America, Russia, & Israel

There will be wars and rumors of wars, Jesus told His disciples. They will end only when He returns. I don’t know if there are more wars and disturbances now than ever, or if we simply are more aware of them due to mass communications. But the underlying cause for them is the sinful heart of man. People want something, and they do not have it, so they strike out at others, the apostle James declared. Biblical instruction from thousands of years ago remains true today.

In the past week, the world has been rocked by two major events. The first is the downing of a Malaysian airliner carrying nearly 300 people. All perished in the attack by dissidents/terrorists in Ukraine who want to unite with Russia. This is an outgrowth of Vladimir Putin’s encroachment on Ukraine and his desire to take it over, piece by piece. While the international community—such as it is—wrings its hands over this atrocity, few doubt the hand behind it:

Heat Signature

Then there’s the Middle East, always ripe for violence. Those of us who pay attention to Biblical prophecy and try to sort it out are not surprised. We also know this area will never be at peace. Again, it is the sinful heart of man that has led to the latest round of violence. Let’s be clear, though: when it comes to Israel and its enemies, this is not a moral equivalence situation. As noted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the difference can be expressed this way—if Hamas lays down its weapons, there will be peace; if Israel lays down its weapons, there will be no more Israel.

It’s Hamas that started the rain of rockets into Israel that has led to most of the citizens living in shelters. A nation can’t put up with that for long. Israel had to respond and try to destroy Hamas’s capability to continue those attacks (missiles supplied by Iran, by the way). Their invasion of Gaza is completely justified. They warn Palestinians to get out of the way; Hamas tells them to stay put so that many will die and they can use the deaths for propaganda purposes:

Death to Israel

The foolish among us then blame Israel for what is happening. The U.S., historically, has been Israel’s staunchest ally. We have helped them install the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system that has effectively neutralized many of those missiles. Hamas has an Iron Dome of its own, but entirely different:

Iron Domes

Yet Israel’s strongest supporter in the past is no longer its greatest ally, if it is an ally indeed. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry mouth the usual platitudes about Israel having the right to defend itself, while simultaneously casting aspersions on Israel for actually doing it. Their public statements seem to imply that Israel is the real problem. They point to the loss of life in Gaza as if this is Israel’s fault. Kerry even was caught on a “hot mic” before his Fox interview sarcastically commenting on Israel’s precision strikes in Gaza. No longer can Israel count on the American government:

Stands Behind Israel

In both these situations—in Ukraine and the Middle East—where is the American president? Out fundraising. Some commentators are beginning to refer to him as the semi-retired president. He’s no real leader.

Leading from Behind

As I’ve said repeatedly, and will say again here: we’re in trouble.

The Potential for Armageddon?

So the U.N. has imposed new sanctions on Iran. Anyone else feel a yawn coming on? Can’t you see Iran trembling over this world outrage? No? Neither can I. The so-called sanctions are worse than useless: semi-tough talk with no follow-through.

An apt depiction of what sanctions will accomplish. Yet every time the “world” does this, we’re told that it’s really going to make a difference. Does anyone with any sense of reality believe this?

Iran is so frightened it has just announced it is sending a flotilla to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade. Without trying to sound alarmist, we have here a potential warmaking situation. If Israel boards those ships, Iran may declare war. Now, they may not, simply because they might instead decide to bask in the glow of the “world’s” outrage directed once again toward Israel.

There is a sense of unreality to the whole situation. Somehow, in many people’s minds, the nation that is desperately trying to remain a nation while surrounded by hate-driven enemies is pilloried while another nation that says it wants to wipe the first nation off the face of the earth is treated as legitimate. This is also the nation [Iran, in case you’re confused at this point] that recently held an election that all serious observers know was stolen by its fearless leader.

Conservatives always make comparisons with Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler during the 1930s. I don’t think the comparison is all that bad, except for this: the potential consequences now are much greater as Iran steadily moves forward in its quest to develop its own nuclear weapons. Hitler may have had such dreams, but his dreams never came this close to reality.

