By Rev. Malcolm Hedding
The awful horrors of the Holocaust had hardly become fully known when Israel emerged as a nation on the world stage amidst the shambles of the Second World War. As time passed the depth of wickedness and evil perpetrated against the Jewish people by the Nazis became more and more evident. As a consequence one would have thought that a “new day” would emerge in terms of the world’s relationship with the Jewish people. Sadly this is not to be.
Not only did the international community, and Britain, renege on their undertakings to the early Zionists leaders of the Jewish people, but they turned their backs on the clear undertakings approved by the entire League of Nations on the 24th of July, 1922. Clearly within this framework the perceived Jewish State was everything on the West Bank of the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. Eli Hertz, writing in “Mandate for Palestine” states, “The mandate for Palestine, an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish Legal rights to settle anywhere in Western Palestine, a 10,000 square mile area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”
Within hours of the declaration of statehood in May 1948, Israel was faced with immediate war. Five Arab armies attacked the “new born” state in contradiction of the will of the world community expressed through the United Nations. Behind this attack was not political disapproval, but a radical Islamic agenda that cannot abide a foreign entity on what it perceived to be “Islamic soil until doomsday”. This, and only this, is at the root of the conflict that still rages in the region. Even when the Arabs had everything they say they want now from 1948 to 1967 they were not content. In fact, they formed the PLO in 1964 with the single and urgent aim of dismantling the entire Jewish State. This “aim” is reflected in the many “destruction clauses” enshrined in the PLO charter up until today.
Four Pillars of Conflict
The inability to dislodge Israel by conventional war, as proved by the Yom Kippur war of 1973, led to a more sinister form of conflict that has involved four pillars.
3) Peace initiatives ...and ...
4) The Media
In terms of terrorism Israel has withstood wave upon wave of violent assaults against its citizen population. Strangely, these are almost always given scant reviews in the media...but, if a Palestinian is injured or dies in the conflict, there is international uproar. The ten thousand Hamas fired rockets raining down on the south of the country are proof of this. There were no rallies in the streets of Europe protesting such outrageous behaviour and the world community, in all its forums, gave very little importance to it.
Israel’s attempts to defend itself were made extremely difficult because the perpetrators of these acts of terror took refuge amongst the civilian population. This was the case in Jenin, Ramallah and Gaza. All the while the political wing of the PLO agreed to various peace initiatives while at the same time, in Arabic, assuring its constituency that they have not moved away from the 1964 approved plan for the phased destruction of Israel. Groups like Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) have clearly demonstrated this beyond all doubt.
The Smear of Israeli Apartheid
This “battle” took a turn after the collapses of the various Oslo initiatives in the late nineties in that the media, generally driven by the left, began to renew their assault against Israel by equalling it with the fallen Apartheid Regime of South Africa. Strategically, this was brilliant as the icons of the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, like Desmond Tutu, were “on board”. So, Durban 1 and 2, though purporting to deal with racism and discrimination on a world-wide scale, were actually attempts to discredit Israel. It can be said that Durban 1 launched the Apartheid smear against Israel in earnest.
The idea of the campaign was simple; discredit Israel, delegitimize Israel and (hopefully) dismantle Israel. Sadly, this misguided campaign has taken root everywhere in the Western world and particularly on educational campuses. Prominent Israeli’s can hardly address students at these anymore as their right of free speech will be removed by heckling and even violent actions. The Palestinian machinery has “milked” this Apartheid smear against Israel to the fullest extent. To be honest, the label is sticking and the campaign is reaching into the halls of western governments. It’s popular today to be anti-Israel, as Stephen Harper, the courageous Prime Minister of Canada, recently pointed out. So, taking positions against Israel in the United Nations will get you “kudos” and introductions to the right people!
Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
On the heels of the Apartheid smear campaign against Israel has arrived the so called “BDS Campaign”. BDS meaning; Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Once again the strategy is clear; if Israel can be discredited as an Apartheid state and thus delegitimized then, as was the case with Apartheid South Africa, she should be subjected to boycotts, disinvestment and broad based sanctions until she is successfully dismantled. We must not minimize the impact of these two campaigns. They are gathering momentum at an alarming rate and as a result Israel is facing increased isolation and rejection across the world.
To e sure, the lucrative oil markets of the Arab world coupled with growing commercial demands and markets for Western products is playing a roll in all of this. Blackmail is still a political game!
