill Moslems? What kind of religion is Islam that calls for violence and not peace? What kind of leaders seek to bring violence upon their people and not peace? Why are the religious leaders not orchestrating candlelight vigils and prayers for peace, instead of giving mobs wheelbarrows of rocks to attack Jews? Even Bill Clinton is frustrated that the only word that Arafat can mouth are words of war. Not once has Arafat or his leaders called for peace, negotiation or a cessation of violence.

How did the Palestinians succeed in convincing the world that the Haram el-Sharif (the Temple Mount) is an exclusive Moslem holy site and the third most holy site in Israel? First, the only reason the site is important to Moslems is that it is the site of Solomon's and Herod's Temple, which was the place of the Presence of the Lord God of Israel, not the Moslems. Islam has appropriated all Jewish and Christian biblical characters and events and redefined them as Moslem, which is why there are mosques in holy sites significant to Jews and Christians, e.g. the Temple Mount and Manger Square in Bethlehem. The Temple Mount has only been considered the third holiest site to Islam since 1967. Before this, only ONE Moslem leader ever visited the site, and that was King Abdullah I of Jordan, who was shot and killed outside the Al-Aksa mosque by a Palestinian in 1953.

Is it legitimate that the Palestinians desecrate and usurp any holy site that falls under their authority? The Temple Mount is more sacred to Jews than Moslems, yet Jews are prevented from worshipping there. Even a visit by a Jew is resented, as was seen in the case of the visit of Ariel Sharon two weeks ago, even though it was OKed by the head of the Palestinian Security Services, Rajoub Jabril.

The Palestinians took over Joseph Tomb from the Israelis when they withdrew from the site in Nablus (biblical Shechem) this past week, even though it was given for Jewish worship in the Oslo Agreements. The Palestinians, having killed guards and worshippers, proceeded to destroy the Jewish presence and then renovate it into a Moslem mosque. The Palestinian leaders are now calling to do the same to Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Jews are to be evicted as the Palestinian Moslems take over. They have also burned the Jewish synagogue in Jericho while Palestinian Police looked on. Is this right? To whom are these sites more sacred? Israel allows mutual worship at the sites and guarantees freedom of worship and access. The Moslems do not, and no one in the international community complains about this practice.

As the Palestinian leadership whine that they are disenfranchised, why don't the news reporters remind them that since July, the Israeli government offered them 92% of the West Bank, east Jerusalem as part of a joint capital and sovereignty over the Temple Mount AND THEY REJECTED THE OFFER. This was more than any Israeli leader had offered or was expected to offer. Yet, Arafat rejected it and then claims that there is no movement in the Peace Process. What is left for Israel to offer? And now, how could most Israelis even agree to such generous terms now that they know that their peace partners do not want peace at all? At this point, individuals on both sides, Jews and Palestinians alike, are suffering and need our prayers and help.

The deterioration of the past days has caused everyone in Israel to wonder where this will all end. Many have warned that the Oslo Peace Process was a sham on the part of the Palestinians to get armed PLO terrorists into the heart of Israel to initiate a rebellion and war to destroy Israel not only according to a plan on paper, but a plan that is now being implemented before our eyes today. In fact, it can be likened to a modern-day Trojan Horse. The only recourse that thinking and praying people can take is to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Ps. 122:6) and to speak out on behalf of Israel, who is being greatly maligned in the international press. Just because the Palestinians are portrayed as children and youths who are only armed with rocks, the reality is that they have a 20,000 plus trained army with automatic weapons in the heart of Israel who are firing against the Jews. Their children are put on the front lines in front of the cameras to gain international sympathy, while their snipers fire from the surrounding buildings. Any national government would meet the intensity of violence of mobs with police and military strength to stop the lunacy and bring calm for the larger community. Yes, the government would be better armed to defend themselves, but this does not necessarily make the defending force "bad" and the offending group "good." Before you just accept the assessment of the secular press with regard to Israel, consider the place of the Jews and Israel in their historical, biblical and prophetic context and ask just who is working for or against the ultimate plans of the God of Israel,


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