Weekly Update: Israel’s dilemmas, the US’s confusion and Europe’s decline 

editor - 8 October 2021

It is remarkable how quickly the world is changing. The US withdrawal from the Middle East seems to be a further sign that we have entered a new geo-political reality characterized by chaos, confusion and instability.

The US, reeling from its defeat at the hands of the Taliban, is trying to reach a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite the fact Iran’s leadership remains committed to destruction of the West, and is the biggest threat to the region.

China is flexing its muscles, in the Middle East (and beyond), and Turkey and Iran are taking full advantage of the space given to them to expand their influence in the region.

Europe is trying to deal with a new rise of anti-Semitism. But it’s treating the symptom, not the cause. The fundamental problem is that Europe itself cut the Judeo-Christian root of its own civilisation, and is now facing the consequences of banning God from the public square. The recent elections in Germany show how politically divided the continent is. Europe is increasingly irrelevant on the world political stage, having no military or common foreign policy to speak of.

Taking advantage of this global uncertainty, President of “Palestine” Mahmoud Abbas stood up in the UN last week and publicly threatened: if Israel does not end the occupation within one year, including abandoning East Jerusalem, the PLO will renew its terror campaign and kill even more Jews.

Increasingly, Israel realizes that it will have to “go it alone” and take whatever measures are necessary to protect itself from the many threats that surround it. It must form new friendships and partnerships.

As Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak explains, Israel’s Abraham Accords evidence the importance of developing a new political paradigm for the region based on cooperation and mutual respect.

But, Islam-expert Rev. Mark Durie cautions, “Abraham” may not be the unifying figure for all players in the region that we would like him to be.

As all of these things unfold before our eyes, let us remember that “our redemption draws near”, and look to the Lord who alone can bring the peace and security for which the world longs, and for which the whole creation is groaning. We must continue to thank God for bringing the Jewish people home.

Let us pray for Israel, its leaders and people, and that Jerusalem will “shine out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”

The Editorial team
Israel & Christians Today

Former Director Christians for Israel appointed as honorary consul Israel in Netherlands

On 4 November 2021, Mr. Roger F.G. van Oordt will be appointed honorary consul in the Netherlands for the State of Israel.
> Read more..

European Union implements new strategy to address serious rise in anti-Semitism

JNS reports: “Acknowledging that most European Jews do not feel safe in their home countries, the European Commission released a report on Tuesday outlining strategies to combat anti-Semitism and encourage the growth of Jewish life there. ‘This is an unprecedented and vital document that will act as a roadmap to significantly reduce anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond,’ said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress.”
> Read more..

Belgium court approves ban on kosher slaughter

Brooke Goldstein at Lawfare Project: “Belgium’s Constitutional Court upheld its discriminatory ban on shechita — the ritual practice of slaughtering animals without pre-stunning, which is required to produce kosher and halal meat. Meat that is not kosher or halal cannot be consumed by observant Jews or Muslims. Belgium has failed its Jewish and Muslim communities. The Constitutional Court’s decision flagrantly disregards the fundamental rights of minorities and directly restricts their religious freedoms.”
> Read more..

At long last, Babi Yar victims to receive the respect they deserve

Israel Kasnett writes for JNS: “On the 80th anniversary of the mass genocide the Nazis and their collaborators committed against Ukrainian Jews, a memorial center being built on the site will tell the story of the 1941 atrocity.”
>

Sidelining Abbas will remove the greatest obstacle to peace

James Sinkinson writes at JNS: “On Sept. 24, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas told U.N. General Assembly members he was giving Israel just one year to withdraw from the ancient Jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria … or else he was going to cancel his recognition of the Jewish state. Surely this impotent threat fooled no one at the United Nations, and caused no Israelis to lose sleep. Abbas, now in his 17th year of a four-year term—and whom 80 percent of Palestinians believe should resign—has been making empty threats and promises his entire career.”
> Read more..

Michael Doran on Iran, Israel, the US and the changing Middle East

Michael Doran, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, discusses the changing Middle East. Doran argues that the Biden Administration is continuing Obama’s progressive policies based on a worldview that alliances with those who have opposing ideologies is better than military conflict – at any price. The US is threatening Israel that if it does not cooperate with US re-entry into the JCPOA agreement with Iran, the US will put more pressure on Israel to concede to Palestinian demands. The US “does not like the Abraham Accords”, because those agreements were part of a broader strategy to form a coalition of states in the region opposed to Iran.
> Read more..

America’s Afghan Withdrawal Validates the Abraham Accords  

Dr. Daphné Richemond-Barak writes for the MirYam Institute: “For the Sunni Arab states that joined the Abraham Accords and established formal ties with Israel last year, the United States’ recent exit from Afghanistan has validated their choice to partner with Israel. The Abraham Accords countries understood that the U.S. would come to play a lesser role in the region, and anticipated the need to engage with a broader set of like-minded states.”
> Read more..

Is ”Abrahamic” a Useful Concept?

In this ME Forum Webinar, Mark Durie discusses whether the figure of Abraham can be a point of unity and whether the concept ‘Abrahamic’ is a help or a hindrance to peaceful coexistence.
> Read more..


Scripture for the week

Isaiah 62

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;
but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the Lord,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.”

10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.

11 The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’”
12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord;
and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.