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The explosion of violence in Israel during the past few weeks has been blamed by the Palestinians on Israel. The facts on the ground are completely different. The issue that has boiled to the surface is the accusation that being a “settler” is a war crime and the question that has been raised along with it is “Why did Israel give up the Temple Mount in 1967?”
During the past few weeks Jerusalem has become the headline of the News once again. As was reported the other week, two Israeli security guards were gunned down on the Temple Mount by armed Palestinians.
In response Israel put up metal detectors at the Arab entrance Temple Mount – they already exist at the Jewish and non-Muslim entrances. Riots ensued throughout Jerusalem. However, even though the Saudi king stated that metal detectors were common place at Muslim holy sites in Mecca, the mob would not be quelled.
A 19 year old Palestinian terrorist went on to murder three members of a Jewish family, an act which the terrorist’s father stated, was in response to the situation on the Temple mount.
Temple Mount: An International Crisis
The United Nations security counsel met to discuss the situation. The Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations summed it up:
Good morning. As diplomats, as ambassadors, as leaders, it is not often that we are at a loss for words. When I learned of the horrific terror attack this past Friday evening, when I saw the ghastly pictures of the Sabbath meal, interrupted by a vial terrorist, I was left speechless. The Salomon family, had gathered together like millions of Jews, for the most joyous occasion: The birth of a new grandson. Instead, their night of celebration ended in massacre. This the picture of the festive meal in the house.
The family, had lit the Shabbat candles, blessed the wine, and sat down to eat when a terrorist entered their home. He stabbed his victims to death. He killed Yosef, the 70 year old grandfather. He slayed Yosef’s daughter Chaya, and he murdered Joseph’s son Elad. He did this all in front of their children and grand children. Had it not been for Elad’s wife, this horrific attack would have taken the lives of the entire extended Salomon family….
Some experts classify these terrorists as “lone wolves” acting on their own, but we know that these terrorists are brainwashed with the same hateful teachings that they are all taught, that violence and cold blooded murder is holy….
Instead of condemning this act of terror, calming the situation, and pledging to remove all fanatics from their society, the Palestinians are spreading the most horrible lies. They would like the international community to believe that this unspeakable act of violence is Israel’s fault. Don’t believe the phoney Palestinian outrage.
The security counsel is meeting to discuss how to de-escalate the conflict. Let me save them some time, it is quite simple: Demand that Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian authority stop promoting violence. Tell them to stop educating to hate. Make them stop paying terrorists
The Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, took the same podium and laid out his lies:
“We always welcome the Security Council to shoulder its responsibly regarding to dealing with issues that threaten international peace and security. And definitely what is happening in occupied East Jerusalem is threatening international peace and security, as a result of the aggression by Israel, the occupying power against the Palestinian people, against Jerusalem and against an extremely important religious site for all of us – the Palestinians, and by that I mean Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Al-haram Sharif.
After the aggression against that Mosque, and closing it for the first time since 1969, and putting obstacles in the path of worshipers, and in essence trying to create a new reality to the benefit of the Israeli occupying authority. All these things are outraging the Palestinian people, outraging our people in Jerusalem. Those whom we salute for standing on the forefront to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-haram Sharif and they are articulating demands which are the demands of all the Palestinian people, the demands of the Palestinian leadership….
They should condemn in the strongest possible term the violation of the right of the Palestinian people, when they close down Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be closed down under any pretext, and under any story when worshippers wants to go and pray there….
Notably he never mentioned the murder of the two Israeli guards that caused the metal detectors to be put in place, or the murder of Salomon family in cold blood. Rather he saluted them, and the rioters.
The Israeli Ambassador gave the reason for putting the metal detectors in place:
First we need to remember that on July 14th, terrorists took advantage and smuggled weapons on the Temple Mount. They killed two officers on duty on the Temple Mount, which is a holy site for Muslims and Jews. Israel is making sure that there is real freedom of religion in Jerusalem, that is what we will continue to do. We will enable everybody to come and pray on the Temple Mount, but at the same time, we will do whatever is necessary to maintain security on this important site.
To give an idea of “whose take” on this is correct, we just need to look at the events following the removal of the metal detectors. What happened? Muslims rioted on top of the Temple Mount and threw rocks down upon the Jewish worshippers at the Kotel (Western Wall below), until they were dispersed by soldiers with tear gas.
The real resolution to this will be when the kingdom is established, and we are told:
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)
Not Fair to Stop Terrorists and the Jews should not be armed?
As Mansour tried to leave the conference, a reporter from 24 News asked:
“Could you say a few words in reaction to the attack on the family on Friday night, the Salomon family, surely you can’t condone that kind of violent attack?
You see that when you have an occupation with its ruthlessness, as we see it. And we see a manifestation of it, of involving violation of international law at the magnitude of warcrimes such as settlements. , then don’t expect all Palestinians to be angels, not to react to it. Even some might take the issues in their hand as individuals, that is not necessarily the policy of the Palestinian government….