Are we approaching a Biblical Armageddon? Too many people in the past have declared it to be imminent, so I’m going to be more cautious. This situation, however, is potentially worse than anything the Middle East has faced in the past—and whatever transpires in the Middle East will affect us directly.

I’m not just spouting some pious phrase when I say it is time to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

This Was Not a Peace Ship

There’s really no doubt now that the so-called peace ship heading to Gaza was bent on killing Israelis. The videos make it clear that the Israeli soldiers were attacked immediately upon boarding the ship for an inspection. It’s also now known that a large number of the 700 passengers were connected with Islamic jihadist groups known for terrorism. Some even had ties to Al Qaeda.

The cartoonists have caught on to the truth:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly defends the actions of his troops. In a statement yesterday, Netanyahu was firm in his stance on self-defense.

“Israel regrets the loss of life,” Netanyahu said, “but we will never apologize for defending ourselves.” He added, “This wasn’t a love boat. This was a hate boat.” In a comment aimed at the United Nations, he declared, “I regret to say for many in the international community, no evidence is needed. Israel is guilty until proven guilty.”

The Israeli prime minister noted that the troops had boarded five other ships prior to this one, and there was no violence reported on any of them. But on the sixth one, “They were met with a vicious mob. They were stabbed. They were clubbed. They were fired upon. The attackers had prepared their violent action in advance. . . . These weren’t pacifists. They weren’t peace activists. These were violent supporters of terrorism.”

While the U.S. hasn’t joined in a full-fledged endorsement of the U.N.’s condemnation of Israel, it hasn’t exactly distinguished itself in its support of Israel’s right of self-defense. For the first time since the presidency of Jimmy Carter—but more forthrightly—we have an administration whose natural sympathies are with those who foment the violence. Anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head in the nation that should be in the forefront of support for the Jewish state.

An Israeli Primer

A primer is a book of basics. It is intended to ensure that students grasp the essential foundations of a subject. I think we need a primer on the nature of the conflict in the Middle East over the state of Israel.

Fact #1: Israel is a self-governing entity that is a friend to the free world.

Fact #2: Israel is surrounded by enemies that want to destroy it.

Fact #3: All these enemies are Islamic believers.

Fact #4: Hamas, a terrorist group, runs the Gaza Strip.

Fact #5: Hamas wants to obliterate the state of Israel and sends thousands of rockets raining on Israel every year.

Fact #6: Israel, for its own protection, inspects ships coming to Gaza to make sure they are not carrying weapons meant to kill Israeli citizens.

Fact #7: Although these ships say they are taking humanitarian aid to a starving people, the people in Gaza are not starving at all. Yet Israel allows these ships to take this “aid” anyway.

Fact #8: Islamist extremists deliberately set up confrontations that will end in deaths/martyrdom and paint Israel as the problem.

Fact #9: Most of the rest of the world takes Islamist propaganda at face value and condemns whatever Israel does to defend itself.

Fact #10: It just happened again this week. The world fell for it again.

Palestinians Protesting Israeli Boarding of Ship

Some people still have their heads on straight over this. Carol Platt Liebau is one:

Mona Charen throws some facts into the bilious stew of press coverage on the “humanitarian” flotilla attacked by Israel.  It’s a must-read.  Of particular interest:

Upon learning of the intentions of the Gaza flotilla, the Israeli government asked the organizers to deliver their humanitarian aid first to an Israeli port where it would be inspected (for weapons) before being forwarded to Gaza. The organizers refused. “There are two possible happy endings,” a Muslim activist on board explained, “either we will reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom.”

No agenda there, though.  Of course not.  Nobody but Israeli bad guys in this scenario, right?  Pleeease.

What always amazes me is the speed, venom and alacrity with which the UN can step up to denounce Israel — as it sits on its hands while Iran marches ever-closer to developing nukes with which to threaten the (pro-Western) world.

Life is anything but fair for Israel, but I think they’re used to that by now.

As of this writing, the U.S. government has not condemned Israel for its actions in defending itself. Let’s pray that remains the U.S. government’s position.