There is war in Israel. Rockets are landing in Israeli communities near Gaza, but also in major centers like Haifa, Jerusalem, Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv. For some time in my travels I have heard talk of wars and rumors of wars. Political pundits, military analysts, as well as students of biblical prophecy all were warning of war. “War is coming,” “War is imminent,” they said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks loudly and often of the dangers facing Israel and the world if Iran succeeds in producing nuclear weapons. We have all become familiar with terms like cyber war, nuclear war, biological war, chemical war, and guerilla war. The signs and warnings were all correct. But, one thing was not clearly understood or accepted. War is not in the future! Political cartoonist, Yaakov Kirschen, a long time friend of Bridges for Peace, sent me a cartoon last week which stated, “A World War is going on…But it is disguised as 1000 local conflicts.”
When one world view (or religion) wishes to subjugate all others to their viewpoint, and is willing to kill for their viewpoint, then we have a problem. That is the case in the world today. War has come to the world. The little nation of Israel happens to be on the front lines.
July is a hot month in Israel, but this month the heat was more than just the temperature. The fragile state of non-war was shattered when three teenage Jewish boys were kidnapped and murdered. They were just trying to get home from their classes at a Jewish Bible school (Yeshiva). For 18 days the nation prayed, searched and hoped for a good report. At the same time, the Palestinian population rejoiced, passed out sweets and boasted of the kidnapping by holding three fingers aloft. The terrorists who murdered the teens remain hidden within the Palestinian community. On the 18th day, the mutilated bodies of Gil-ad, Naftali, and Eyal were found in a shallow grave. Two days later Mohammed Abu Khdeir (16) was kidnapped and murdered. Arabs rioted throughout East Jerusalem. Within four days Israel captured and incarcerated six young angry Israelis (three of which are being held for the murder). Israeli voices, including Prime Minister Netanyahu and the parents of one of the murdered Israeli boys, are raised in condemnation of the retaliation murder.
Israeli civilian communities near the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the militant Hamas group, were subjected to continuous rocket fire from militant terror groups. In response Israel targeted terror infrastructure targets. Now, it seems like a full war is in progress. Twice this week the horrifying undulating sirens have blasted in Jerusalem, sending us all running to shelters. I have felt the adrenalin coursing through my body saying, “hurry, hurry, you only have 105 seconds.” Each time we have managed to close the shelter door just before the explosions. In Jerusalem we are fortunate to have so much time, but in other places throughout the land, people have only 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, the murderous group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) has taken control of 95% of the Syrian Golan Heights. Their intent is to create an Islamic Caliphate. Already they have left a bloody trail across Iraq and Syria. Jordan is now seriously threatened, and the next on their list is Israel.
Every day new reports of atrocities being perpetrated against Christian and Jewish targets reach our ears. Christians are being crucified, beheaded and burned to death in many locales. The YouTube videos are too terrible to watch. Two hundred girls were kidnapped in Nigeria, and experts fear they will never be found—already having been sold into a lucrative sex slavery system. Hate crimes have become commonplace in Europe and other places in the world. Yes, conflict is raging throughout the Middle East and the world. The Bible is clear that we should expect these things: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Tim. 3:1).
Bridges for Peace has been placed by God in Israel for such a time as this. Now is the time to show the people of Israel that they are not alone. We pray with them, cry with them, stand up for them, feed them, visit those who mourn and will continue to do so even though it has become dangerous for us and our team.
We have a history of coming to their aid in times of conflict. We fed Israelis hunkered in bomb shelters in the north for 34 days in August of 2006. We delivered food, blankets, toys, and bomb shelters to the residents of the south when they were under fire from Gaza. We visited those who mourned their slain sons and daughters.
Daily, I receive updates from those monitoring the current emergency situation. We are stepping up to meet needs on a daily basis. We are giving blood. We are supplying food to those under rocket barrage. We are supporting groups who help children suffering from post traumatic stress.
Our founder set the pattern for us, by driving an ambulance during the Six Day War, inviting neighbors to shelter in the basement of his school, and providing food while filling sand bags. We will in the same spirit step up during this “hot” time and in the future, whatever it may bring. Our team has the willing hearts and hands to do so. But, we need your help. Our Victims of War fund is almost completely depleted. Your donations (large and small) will allow us to show Christian love to the people of Israel in time of great crisis. We urge you to pray Psalm 91 over Israel and to stand with Israel through your gifts.
Trusting in the God of Israel,
Rebecca J. Brimmer,
International President and CEO
PS Go to our YouTube channel to see videos relating to the current situation.
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