We should not lose sight of the huge crime committed against the millions of Palestinians in the occupied territories, by the Israeli occupying authority, its military forces, and the settlers, and settlers’ terrorism, and the armed settlers. Because almost all settlers are carrying weapons, and therefore there are militias. They attack the Palestinian people, they steal their land, they destroy their crops, they are making their life miserable….
No here is an interesting statement. Mansour in his speech at the UN, stated his position that the Israeli “settlements” are a war crime:
[UN] Resolution 2334 which dealt with many things including settlements. And we all know that settlements, from the point of view of International Law, is described, amongst other things, as a war crime and a crime against humanity.
As watchers of the Bible in the News, this is very interesting as it will be part of the pretext for the invasion of Israel by the international community in the future, an invasion doomed to failure when the nations come:
“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages… to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:11–12)
It is the people who dwell in the midst of the land who the Palestinians call “settlers”. How dare they arm themselves – is the stance of the Palestinians. This is similar to the Philistines in the days of Jonathan and Saul who removed all munitions out of the land:
“Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.” (1 Samuel 13:19–22)
When we were in Israel for the Promised Land Youth Conference in 2015 we invited Yishai Fleisher, a religious Jew, and a settler ( now the spokesperson for Hebron), to speak to our group of young people about his vision of the future of Israel as it is related to the Bible. During the session, he invited questions, and one of the young people asked him about the fact that he was armed:
Jake: “I noticed that you have a handgun….
Jake: “Is your job critically dangerous, I mean as far as Israel needs…
Yishai: “It’s not to do with that, it is where I live. I’m a “settlah”. I live on the mount of Olives in a mostly Arab neighbourhood called Ras al-Amud. There are strong Jihadists elements. For the first time in 2000 years Jews are allowed to carry arms, so I do.”
Jake: “So it is more of a pre-emptive measure than a….”
Yishai: “It is a defensive measure… it is not pre-emptive, it is a defence. It is policing. It is sovereignty. It is strength. It is pushing back bad guys. It is striking the Jihadists. It is not letting Nazism take route again.”
Elli “Do you not think that is another thing that could be turned against you in the media? So you did fight back and…
Yishai: “So I should give the gun to the CNN? I’ll trust it with them? I told you again… yes it could, unless you believe as I did, that strength required, is attractive, it is leadership, and people can accept that better than wishy-washy. Furthermore, if I lay down my arms there is going to be the next holocaust. If they lay down their arms there will be peace. So the first, to use a Star Trek term, the prime directive is to protect the Jewish property. Without that I have nothing. I cannot be overly concerned about narrative warfare, if haven’t got a mouth to speak. So I might as well protect myself. Jewish strength is actually something…. When do we get in trouble? When we are talking all kinds of peace, and “give away”, and “kumbaya”, and weeper, when we talk like that, that is actually when we get in trouble. When we say, “This is our land, and you cannot have it, and our capital is Jerusalem. And we say to America, “Guess what, you don’t have an embassy in Jerusalem, you cannot have an Arab state in Israel. Because you don’t respect our capital, you don’t respect us.”
“Wow… there goes Israel, it is being tough.” That’s right. People respect honesty and toughness, they don’t respect milk toast, you know that expression? Mushy. They respect clarity. I think if we used it in a robust fashion we’d be in good shape.
After 2000 years of oppression, during which time the Jewish people have been trodden down, they are now able to carry arms in their own land… so they do. It is a very telling comment that if Israelis laid down their arms there would be a holocaust, but if the Palestinians laid down their arms there would be peace.
Is this fair? Well, it is necessary because the Palestinian Ambassador, Mansour, concluded the his statement by insisting:
If people think that the Palestinian people are going to live that situation without any form of resistance to it, that is not realistic, and that IS NOT FAIR.”
So it is “not fair” to expect terrorism to stop? It is legitimate resistance for a Jihadist to enter a Jewish home and murder a peaceful family? That is the hysterical position of the Palestinians. The frightening thing is that the United Nations supports it.
Why Israel Gave up the Temple Mount?
The issue of the Temple Mount is at the heart of the situation. When we were in Israel with the Promised Land Youth Conference we ascended the temple mount where we calmly walked around. We were not allowed to bring Bibles with us, or give prayers.
Even though we respected these rules, we were forced off by hysterical Muslims.
During Jordanian control over Jerusalem, Jews were not allowed to worship at the Western Wall (the Kotel). When Israel captured Jerusalem, it opened the Kotel to worship by the Jews, but also allowed the Muslims to assume control of the temple mount. The Jews allow the Muslims to worship on the temple mount, but the Muslims will force off both the Jews and Christians. While we hurried off the mount, our guide, who was a religious Jew, was escorted by a security detail, and was berated by hysterical Muslim women who were bussed in daily, and paid to harass Jews on the mount.
This hasn’t changed much in the past two years. The JBN (Jewish Breaking News) reported this week:
Rabbi Ari Abramowitz of The Land of Israel Network was forcibly silenced and detained on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem while leading a group in reciting the Kaddish prayer for the Solomon family, slain by a terrorist in Halamish over on Friday evening….
