Watching Over Zion - 31st March 2016
The Word: ‘"We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly." Then the Angel of the LORD said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah… And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. So the angel who spoke with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal. I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease… 'Therefore thus says the LORD: "I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it," says the LORD of hosts, "And a surveyor's line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem." ' "Again proclaim, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' " (Zechariah 1:11-17)
Pointers for prayer: Please seek the LORD God over the above Scripture, pray for discernment, and encourage other Believers to join us in this battle over Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. Pray too for the Palestinian Arabs who would happily co-exist with Israel. The fundamental issue today is that the power of Islam is contending at every level the Jewish people’s Biblical, historical and legal right to the Land of Israel as their national possession and homeland.
Pray for those in authority. Israel’s leaders face a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. Pray for the leaders to be guided by God and to govern according to the principles of His word. Pray too for righteous leaders to be raised up for the Palestinian people who will truly care and work for their welfare. Pray also for the UK Government, so that the official Government on line petition (below) would be successful in getting this important debate running in Parliament (see second article).
Setting a challenge I am aware that many people – both Christians and Jews (and some of a secular back ground) – read these reports of mine. Not wanting to exclude my Jewish or secular readers, naturally much of what I write in these reports is aimed at the ‘Christian’ readers. And so for those of us who profess a Christian faith, our faith in God's Word – the Bible - is today being increasingly challenged (indeed, that is also applicable to the Jewish people too who stand by the Hebrew Scriptures). The New Testament states that we – the Church - are called ‘to walk by faith’ (2 Corinthians 5:7), not by our senses or intellectual reasoning’s when these are in opposition to what Scripture reveals. Nowhere is this more of a battle than with Israel's restoration. I recently wrote to our CFI Area Reps asking ‘what are the challenges of being a rep.’ One replied with an excellent response, and I knew exactly what he meant. He stated regarding the challenge, “Getting past the barrier that it is fine to talk about Christian support for, mission to and involvement with any country except Israel. It seems as if activity in any other country or with any other people group is acceptable, it is Biblical, it is Christian, it is the decent thing to do. Mention Israel and you can see and feel the atmosphere change, it immediately becomes political – and that’s when the shutters come down.”
As I have mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m currently doing a study on the book of Zechariah. In the above Scripture we read that while the nations thoughtlessly mistreat Israel and threaten her, the Lord remembers them: (verse 11)"And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest". The angels mentioned in this verse had the task, as messengers of the Lord of hosts, to see how the nations would behave toward Jerusalem. What did they see? They saw ‘indifference, thoughtlessness, self-confidence, and a presumptuous rest. Nobody cared nor cares about Jerusalem. It was more important for them to have peace among the nations than to take Israel's side. Is this not how the nations are behaving today against Israel? While thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel by Hamas from Gaza in the past few years; Hundreds of Jews have been stabbed in the latest Islamic uprising and no one appears to care. How many rockets fired into your country would your citizens tolerate before demanding that the Government take action to prevent this assault?" For sure, I know our government here would respond very quickly. Instead, as you will see from the next section of this report, the UK government actually aids (whether knowingly or unknowingly) terrorists connected to the Arab Palestinian Authority.
Sadly even many areas of the Church are asleep. Today, there appears to be ‘no turning to the Lord and His Word’; therefore, there was no turning to Israel. Nothing's changed. The world is relatively silent when terrorists murder Jewish men, women and children. Similarly, there is no protest when the Arab League, and its representatives pour out their tirades of hatred on Israel at the EU. And yet the same world condemns Israel every time she makes a move in defending herself! How different however are the Lord's thoughts. Jerusalem is mentioned 5 times in this passage of Zechariah. God's thoughts about the city are obvious: “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy” (verse 14). “…the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem” (verse 17). Who among the mighty men of our world has like-minded thoughts concerning Jerusalem?
