Oct 20, 2014
The Numbers Matter
The Intelligence and Terrorism
Information Center, a part of the Israeli intelligence
community, is an invaluable source for understanding the
Recently, the ITIC released a
report, in meticulous detail, shedding light on the
numbers of Palestinians killed in this past summer’s
The importance of the breakdown
is multi-layered. Of major importance is the revelation
of how Hamas conducted its terror war against Israeli
civilians…by putting their own citizens in danger.
The ITIC concludes that slightly
more than half of those killed were Palestinian
civilians, put in harm’s way by Hamas. One can rightly
wonder why American and European political leadership,
religious figures, and media types refuse — refuse — to
acknowledge that Hamas is responsible for the horrible
loss of life.
Look, I’ve been to the region
many times, and as a Christian Zionist, I can say that
it grieves me to see Palestinian civilians slaughtered
by those who claim to lead them. I have Palestinian
friends, both in Israel and the Palestinian Territories,
and the continued imprisonment of them, by Hamas and the
PA, is heartbreaking and enormously frustrating.
A fascinating note in the ITIC
report shows that Palestinian leadership actually
recruits adolescents. This is an emotionally devastating
A photograph in the report shows
Wassim Nasr Shurab and his brother, Iyad Nasr Shurab,
members of the PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] Al-Quds
Battalions, killed in Khan Yunis in July. Both are
pictured in a photo from a few years ago, holding a
rocket launcher and other weapons, proving that they are
recruited as adolescents.
My friend and colleague, Chris
Quintana (pastor of Calvary Chapel Cypress, CA) recently
posted on Facebook one of the most lucid statements I’ve
yet seen, and its appearance was startling when one
considers that few religious leaders and no political
leaders to my knowledge inform the American public in
the way Chris did.
He pointed out a crucial truth
in the Terror War. We all often hear that “only” about
10 percent of Muslims worldwide are radicals. A few
conservative whistle blowers (like Daniel Pipes, Robert
Spencer, and Pam Geller) point out that if this is true,
at least 100 million Muslims are radicals!
What Chris pointed out, though —
and this helps explain in macrocosm the report on how
Palestinians are radicalized — is that a full 90 percent
of Muslims worldwide are Sunni, and the Sunnis are
predominant among terrorist leadership.
In other words, one could
legitimately argue that we can flip the previous numbers
and assume that the vast majority of Muslims at least
internally agree with jihadist ideology.
(By contrast, the Iranian
leadership is Shia, the “competition” with Sunnis in
Islam. So, neither outcome is anything less than
To the point of the Hamas War
against Israel, the Jewish state is dealing not only
with jihadist leadership, but a radicalized society fed
a diet of hate for decades. This is the spotlight on the
Shurab brothers. A tragedy of epic proportions.
Until world leadership steps up
and admits the true nature of the problem, the jihadist
agenda will continue to advance.
I am confident Israel will deal
with its problems and survive.
I’m not confident at all about
the rest of us.
Oct 13, 2014
Obama & Friends
Anna Baltzer is a young
“activist” closely associated with the BDS Movement
(Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions), aimed at Israel. It is
one front in a multi-front war against the Jewish state.
Whereas Hamas is physically confrontational, BDS is a
key part of the cultural terrorism that attacks Israel
Active in social media,
including Twitter, Baltzer seeks to mobilize Jew-haters
among evangelical Millennials, and the mainline
churches. Recently, she circulated a document among
folks in the United Church of Christ, urging BDS
activism. The UCC, of course, vies with a couple other
denominations for the crown of most leftwing. It is also
the church-of-choice for Barack Obama. In fact, the UCC
is where he learned at the feet of Jeremiah Wright.
(To better understand Obama and
his associates, I strongly recommend two books:
Dupes — How
America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for
a Century, by Paul Kengor, and
Saul Alinsky: The
Evil Genius Behind Obama, by Jerome Corsi.)
One can simply let eyes fall on
a page of Baltzer’s document and find a lie. For
“•Present – Occupations and
unconditional US support for Israel continue”
This is absurd, but because so
many don’t know much about the Arab-Israeli conflict,
propagandists like Baltzer get away with it. She knows
very well that Obama & Team work tirelessly to undermine
Israel in myriad ways. “Unconditional US support” is a
It is interesting to note that
even among pro Israel activists, there is often
confusion as to why Obama does what he does regarding
the Jewish state. His public rebukes of Israel and
Benjamin Netanyahu, and his open contempt for the
premier are actually not difficult to understand, given
his absolutely radical associations and education.