Although the Temple Mount is the most holiest place for Jews, the Jordanian Waqf, which oversees the security at the Temple Mount, does not let Jews recite any prayers.
The world is completely hypocritical in its treatment of the Temple Mount – Muslims can pray and read their holy books there, Jews and Christians cannot pray or bring their Bibles onto the site.
Many people wonder why Israel capitulated on control of the Temple Mount, and allows the Muslims to have such control over it? It is a question that has rocketed to the forefront of the news today.
In 2015, after we were thrown off the Temple Mount, we put this same question to Yishai Fleisher during our evening with him. His answer is worth listening to in light of the events of this past week:
Jonathan: The Temple Mount: what do you see… how do you see practically moving forward with that? Obviously, Moshe Dayan put the Waqif in charge. So how do you see moving forward with that?
Yishai: Well, let’s ask the first question – “Why did Israel relinquish sovereignty of the Temple Mount? What is the answer to that?”
Yishai: Fear of what?
Jonathan: The world?
Yishai: Fear of the world. You say. Fear of Islam. Fear of America. Fear of what?
Jonathan: Fear of America, fear of the Western nations probably more than Islam.
Yishai: So let me give you an history lesson. There was fear involved, but it wasn’t because of Islam or the Western world. The fear was: “Holy Moly! There’s a temple coming, and that scares the bajeebers out of me! Wo! Wo! Wo! Wo: I just got eyeball to eyeball with God, and I want to turn around and go the other way.”
That encounter with God is an incredibly scary moment.
“Did you just see what I saw? Did we just win this war in 6 days? And like smash all the armies, and we took over our ancestral homeland? We are here on the temple mount! What does this mean? It means… it probably means something big! It probably means that pretty soon we’ll have to keep the Sabbath and eat kosher, a I’m NOT ready for that – and I’m certainly not ready for no sacrifices and no temple!”
That is scary: to go eyeball to eyeball with God in revelation, you know what happens most of the time – if you see God’s face? You are out. Ok? And it is very, very scary – and the Jewish people simply chose to take a step back from too much revelation. So, the Temple Mount is very scary to Jews because it is too darn close to the fire is very hot there. You just feel very close to deeper meaning of this world… it is like contact with God, and it is all too real. It is all too…
It’s like all that good old Israeli Zionism which is based on nationalism, self-determination, the birth of nations, all these good values, secular values, that started out with communism, socialism, basically self-determination of the secular kind. Well that gets all blown away if suddenly, you are like, “Well this did not happen naturally. It wasn’t my jets. It wasn’t that. There was something on the revelation end.”
The Jews immediately went down to a much more, a much less, hotter fire and that is the Western Wall. “I can deal with the Western Wall. I can deal with the Western Wall, right? The Western Wall is much more manageable. It is the remnant of the second temple and we wail at the wailing wall. Ok, I can live with that. But the full blast, temple? I wasn’t ready that.”
That is why Moshe Dayan and company gave the temple mount away. If you understand that, you understand a lot more about what is going on. The fear of the nations pales in comparison to standing eyeball to eyeball with the good Lord. The Jewish people were just not mentally prepared for that.
So, the process we are going through is a process of education. When we went to the temple… institute, little child go to the temple institute, like my kids, and learn and except, and grow up with a consciousness that there will be a temple one day. When it comes, it won’t be like – “Wo! I do not speak that language at all.” It will be much more like, “Ah, this is what we have been waiting for.”
So the window was open, it was a little too much too fast. Remember what happened to the children of Israel as they left Egypt and approached the land of Israel? They rejected it. They got afraid of it. It was too much revelation. They had to go on a 40 year march in the desert in order to kill off a whole generation. It will take some more time until the next generation is ready to receive the full consciousness of the Temple.
It is so encouraging to witness this awareness amongst the religious Jews who are turning back to God. It is a fulfillment of the passage in Malachi where we read:
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, Which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, With the statutes and judgments.” (Malachi 4:4)
The children of Israel are remembering, but it is a process as Yishai pointed out. We read this in Ezekiel 36:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:24–28)
This is the process we are witnessing right now. But as with all mankind (Jew and Gentile), the struggle between the flesh and the spirit is a tough one, as Galatians tells us:
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:17 ESV)
But with the right ingredients, namely the word of God – faith can grow:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
This process will be greatly enhanced when Elijah the prophet is sent to Israel, both to the Jews in the land and to the diaspora:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, And the heart of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5–6)
We pray for the day – when God will turn the heart of the children of Israel back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are thrilled to see the embryo of this change today.
We look for the day when God will fulfill his promise – of establishing his temple in the land again:
“And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile…” (Ezekiel 43:7)
This will be on Mount Zion, in the midst of his people:
“… and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst thereof.” (Ezekiel 48:10)
May that day be soon. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for those who love the city of the Great King.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen joining you.
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