EARTH TO EUROPE, RUSSIA: HAMAS MUST BE CRUSHED, NOT CODDLED
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Washington, D.C., December 31, 2008) -- The Gaza war rages on with no immediate end in sight. Indeed, Israeli sources tell me a ground operation into Gaza is not yet definite, but is likely.
Israel has rightfully rejected a French-proposed 48 hour cease-fire, saying the Gaza operation will continue until Israel's goal of shutting down the terrorist rocket threat is accomplished. The leaders of the European Union, Russia, and many governments around the world are putting enormous pressure on Israel to stop defending the Jewish people and stop attacking the terrorist strongholds in Gaza. This is crazy. Why do the Europeans and Russians have such a double-standard when it comes to Israeli national security?
More than 6,300 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel by Hamas since Israeli withdrew its military forces from Gaza in 2005. Some 400 rockets have been fired at Israel just since December 19th. Would the French or Germans agree to a cease-fire if they were being hit by hundreds and thousands of rockets, missiles, and mortars by enemies sworn to annihilate them? Of course not. The Russians invaded Georgia for far, far less.
"We didn't initiate the Gaza operation in order to end it while Israeli towns are still under fire, as they were before the operation," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told reporters. "Israel has shown restraint for years; she gave the truce a chance; we told ourselves 'let's try it,' but Hamas violated the truce."
I don't often say this, but Olmert is right. Hamas must be crushed, not coddled. Yet the world is trying to coddle these Palestinian Radical Islamic jihadists. It's an outrage. The onus is on the Hamas terrorists to lay down their arms and stop firing rockets into Israel. Until that happens, the IDF should continue fighting.
It pains me to see the suffering on both sides, but this is entirely Hamas' responsibility. They were urged by Egypt, by Mahmoud Abbas, and by the Israelis not to let the previous cease-fire lapse, but they chose war instead. They have never been hit this hard. Indeed, Gaza has not seen this level of fighting since 1967.
Israelis living within rocket range are truly safe and secure. Yet, the Islamic Radicals in Gaza don't appear ready to surrender. To the contrary, Hamas is using longer-range rockets than ever before - some of them made in Iran - putting hundreds of thousands of more Israeli at risk than in previous clashes. Hamas has already fired more than 50 rockets, mortars and missiles at Israel as of 4pm local time (9am eastern). Two hit the Israeli city of Beersheva last night, some 28 miles from Gaza. This is the first time Beersheva has ever been in range of Gaza-fired rockets. Haaretz reports that no one was injured but 40 people were treated for shock. The city is rattled, and theaters, cinemas and other shops and businesses are shutting down. Rockets also continue to hit the town of Sderot, and the Israeli coastal cities Ashkelon and Ashdod. I'm told that most of the children in Sderot have been evacuated from the town. Many are now temporarily relocated to northern Israeli cities and towns, such as Haifa.
Iran, in addition to providing Hamas longer-range rockets, is also now apparently recruiting some 10,000 volunteer suicide bombers to attack Israel
GAZA WAR: Prayer Update
The people of the Holy Land are going through great pain and suffering right now. But we should not be discouraged. Rather, we must turn to the Scriptures for the Lord's perspective, embrace His promises, and obey His commands.
The Bible is clear: God loves the people of Israel, as well as their neighbors. He has a wonderful plan for their lives, plans for good and not for evil, plans to give them a future and a hope. Jesus offers those who choose to follow Him true peace that cannot be found anywhere else. He promises to protect His people. He promises them an abundant life here, and in the hereafter. He promises to answer their prayers when they pray for His will to be done and pray in His Name. What's more, He commands His followers to love their neighbors and their enemies. He commands them to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and care for the suffering. Should we not draw near to Him and follow Him wholeheartedly at this critical time?
"I have loved you with an everlasting love," the Lord says in Jeremiah 31:3. "Therefore, I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (I John 4:8)
"For I know the plans that I have for you," says the Lord in Jeremiah 29:11-13, "plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, but I came that they might have life and have it abundantly," said Jesus in John 10:10.
"Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper....The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." (Psalm 121:4,5,7,8)
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you," said Jesus in John 14:27. "I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
Jesus said, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also....I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me....Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:1-3,12-14)
"If you love me," Jesus said in John 14:15, "you will obey what I command."
* Please continue praying for real peace -- not just the absence of conflict but the presence of true justice and true security on both sides of the fence.
* Please also continue praying for the scores of children on both sides who are being traumatized by all the rockets and bombs -- pray for the Lord to comfort and care for them in a supernatural way.
* Please pray for the followers of Jesus in Israel and Gaza, that they will have courage and hope from the Lord, that they will hear from the Holy Spirit how best to love their neighbors and their enemies, and that by their words and actions they can communicate the good news of God's great love and plan for Israel and her neighbors.
* Please continue praying for wisdom and discernment for The Joshua Fund leadership team, as well. We are in contact with our allies on the ground in Israel and readying relief supplies to help them care for those in severe need. We are presently trying to connect with our Arab evangelical Christian allies as well to see how we can help them, too.
* Please also pray that we can recruit 100,000 allies who are willing to pray knowledgeably, faithfully and consistently for the people of the epicenter. Already some 80,000 have signed up from around the world.
As always, we will do our best to keep you up-to-date on the kinds of projects we are doing, and brief you on how those projects are proceeding. We will also let you know about the kinds of projects we are developing for the future. In no way do we want to pressure anyone to give financially. We fully believe the Lord will provide for the needs of the people we seek to serve. But if you or others wish to help, we welcome your support, and all financial gifts are tax-deductible.
If you would like to make a year-end contribution to the on-going work of The Joshua Fund please make your check payable to "The Joshua Fund" and send to:
The Joshua Fund
18950 Base Camp Road
Monument, Colorado 80132-8009
Thanks so much and may the Lord richly bless you and your family as you bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus -- especially at critical moment in history of the epicenter.
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