Certain UCC leadership (like the now-retired Wright) are
virulently anti-Israel, and this is where Obama attended
church for two decades. Beyond that, his associations
with communists and his embrace of totalitarians provide
clarity when considering his animus towards Israel.
In the document she circulates,
Baltzer presents a list of “sources” of information.
Almost comically, they are the usual suspects of
leftists and propagandists. One could ask: when listing
biased sources like Electronic Intifada and B’tselem
(Amnesty International also makes the list), why doesn’t
Baltzer also list sources like StandWithUs and Israel
The answer is obvious:
demonizing Israel is more important than truth.
The networking among anti-Israel
propagandists is vast, much more widespread than even
pro Israel activists are aware. For example, the Anna
Baltzers of the world mix easily with young evangelical
leaders who are helping infect the American Church with
rabid anti-Israel propaganda. On Facebook, Baltzer has
thousands in her network (as an aside, many pro Israel
activists do not even use social media; this is one
example of the gap in effective communication via
A further interesting example of
Baltzer’s influence can be found from an Amazon review
of a DVD she produced. Notice the bizarre claims of this
“I am a Christian who in the past had believed and
taught the standard Zionist line. What changed my
perspective was when a friend challenged me with the
question of, ‘What if Jesus were serious about loving
one's enemies?’ Conservative Evangelical Christians
completely reject this possibility with objections such
as, ‘Just wherein loving your enemies does it say not to
kill them?’ and ‘Sometimes the most loving thing you can
do is to kill them.’. Fortunatley I examined the issue
and as I came to embrace these words of Christ my
theology was shaken to its foundation.”
Question: do Christian Zionists really say (or even
think) things like: “Sometimes the most loving thing you
can do is to kill them’?
Have you ever once heard anyone say such a thing? Only a
disturbed person would say such a thing, obviously. So
the next question I have is this: are such quotes real,
or are they fabricated?
I know the answer and so do you: anti-Israel and
anti-Christian Zionist activists lie about their
ideological opponents. Quotes are routinely fabricated,
in order to give a particular slant on a story. The
manipulation of language is one of the biggest stories
in the American Evangelical community, yet few are aware
of it. Most simply don’t know they are being lied to
The above quote, from Anna Baltzer’s network, uses lies
to promote a pro Palestinian worldview. Notice how
seamlessly it fits the grotesque, gargantuan lies that
come from the Oval Office.
At the end of the day, the massive, relentless, and
diabolical propaganda war against Israel is fueled by
liars like the president and young activists (mentored
by older ones) who despise
Israel and despise Jews.
It’s really not hard to figure out the roots of this
Oct 6, 2014
Every time Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu takes a breath, his critics pounce.
As I often do, I am thinking of American political and
In an interview this week,
Netanyahu said that if there is to be a Palestinian
state, “everyone” will have to adjust their ideas of
what sovereignty would mean. According to a report in
the Jerusalem Post:
“Netanyahu, who filmed the
interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during his stay last
week in New York, said that the only way to ensure that
territory ceded by Israel does not turn into a ‘third
Iranian enclave around Israel’s border’ is to have a
long-term Israeli security presence inside a future
It’s a given the Palestinians
will reject/attack Netanyahu’s position.
I expect, though, that his
vicious critics within the religious/political community
will pounce once again, from their ivory tower in the
In the interview, Netanyahu spoke
about concrete realities, a main one being that were
Hamas to take over the West Bank, mere mortar fire could
paralyze Ben Gurion Airport.
Forget rockets and missiles.
Further, Netanyahu made clear
that he has a thorough understanding of the problem,
something his critics do not grasp:
“The Palestinians have made clear
that they are adamantly opposed to any protracted
Israeli security presence anywhere in a future
Palestinian state, including along the Jordan River.
“Asked about Israel’s assessment
of the strength of Islamic State, Netanyahu – who just a
month ago put the figure of Islamic State fighters at
10,000, or about half that of Hamas – said Sunday that
they have ‘several tens of thousands by now. It’s
growing by day because they’ve got about 2 million
petrodollars revenue a day.’
I’ve seen the Jordan River
Valley, and it is an absolute necessity that Israel
maintain control of the area. A failure to do so would
leave them with their backs to the sea, in the event of
an attack, and an attack would surely come. This week
marks the 41st anniversary of the Yom Kippur
War; Israel has been dealing with lethal threats for
decades, and Netanyahu (who fought in ’73, while a
student at M.I.T.) is dealing with more of them than
perhaps any Israeli leader.