Do you believe CNN and BBC more than Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Zechariah? Or do you trust in The national Newspapers more than in the Word of God? When we read the Scriptures, especially regarding Israel's promised return to the land they now possess, what is your understanding of this? For example, what is your response to learn that God refers to the unique character of the land of Israel by calling it "My land" (Ezekiel 36:20); "the Jewish peoples own land" (Ezekiel 36:7,24; 37:21); and "the Jewish people as My people" (Ezekiel 38:16; Joel 3:2). When God promises a second regathering of the Jewish people to their land in the latter days, from which they will never be uprooted again (Isaiah 11:11 14; Jeremiah 16:14 16; Ezekiel 11:17; Amos 9:14 15), do you believe it, or do you "spiritualise it away"? The promise of the regathering specifically includes Judea and Samaria - which the world calls the "West Bank" (Jeremiah 31:5,14; Ezekiel 36:1-15). How do we react to Arab Palestinian claims to this area? Does it seem unfair that God states He will bring the Jewish people back in unbelief, their return being a pre-condition for God to pour out His Spirit on them (Ezekiel 11:16 20; 20:42 43; 36:24 28; 37:12 14; 39:25 29; Jeremiah 32:37 41; 33:7 9.)? These are serious questions those of us who do stand with Israel need to be asking our churches and ministers. With this in mind, we now turn to the issue of what is happening to certain UK taxpayers money.
UK aid funds Arab Palestinian Terrorists
Way back on September 28, 2006 – nine and a half years ago – I reported in the Watching over Zion report regarding British Taxpayers money ending up in Arab Palestinian terrorists hands. In that particular report I stated, “Western politicians can't seem to wait to be able to send more of their taxpayers' cash to support the institutionalised Palestinian corruption and violence that has been cultivated over the last decade… Press releases that don't get much play tell of weapons caches and weapons smuggling tunnels uncovered almost daily - usually hidden in civilian structures and areas.” In another report on August 30, 2007, I asked people to “Pray into how the Palestinian Authority deals with its money regarding international aid.” In that report I wrote, “British Taxpayers support the PA with hundreds of millions channeled annually through UNRWA to pay for basic education, housing and medical services. All of which could probably be paid for by the welfare recipients themselves, if they were allowed to work freely and integrate into the society around... In Gaza, after a bloody coup, Hamas allows a humanitarian disaster to accumulate, while spending fortunes importing huge supplies of advance weaponry into Gaza. Vast quantities of weapons and military equipment are smuggled in – and yet food and medicines are in short supply. It is easy to blame Israel for the poverty and distress and leave the Western taxpayer with the responsibility of picking up the pieces. No human rights group raises even an eyebrow.”
This whole issue was also brought up as CFI and the ZF joined forces again at Lobby Day in Westminster. Again, this was featured in my report the following week on March 3, 2016 where I stated, “Another cause I believe needs addressing is that the Palestinian Authority pays convicted murderers in Israeli jails a monthly salary. The money comes from a World Bank budget which receives funding from Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID). This means that British taxpayers’ money is supporting crime and conflict instead of helping to eradicate poverty. John Howell MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament calling on the Government to stop these payments by the DfID.” And so, after many years of prayer and much reporting, are we finally seeing a breakthrough? In many ways, it is about time we saw things change regarding this.
Of course it goes without saying that without organisations like The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), none of this truth would get reported. And indeed, a huge appreciation has to go to PMW’s Itamar Marcus, the Founder and Director of Palestinian Media Watch – who was one of our speakers at this year’s Lobby Day in Westminster. Itamar Marcus is without doubt one of the foremost authorities on Palestinian ideology and policy. Itamar Marcus was appointed by the Israel Government (in 1999) to represent Israel in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on Incitement. He has presented analyses of Palestinian ideologies in academic, cultural and government frameworks, including hearings, lectures and briefings to members of US Congress and Senate, the Canadian, British, French, German, Norwegian, Swiss, Dutch and Australian Parliaments, and members of European Parliament. He has lectured at conferences and at universities and to senior security officials worldwide. He also gives analysis on CNN, FOX News, BBC, and the full range of world TV news. Could we pray that Itamar Marcus could have an audience with David Cameron?
On the PMW website, they state, “Even though western powers have requested that their [Palestinian Authority/PA] funding be used for non-terrorism related purposes, any financial assistance given to the PA frees up other funds to be used for supporting terror and paying terrorist salaries, as Palestinian Media Watch has documented. Therefore, any financial assistance given to the PA that is not conditioned on the cessation of incitement indirectly funds terror and hate promotion.” According to PMW, official PA TV newsreader recently stated: “The PA Prime Minister [Rami Hamdallah] expressed his hope that the UK government would support, in international circles, our people’s right to put an end to the suffering that has been going on for 67 years… He pointed out that Britain was, and continues to be, a main supporter of our people’s path towards the construction, development and establishment [of a state].” In another report PMW state, “British aid to PA from 2011-2015 exceeds 550 million dollars [Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 5, 2014] They state,“[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah… praised the extraordinary relations that unite Palestine and Britain, as British aid for the years 2011-2015 is expected to exceed 550 million dollars, all of which will be divided up into budgetary aid, humanitarian aid, and support for development projects.” (See more here: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=520 ). He states that all this money will be divided up into budgetary aid, humanitarian aid, and support for development projects, however remember, any financial assistance given to the PA frees up other funds to be used for supporting terror and paying terrorist salaries.
