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A State of Concern

November 27, 2005
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The relationship between Israel and the United States is very important. In fact, Israel hangs on every word of President George W. Bush and his administration.Any hint of support or discerned deviation from previously announced policies spices the speculation here.

In October, the President gave a no-nonsense discourse on Islamist militants in a speech he gave to the National Endowment for Democracy [U.S.]. A Jerusalem Post editorial called his speech “Bush’s Lonely Voice.” They commented on the sagging ratings for the President but said in the editorial: “If recovery is in the offing, months from now its seeds will likely be traced back to this speech.”

Bush directly linked terror in Israel to the worldwide phenomenon. “The images and experience of September 11 are unique for Americans. Yet, the evil of that morning has reappeared on other days, in other places––in Mombasa, and Casablanca, and Riyadh, and Jakarta, and Istanbul, and Madrid, and Beslan, and Taba, and Netanya [Israel], and Baghdad, and elsewhere…Yet, while killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology––a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane,” he said.

For Israelis, the relief came as Bush equated jihad in the Middle East with the violence perpetrated throughout the world. He said the Islamist militants sought “to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world.” The Jerusalem Post editorial was relieved that Bush repeated his policy for the War on Terror. They worried that in recent times his strong rhetoric had been polluted or even forgotten. He emphasized his plan to hunt down terrorist organizations and deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes.

Immediately, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon leapt into press release mode. They opined that such stern rhetoric spelled disaster for the likes of Hamas, Hizbullah, and Islamic Jihad. The Israelis have always held high hopes that the U.S. administration would deter terrorists from their continued campaign in the Middle East. dNow, the same militants are causing major disruption for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the chances of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) to bring Palestinian statehood to the region.

Bush understands the Islamic militants’ land grab agenda. In his speech, he said, “The militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia.”

A recent leaflet campaign distributed in Khan Yunis (in the Gaza Strip) by what was called Al-Qaeda’s “Palestinian Branch,” announced plans for unified Islamists’ intentions: “The Muslim nation has been subjected through various periods to conspiracies by the infidels.” The leaflet also warned that the infidels “have brought down the Islamic Caliphate (the rulership of Islam), dividing the nation into small and weak states. They also managed to dilute the Islamic and character of the nation.” This Al-Qaeda campaign also claimed: “Our efforts are now focused on establishing a strong and unified Muslim nation, where love prevails among all its members.” What nation? Palestine?

I have seen a map that shows the top part of Australia painted in red and renamed “The Greater Indonesia.” The Australian politician, who showed the map to me, said this was a militant Islamic plan set to be completed by 2036. There is no reason to believe that other maps for other nations do not also exist. I have also seen maps of Palestine that contain no Israel at all.

EU Pledges Increased Support for Palestinians

It has been announced the European Union (EU) will increase financial aid to the PA to US $500 million each year. It is important that accountability structures are in place, so that each dollar can be traced and its usage verified.

The EU and its policies raise eyebrows in Israel. Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Ron Prosor has expressed concern that EU ambassadors met in Lebanon with a Hizbullah minister. Prosor warned that meetings of this nature send a “wrong message” about the EU. The real fear is that the message they send may have been intended, and it may not be wrong to these people at all.

Israel has tried unsuccessfully to have the EU list Hizbullah as a terrorist organization. President Bush has them listed as such, but the EU continues to recognize Hizbullah as a political party. To add further heat, Israeli intelligence has reported Hamas will fully control the Gaza Strip by 2006. In fact, some sections in Gaza are already under Hamas control. “Hamas no longer listens to the PA. It is a well-oiled organization that is seen as effective and not corrupt,” Israeli Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin said.

While Bush recognizes PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, Newsline reports his ruling of Fatah “has been splintered by corruption and power struggles, with many operatives joining other Palestinian insurgency groups, as well as criminal gangs.”

Amos Gilad, director of the defense ministry’s political-military division, said he envisioned a Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and West Bank that would include the establishment of a massive Islamic militia. “Their strategy is to take power by stages,” Gilad said. “They will also try to establish an alternative army.”