Remember, the Palestinian refusal
— they call Netanyahu’s analyses a non-starter because
they wouldn’t even consider it —
to accept an Israeli security presence in the Jordan
River Valley brings to mind the 1970 attempted coup by
the PLO, in Jordan. The Palestinian refusal to seriously
address Israel’s legitimate security needs is a key
indicator that they not only don’t care about such
concerns, but they in fact are the primary threats to
As Netanyahu continues to make
more sense about the realities in the Middle East, look
for his critics to drift further from reality, as their
Jew hatred rises.
Sep 29, 2014
A Major Award!
One of the joys of my life
centers around the friendships I have within the pro
Israel community, whether the groups or individuals are
Jews or Christians. For 20 years, I’ve advocated for
Israel in some form or another.
I like to keep readers informed
of terrific sources to do just that, and so I was
recently glad to hear that my friends at Untold News are
preparing to present awards to top Israeli innovators —
folks who work tirelessly to make the world a better
place. Frankly, if Israel’s enemies put as much into
these endeavors as they do to destroying the Jewish
state…well, that’s another story.
Marcella Rosen, the founder of
Untold News, recently announced
that the group will hold an awards dinner to honor
innovators on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the
Harmony Club in New York.
“We will offer a $10,000 cash award for each recipient,”
Rosen says. Untold News will also send the recipients on
a short media tour to Philadelphia, Boston, and New York
City. “We plan to do this annually,” Rosen adds. The
awards will recognize inventions of the last year.
Untold News features stories about Israeli achievers who
excel in improving technological, agricultural, and
medical fields. Whether it’s fish farming, desalination,
or providing world-class medical care regardless of a
patient’s background, Israel provides hope for millions
around the world. These stories serve as a dramatic
counterweight to the negative portrayals of Israel from
Rosen feels the awards dinner will serve as a further
spotlight on stories unknown to much of the general
public. She is excited about the focus on innovators.
“Criteria are that they improve the human condition and
have a ‘wow factor,’ and have a global impact. In each
case, there are two applications: from scientific
institutions and universities. Those interested in
applying for consideration should get a dean or
professor to endorse their nomination. Each applicant
also must be an Israeli citizen.”
The two categories — science and technology — promise to
focus on “up-and-coming” innovators. Rosen also
emphasized that applicants must be able to speak English
well enough to be interviewed by media.
“We want to celebrate the inventors and we want to get
press coverage, to see how Israeli has impacted lives,”
Rosen says. “People really aren’t aware of this and
Israeli is such a valuable partner to the US.”
Ten nominees will be selected, and the names will then
be sent to a jury. A single meeting will produce the
The jury will be made up of prominent American
academics, businesspeople, and others. To date nine have
Joel Citron, venture capitalist, CEO, Tenth Avenue
Dr. Barry Coller, Chief Medical Officer at
Alisa Doctoroff, President, UJA
Margie Fox, Chief Creative Officer at Devries
Heidi Jacobus, CEO of Cybernet Systems
Eric Kandel, Nobel Laureate and professor at
Morris Offit, CEO of Offit Capital
David Schizer, just stepping down as Dean of
Columbia Law School
Tony Tether, former head of DARPA ($3 billion US
government department to expedite scientific
I encourage Christian supporters of Israel to check out
Untold News at
and use the information to tell those within your circle
just how much good the Jewish state does for an
international community that should be grateful.
Sep 22, 2014
Of Prophecy and Israel
Obvious statement alert.
We live in such odd times.
The past month has brought news
of convulsions in the Bible prophecy movement:
transitions among decades-long ministries. The
announcement of new groups. And, as always, the growing
mocking from skeptics (ironically, I’m talking about
fellow Christians, ranging from Reformed types, to Mark
Driscoll, to Millennial sources).
By extension, the immense
pressure being brought to bear on Israel the past two
decades is only getting worse. Here at “Israel Watch”
and RR, the erosion of support for Israel among American
evangelical leaders is an ongoing story. This week
brought news that the Palestinians are once again
preparing to petition the UN for recognition of
statehood. This surely is one of the most bizarre
developments of our time, as the Palestinian Authority
is run by a gang of criminals who still have many
friends in high places.
What is on my mind this week:
what are you, the reader, seeing in your own churches
and circles of influence with regard to how Israel is
perceived and how Bible prophecy is perceived.
Yes, I’m aware that the landscape
“doesn’t look good.” What I’d like to know, though, is
how you are your friends are penetrating the darkness
through Israel advocacy or the teaching of Bible
For example, a dear friend of
mine is working quietly in his (Reformed) church to
introduce Bible prophecy concepts. Another friend is a
retired minister who circulates online Israel advocacy
resources to his circle of active pastor friends.