At last, the British newspapers are picking up on these stories, as exposed by the UK newspaper, The Mail on Sunday on March 27, 2016. The paper stated “British Tax payer’s money is being used to help Palestinian Terrorists.” The scandal of how Britain fritters away billions in foreign aid – including paying salaries to convicted terrorists who have murdered hundreds of innocent people – was exposed last Sunday by a Mail on Sunday investigation. The paper reported, “The shocking revelation that thousands of Palestinian terrorists, including men who have masterminded suicide bombings and murdered children, are given cash handouts from aid money will cause anger and disbelief, particularly in the wake of the Brussels massacres.” The Mail on Sunday’s probe exposed how huge amounts of taxpayers’ cash, that critics say should be spent in Britain, is being ‘squandered’ on wasteful schemes elsewhere by the Department For International Development (DFID) and Foreign Office. Despite claims of astonishing waste, the Government maintains a dogged adherence to the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of the nation’s income on foreign aid – the highest proportion of any of the world’s major economies – even though last year it had to borrow £70 billion.
Since then, the Israeli TV channel i24 News has also picked up this story. In their report, they also interview Kay Wilson of whom my wife Julia and I have known for many years. Indeed, Kay brought a team of youngsters with her from Israel under a group called 'Amiti' to our church near Middlesbrough about 15 years ago. We then went into schools to speak regarding Israel. Though Kay is British-born, she made Aliyah in 1991. Apart from her being an Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist, she is now a lecturer for StandWithUs, OneFamily Together, MDA and is registered at the Israel Speakers’ Agency. You may remember Kay Wilson was brutally stabbed in an attack by Palestinians, in the Jerusalem Forest that killed her friend, Kristine Luken in December 2010. Since the attack, she is in a demand as a motivational speaker and also speaks to audiences on issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism. You can hear her story and watch the latest report by i24 News in Israel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCNRcs1VS1U
Once you have watched this, and providing you are British, please could you sign the official Government on line petition to get this important debate running in Parliament. Click here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125692. Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate. When I signed the petition there had already been 137,827 signatures signed, meaning Parliament will consider this for a debate, but the more we get the better. Regarding Kay Wilson’s story, she recently spoke both outside and inside the United Nations. You can watch her inside the UNHRC here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqLpL6_hCwI, and for a full version of her story of Kay outside the UN building in Geneva, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owegHHg-IR4
Finally… perpetual conflict? As Islamic terrorism becomes an increasing problem in Europe, Jewish people living there have become a target. The truth is, Jewish people only have one true homeland, and while that homeland is often portrayed as a place of perpetual conflict, the reality is that it’s a lot safer than many places in the West. I had to smile at Mayor Nir Barkat’s statement when she said, “Chicago has 10 murders per 100,000 residents each year. Jerusalem last year, in a bad year, had 1.5… When I fly to America, I pray to come back home safely.” Taking into account Britain’s Sky News recent report, I believe we should be praying that all the Jewish people in these threatened areas move to Israel. Sky News quoted intelligence sources on Monday [28 March] as saying that ISIS had “advanced plans” to kill Jewish children in Turkey by attacking kindergartens, schools and youth centres. Sky Foreign Affairs Editor Sam Kiley said the information on the “imminent” threat came from six operatives arrested over the past week in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
It was not clear which country’s intelligence service had provided the information to the British news network. Reuters could not verify the report and Turkish officials were not immediately reachable for comment. “In light of these circumstances, extraordinary security measures are being taken above and beyond the high alert level already in place by the Turkish police, as well as vigilance within the Jewish community,” Sky quoted an intelligence source as saying on its website. More than 80 people have been killed in a series of suicide attacks this year in Turkey. The latest attack, blamed on ISIS, killed three Israeli tourists and an Iranian in Istanbul on March 19. The group has also claimed responsibility for suicide blasts that killed 35 people last week in Belgium.
(CFI Liaison Officer (UK) & WoZ News Report Correspondent) Tweet me @David_CFI
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Christian Friends of Israel UK & Jerusalem, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio