Weekly Update: Be wise, you rulers of the earth

editor - 16 June 2022

God does miracles. Israel is one of them. But are our political leaders willing to recognize this?

When Israel was established in 1948, it was very weak. Emerging after the horrors of the Shoah, the State of Israel was created through the sheer will of the Jewish people to fight for their national existence. Europe, as usual, sat on the fence and watched as the miracle unfolded.

The Arab states tried to destroy the Jewish people, but miraculously Israel was established, and survived. The Arab states grew richer through their massive oil and gas discoveries. They kept attacking Israel. After the last major attempt to destroy Israel failed in the 1973 “Yom Kippur” war, the Arabs used their dominance in oil, plus the threats of Palestinian terror, to blackmail the West into complying with their demands. Europe succumbed, thus began Europe’s policy of appeasing the Arab world, and pressuring Israel to give in to Palestinian demands for statehood in the territory that had been promised for a Jewish National Home.

Today, the tables are turning. Israel is becoming a major global player. Europe, in contrast, is in dire straits – economically, politically, and spiritually. Gradually, Europe is discovering that it needs Israel, more than Israel needs Europe.

The latest evidence of this is the “memorandum of understanding” signed by Israel, Egypt and the European Union on 15th June that will see Israel export its natural gas to the EU.

This landmark agreement is a potential game changer.

Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe cannot continue to import Russian gas, and is suddenly faced with a massive problem of finding alternative energy supplies.

Israel, in recent years, is becoming a major energy player in the region, transforming its relations with its closest neighbors. Israel’s gas industry has boomed in the past decade following the discovery of large offshore fields such as Leviathan and Tamar. It has already signed massive gas export agreements with Egypt and Jordan. However Israel and Lebanon are currently in a conflict over rights to the Karish gas field, which the Israeli government claims is in its UN-recognized exclusive economic zone, while Lebanon asserts that the waters are disputed.

Under this latest deal with the EU, Israel will increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries, which are aiming to reduce dependence on supply from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

The deal envisages Israel sending gas via pipeline to Egypt, which has facilities to liquify it for export to the EU by tankers.

The EU and Israel are exploring further possibilities of cooperation. Two ways in which Europe plans to work with Israel, EU Commission President von der Leyen said, is to lay the EuroAsia Interconnector, the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, connecting Israel to the EU electric grid via Cyprus and Greece, and the EastMed Pipeline, meant to be the world’s longest, also from Israel to Cyprus and Greece. Neither has happened yet, but the EuroAsia Interconnector has EU funding.

Von der Leyen was in Israel this week. Receiving an honorary doctorate from Ben Gurion University, she spoke nice words about EU-Israeli cooperation, and the need to confront antisemitism. “Europe and Israel are bound to be friends and allies… the history of Europe is the history of the Jewish people,” said von der Leyen.

But the same day, von der Leyen visited Palestinian Authority leader Mohammed Shtayyeh in Ramallah, promising to renew EU funding (240 million euros per annum) to the PA after funding had been ceased due to concerns about Palestinian incitement to terror. This just shows that the EU wants to have it both ways.

Renewing funding of the PA is outrageous, when the PA has done nothing to show its willingness and ability to prevent Palestinians from killing Jews.

At the moment, the EU is supporting Israel because it is desperate. But it is also keeping all its options open. As usual, the EU wants to please everyone, and protect its strategic interests in the region.

A good example of this is the EU’s continuing efforts to renew an agreement with Iran, which is on a fast track to achieving nuclear capabilities, and has sworn to wipe out the State of Israel.

It will be interesting to see if the EU really is willing to put its nice words into practice. History has shown that words are meaningless if not backed up by action. At the end of the day, European nations, like all nations, will need to decide if they are willing to support the Jewish people’s struggle for existence, even if they have to pay a price for doing so.

This week’s dramatic events provide no evidence that this will happen.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Von der Leyen: Israel will help free EU from depending on Russian energy

Lahav Harkov writes in JPost: “Working with Israel will help reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during her visit to Israel on Tuesday.”
> Read more..

In landmark deal signed in Cairo, Israel to export natural gas, via Egypt, to Europe

Times of Israel reports: “Egypt was the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, in 1979, but economic agreements have been controversial in the Arab world’s most populous country, where popular support for Palestinians runs high. However, relations between the two countries have been steadily warming in recent years.”
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EU President warms over Israel gas deal; others say it’s a double-edged sword

David Isaac writes at JNS: “Oliver Várhelyi, the E.U. commissioner whose department is responsible for the Middle East region and who blocked funding for the Palestinians last year, ‘has been energized, and I think members of the European Parliament have also been energized, over this issue.’ At parliament on June 14, Várhelyi said the E.U.’s fight against anti-Semitism seems ‘to be weakening, if not disappearing,’ and ‘what starts with incitement to hatred and violence becomes terror. And prevents coexistence.’”
> Read more..

Through Israel’s fall – in Isaiah | Romans 9-11 with Johannes Gerloff #50

Much overlooked – especially by those who propose that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah predicted by prophets like Isaiah – is the passage in Isaiah 49 where the Jewish Masoretes suggested a different reading of the original text, which most Christian translators follow. But even Paul quoted this text in a context that would practically testify to the fact that through Israel’s fall salvation comes to the gentile nations.



Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 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.