Jerusalem, Incitment & the Right of Return
Many of Israel’s so called friends want her to commit national suicide by giving in to unreasonable demands such as the surrender of East Jerusalem and the return of millions of second and third generation Palestinians to Israel proper. All the while, in the Palestinian media and in Palestinian school books, the destruction of Israel is called for and jihadist terrorists are celebrated at youth camps as role models and heroes. These things have been brought to the attention of the European Union, the United Nations and the U.S. government, but nothing happens or changes. They are ignored. Israel, without a true peace partner (The Mandela factor) is demonized, vilified and isolated, and yet she is the only Democracy in the Middle East and has demonstrated a unique ability to forge a lasting peace where genuine peace partners can be and are found. The history of this is well known.
Islam & the Hatred of the 'Collective Jew'
Sadly, lurking behind all of the above is a hatred of the Jew and now the “collective Jew” (Israel). The assault against Israel from 1948 onwards has been unrelenting. It is driven by a radical Islamic agenda of conquest at all costs. The nature of this conflict has not changed though the Arab/Palestinian interlockers have changed colours to suit the moment like chameleons. An unlikely alliance between the political left and the radical Islamic constituency of Europe has emerged, fuelling anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. Once again in Europe Jews are in danger and Iran has surrounded Israel to the north, south, east and west. That is, with Hezbollah and Hamas to the North and South respectively and with a new alliance with Turkey to the North West.
Driven by visions and visitations of a mysterious 12th Iman Admadinijad of Iran is preparing for war with Israel. If not stopped by the international community, this war could involve a nuclear attack against the Jewish State. The situation is urgent and dangerous but the international community continues to entertain Admadinijad at the UN, in violation of its own charter. In this case, incitement to Genocide against a member state.
The Right of Self-Defense
While Israel has made mistakes she is not the transgressor that much of this world makes her out to be. The hatred of Israel has become so intense that she is no longer allowed to defend herself against the enemy that is determined to destroy her. The Second Lebanon War followed by the war with Gaza in early 2009 demonstrated this. In a so called enlightened world it is hard to believe that what happened to the Jews in Germany could happen again. But it is! Now the target is the “collective Jew” (Israel). Once again the Jews are being blamed for every ill being suffered by the world. Even the attack on the World Trade Centre buildings on 9/11 in New York by radical Islamic jihadists was attributed to Jews on much of the Arab main street! And, with austerity programs being adopted by the western democracies, in order to stave off economic meltdown, the Jews are being, and will be, blamed for much of this. Rioting on the streets of London and Europe are now common place and Israel and the Jews will be in the firing line.
The march to delegitimize Israel continues and even though Israel has legal, historical, international and biblical legitimacy this will all be pushed aside on the assertion that “this may be so but the facts on the ground have changed.” It is thus now expedient to make Israel comply with the will of the international community. This “will” will in the future become more rigid and threatening especially as western democracies face economic austerity programs that make turning to “green energy”, which is very expensive, more unlikely. Oil will remain the “life blood” of the world and this reality will contribute to the pressure on Israel to comply.
Our Response as Christians
These are very dangerous days and, whether we like it or not, the biblical scenario of all nations coming against Israel is becoming a likely one. Israel is moving into a period of isolation not seen since her founding. Her friends will be few but the Lord God of Heaven has prepared a body of people all over the world who will now stand up and be counted. These are the Evangelical Christians. We cannot be silent again as Jesus’ brethren are threatened with destruction.
Israel’s restoration is not a political accident but a direct fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham 4,000 years ago. Her role in history has not been one of racial superiority but of serventhood. She gave us the Bible and our wonderful Messiah Jesus and now we are indebted to her. Our faith is rooted in Israel’s long journey and we must stand up to support her and defend her.
This means that:
(1) You must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
(2) You must live a holy life by which Christ is glorified.
(3) You must live out your biblical responsibilities and obligations to the local church.
(4) You must pray for Israel and seek to bless her.
(5) You must get active and involve your elected representatives in your community.
(6) You must keep yourself fully informed of current events in Israel and the wider region. Jesus said, “watch and pray”.
(7) You must avail yourself of our specialist seminars and speaking events that can better equip your circle of friends, prayer group and church ...and ...,
(8) You must involve yourself in the wider activities of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
If not now, when?
Rev. Malcolm Hedding
ICEJ Executive Director Emeritus