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How do we respond to evil?

editor - 14 October 2023

We are horrified by the atrocities committed on Saturday 7th October. Militant Islamists from Gaza broke through the barrier and murdered, raped, and mistreated thousands of Israelis and foreigners. An unknown number of people have been kidnapped and taken as hostages back into Gaza. The scenes of wanton violence and destruction have shocked the world.

More Jews were killed in a single day than on any other day since the Holocaust.

Many people have been warning for years that something like this would happen. It is incredible that the Israeli leadership was so ill-prepared.

This is a game-changer. The myth of Israel’s invincibility has been shattered. So too has the myth of the “two states” solution.
 
Make no mistake. The attack this past week is not an isolated incident, but part of a larger strategy. This was a well-prepared and highly-coordinated attack. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are extremely sophisticated, well-organized and well-funded entities.

It involves and connects many Islamist entities throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa – and beyond – founded on principles of jihad: the use of force to impose Islamism. As the Hamas Charter makes clear, the killing of Jews is central to their ideologically-driven self-identity.

It is quite clear that Iran is playing a central role in all of this. The revolutionary regime in Tehran has been financing and supporting its proxies in the region such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) for decades. There is no way Hamas and PIJ could have carried out this attack without Iran’s close involvement.

In this context, it is also important to observe that the Iranian proxy Hizbollah in Lebanon is becoming involved. Hezbollah shares the Iranian regime’s goal of destroying Israel, and has over 150,000 rockets in place directed against Israel. This could easily escalate into a multi-front war in which Israel will be dealing with attacks from the south, north and east.

The apparent strategic objective seems to be to draw Israel into a ground war in Gaza in which hundreds and perhaps thousands of Palestinians will be killed. In fact, that is exactly what is happening – Israel has called up over 350,000 reserve soldiers, and is preparing for a massive ground offensive. Its goal is to use great force to root out and destroy Hamas. Given Hamas and PIJ deliberately use their own people as human shields, there will be many casualties.

Israel’s enemies are using psychological warfare to undermine Western confidence in the Jewish State of Israel. Dr. Irwin Mansdorf describes this as follows:

“When it comes to psychological warfare (often called PSYOPS), various “playbooks” have been used over the years. Hamas, an ideologically driven Islamist terror organization, has used several of these tactics. Most notably, they manipulate the “victim” role to garner support from world opinion. When facing a stronger force like Israel, this strategy (also known as “psychological asymmetry”) has allowed them to undertake actions that can be classified as war crimes, and they then take cover under a blitz of distorted information that focuses on Israel as the guilty party. In essence, the asymmetry arises when the stronger military party, Israel, is forced to cease its operations, preventing it from attaining legitimate operational goals.”

It is critical that we pray into this situation with an understanding that the Enemy of the creator of this universe is doing all in his power to destroy the apple of God’s eye, to confuse the nations, and disrupt and distort God’s plans for redemption.As Christians, we not only have the opportunity but also the duty to engage in spiritual warfare. As the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 3 –

“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

He continues in chapter 6 of the letter to the Ephesians –

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

We can be 100% confident that the Lord God of Israel watches over His people. The shepherd of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121). The enemies of Israel will be defeated.So let us pray that the spirit of God will work in the lives of all –

  • for the government and people of Israel in their loss and grief
  • for the families who have lost loved ones, or whose next of kin are missing or captive of Hamas
  • for the people of Gaza – that they also will be protected
  • for the leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – that there will be massive repentance and turning from evil
  • that the Jewish people, the Christian world and all the nations of earth will turn to the living God and put their trust and confidence in Him, not in their own strength and wisdom.

Above all, let us pray with increased urgency for the coming of Messiah of Israel, who will judge the nations, tend to His people Israel, and wipe the tears from every eye.

Only then will evil be overcome, and there will be true peace on earth.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


Explainer: Media coverage about Israel

The images are imprinted on our memory. Hamas invades¬ Israel with unprecedented violence. Not surprisingly, many questions are now surfacing: what caused this escalation of violence? And how could this spin so tremendously out of control? The media give many reasons. But are they correct?
Time to check the facts.


Herzog fires back at foreign reporters over Israel’s Gaza response 

JNS reports: CNN‘s Becky Anderson started off by saying that “collective punishment of a civilian population amounts to a war crime under international law. The U.S. has warned Israel to uphold laws of war.”Herzog responded: “If you have a missile in your goddamn kitchen and you want to shoot it at me, am I allowed to defend myself? Israel abides by international law, operates by international law. Every operation is secured and covered and reviewed legally. With all due respect, I truly believe that this comes totally out of context,” the president said.
> Read more..

IDF Prepares for Ground War in Gaza After the Murder of more than 1,000 Israelis

Yochanan Visser writes at C4Israel.org: The IDF is engaged in an unprecedented troop build-up along the Gaza border. A total of 300,000 reservists have arrived in the Gaza border area. Among them is former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who came to do voluntary reserve service. The huge number of reservists indicates a major military action, but so far there is no talk of reoccupation of Gaza. Ground action in Gaza is expected to begin soon and to last a long time.
> Read more..

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2023 War with Hamas

Lt. Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch writes at JCPA: On the morning of October 7, 2023, more than 3,000 terrorists infiltrated Israel and massacred 1,200 women, children, men, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The infiltration was masked by more than 3,600 missiles fired by the terrorists, indiscriminately targeting Israel’s civilian population. While Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted most missiles, others fell on high-rise buildings, synagogues, and hospitals. These were explicit acts of war and clear war crimes. As Israel responds to the atrocities, several basic principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) are essential to be familiar with.
> Read more..

Psychological Factors and the Hamas War Strategy

Dr. Irwin J. Mansdorf writes at JCPA: Psychological warfare by Hamas (and Hizbullah) has relied heavily on portraying themselves as “victims.”This tact ic is known as “Psychological Asymmetry,” whereby a militarily weaker opponent can gain tactical advantage through psychological means. This manipulative tactic includes embellishing and sometimes falsifying scenes of civilian damage and suffering and intentionally creating these scenes to generate opportunities to use them.
> Read more..

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Psalm 121

 

Scripture

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.