The Saudi Arabia Connection

The pressure is on President Bush to make sure his actions, concerning terrorism, continue to match up with his words. He boldly stated that those who commit terror and those who encourage and harbor terrorists are his enemies. So eyes will be on him to see how he responds to the new reports concerning Saudi Arabia.

A Hamas activist arrested in Jerusalem has revealed that the terror group maintains an operations command center in Saudi Arabia. This center finances suicide bombings and important Hamas campaigns, he told Israelis. The man, Ya’akub Abu Assab, 35, was described as a liaison between Hamas West Bank and their Saudi command center. He told interrogators he received operation instructions from Saudi Arabia and relayed them to the West Bank offices of Hamas. He had already received Saudi funds to survey the participation by Hamas in the Palestinian elections.

Israeli media reports quoted Matthew Levitt, director of the Terrorism Studies Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: “Neither the fact that individual Hamas operatives are active in Saudi Arabia, nor the fact that Hamas receives significant funding from within the kingdom is news…[But] the revelation that Hamas operates a command center in Saudi Arabia with close ties to Hamas militants, executing attacks and the movement’s political and social welfare operations, is remarkable.”

Dr. Reuven Erlich, director of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies told World Net Daily, “Someone has to influence the Saudis to end this. If Hamas is operating a center in the kingdom, it means officials allow them to act there, and this needs to be stopped.”

It is no secret Saudi Arabia has an infamous connection with international terrorism. Osama bin Laden is Saudi. September 11 was orchestrated and carried out by Saudi operatives. Now Israel is continuously pressured to hand over land to a state that is in grave danger of becoming a launching site for serious escalation in terrorism.

Hamas and Islamic Fundamentalism

Dr. Mahmoud Zahar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, is quoted on their Arabic Web site saying a Hamas-run Palestinian state would gradually outlaw cooperation with Israel. He predicted any Palestinian state under Hamas would be strictly an Islamic one. He praised the Hamas-controlled city council in Qalkilya (in the West Bank) for having stopped a party with mixed dancing. Zahar also said Hamas would stand in the elections and ridiculed Israel’s objections: “Israel is not our God. It was defeated, and those who are defeated cannot set conditions.”

When the free-world is seen as giving in to terrorism, the militants believe this indicates weakness in the West. According to them, their takeover is just a matter of time.

When President Bush made his speech about Islamic militants, he said, “Our commitment is clear. We will not relent until the organized international terror networks are exposed and broken and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder.”

Not only were 8,000 Jews removed from Gaza during the recent withdrawal, but it has also been announced that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has spent NIS 85 million (US $18.4 million) protecting the new Gaza border communities.

Terror Expected to Increase

New schools and classrooms are being built in Sderot (a Jewish city on the Gaza border), so that terrorist bombs can be at least hindered from their bloodthirsty intent. Bomb interception devices are installed on the roofs of the new kindergartens. Bomb shelters, called “cubes,” are being erected by the IDF, which give citizens 15 seconds to seek shelter inside before the bomb hits. Some school activities are held in bomb shelters but just for two hours a day, as the air becomes stifling. Unfortunately, it seems this will be an increasing way of life with Hamas and the terrorist community as neighbors.

Is this why God called the Jews back to Israel? Is this the lifestyle He planned for them?

The suffering of the innocent has been tragic, and it continues to mount. On the one side, the war of words is broadcast, telecast, printed, and proclaimed. On the other side, terror increases, and the people are forced to hide behind thicker walls and dig into deeper holes.

Standing with Israel

Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, wrote: “The distinctive nationality of Jews neither can, will, nor must be destroyed. It cannot be destroyed, because external enemies consolidate it. [The Jewish State]” Like the olive tree in Romans 9–11, Israel continues to bear fruit despite years of abuse and suffering. The existence of Israel declares, “There must be a God!”

As terror and fear rise like a flood throughout the world, we who love the God of Israel must seek Him and His power to be a blessing in this hour of decision. Inactivity is inexcusable, and talk is cheap. Christians who stand with Israel must pray that the injustices and double standards will be exposed. We all have the invitation to share with God in standing against the war of fear by faith.

By Ron Ross, Bridges for Peace Host of Israel Mosaic Radio

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