Weekly Update: A week of pain and shame

editor - 11 October 2019

What a tragic, painful, and shameful week.

As Jewish people were faithfully and peacefully observing Yom Kippur in synagogues around the world on Wednesday, a right-wing anti-Semitic terrorist slayed two innocent people while attempting to massacre Jews inside a synagogue in Halle, Germany.

The attack on Jews on Yom Kippur – the most holy Jewish day of the year – is reminiscent of the attack by Arab armies on Israel on Yom Kippur in October 1973 – which Israel only narrowly survived, and which remains to this day a deep scar in the minds of most Israeli’s.

In the same week, President Trump – apparently without prior consultation with Israel – suddenly pulled remaining US troops out of north-east Syria, giving approval to President Erdogan of Turkey to launch an offensive to annihilate the Kurdish resistance movement. The move has been widely condemned as abandonment of the Kurds, who had been America’s allies in the fight against ISIS. Since the pull-out, Turkey has bombed Kurdish strongholds, killing civilians and soldiers, and displacing as many as 70,000 people in what threatens to become a humanitarian disaster.

The pull-out seems to play into the hands of Iran, whose military leaders now claim to have established a “corridor” from Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon – enabling Iran to launch an offensive against Israel.

Israel is on high alert, facing what President Rivlin calls security needs “the likes of which we have not known for many years.”

We feel the pain of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, which seem to be abandoned again.

And the Kurdish people as well, who – yet again – have been let down by the international community.

We feel the shame of being part of Western society in which Jews are at risk of being slayed for the simple reason they are Jews – and innocent Gentiles are killed in the process.

What madness. What better proof could there be that anti-Semitism starts with hatred of Jews, but ends up destroying all that is good and pure and holy.

When will we wake up?

Thank God we know that “he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121).

Jew-hating killer slays two innocent people, attempts massacre of many Jews

Two people were shot dead in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday, with a Jewish house of worship the prime target. The killer, suspected to be 27-year old German Stephan Balliet, had published an anti-Semitic “manifesto” online more than a week ago. He packed four kilograms (nine pounds) of explosives in his car, and “wanted to enter the synagogue to kill many people” (ie. Jews).

Ironically it appears neither of the victims was Jewish.
Read article..

The local Jewish community leader, Max Privorozki, said that anti-Semitism had become such a danger in Germany that he was now no longer sure the country could be “our home.”
Read article..


US pulls out from Syria; Turkey attacks the Kurds

David Horowitz reports in Times of Israel that the US pull-out from Syria sheds doubts on whether Israel can rely on the US. He quotes the former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, until recently a deputy minister in Netanyahu’s government, who told the New York Times on Tuesday ‘he was no longer sure Israel could rely on the US, under Trump, to come to Israel’s aid at a time of serious war. Oren, who served in DC from 2009-2013, recalled that at Barack Obama’s last meeting with Netanyahu — who had a friction-filled relationship, especially over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — the president assured the prime minister that “if Israel ever got into a serious war, of course the US would intervene, because that’s what the American people expect.” Said Oren: “I don’t think Israel can bank on that today… I don’t know now.”’
Read article..

Correspondent Yochanan Visser analyses the consequences for Israel: read article..


Weekly teaching – “the Signs of the Times”

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief –Israel & Christians Today


Scripture for the week: Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


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