I believe very strongly in
efforts like these. We can’t all be Christians United
for Israel (CUFI), or Tim LaHaye or Dave Reagan. Most of
us have “smaller” platforms and what most don’t realize
is, those smaller platforms make a difference.
We are where we are. Some of us
think that even with the challenges in our world, it is
a marvelous and wondrous time to be alive. We are seeing
prophecy unfold every day.
So…if you are so inclined, let me
know how it goes in your circles. Good or bad feedback
is what I’d like to have, a realistic assessment of what
the landscape looks like.
I sincerely believe that RR
readers are family, especially in these perilous times.
Thanks for all you do out there.
Sep 15, 2014
The Jew Haters
Near where I live — in the middle
of America — I once stopped for gas at a local
convenience store. On the counter was an unusually
titled tabloid-style paper. I picked one up and began to
thumb through it. Very quickly, I realized it was a
white supremacist rag. An ad inside led me to a book
published…locally…and in the book, the “author” alleged
that the Jews were a product of the union of Eve and
The insanity of it all was
overwhelming. We live in the age of science and reason,
Yet, it always amazes me to
learn of more mind-numbing anti-Semitic filth bubbling
up from the international community. MEMRI (www.memri.org)
has uncovered a weird production from Iraqi TV. As the
Iraqis deal with the demonic entity known as ISIS, this
is what they’ve come up with:
“With Islamic State dominating
the world stage with its brutal mass murders, gruesome
videos to world leaders and omnipresence on social
media, Iraq – perhaps the hardest-hit nation by the
self-proclaimed caliphate – has taken to the airwaves to
give its take on the root cause of the extremist group.
“A satire show, broadcast on an
Iraqi TV network, depicts an arranged marriage between
Satan and a Jewish woman. As celebratory music plays in
the background, wedding preparations are underway in an
arid Middle Eastern desert. The marriage ‘has a
purpose,’ the man officiating the wedding exclaims, as
the video turns to the bride and groom. ‘We will name
our child ISIS,’ the parents-to-be say in unison.
“Much to their pleasure, after
taking their vows, the happy couple has a child, an ISIS
fighter – who emerges from an egg, fully equipped for
“As Satan and his Jewish wife
raise their ‘ISIS-ling,’ the controversial rituals of
the rising terrorist group are mocked, from the infamous
black-and-white Islamic State flag, to the many ‘throat
slittings,’ to various forms of punishments inflicted on
‘infidels’ and the rest of the extreme Sharia laws.”
To all this I say, How long, O
God, will the world mock your people?
When the human mind cannot
explain evil, the human mind blames the Jews. Whether
it’s a small southern town in the United States, or a
Middle Eastern country that at one time was literate and
urbane — all seem to try and explain bad things by
blaming the Jews.
This issue is this: because the
majority of the world rejects God’s revelation, as given
in the Bible, the world opens itself up to all forms of
evil, including thoughts and deeds.
One day soon, the Lord will
return and set things right. He will rule with perfect
justice and righteousness, and He will show Himself
completely to the world that has mostly rejected Him.
I welcome that day, not only
because His Chosen People will finally and forever dwell
in safety, but because He will heal for all time the
damaged and insane minds that have endangered the Jews
and blamed them for millennia.
As Thomas Ice often says:
Sep 8, 2014
Air and Sea in Gaza
For some watching the summer war between Hamas and
Israel, it is passing curious that the Gaza terror group
keeps ramping-up pressure. Why continue lobbing rockets
into Israel, when you know you
The same reason Barack Obama continues to dismantle
America: he’s not stupid, he’s pragmatic and on-task.
Hamas knows that the international community dislikes
(at best) Israel and Jews. They know that. By increasing
pressure, they move closer to the day when the
international community (UN, media, political
structures) will attempt to force its will on the Jewish
So it is that Hamas had the temerity to demand of the
Palestinian “unity government” (the cobbled-together
union of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority) that a
seaport and airport be built in Gaza!
On the face of it, the idea is unworkable and, as they
say, a non-starter. Israel will never allow such
infrastructure toe-holds to be obtained by the
Palestinians, who would use an airport and seaport to
launch all-out war on Israel.
That’s why Hamas is demanding these things. As reported
in the Jerusalem Post:
“Hamas said the Palestinian ‘national consensus’
government should start building an airport and seaport
in the Gaza Strip.
“If Israel objects to the move, it will have to answer
to the international community, Khalil al-Haya, a member
of Hamas’s political bureau, said on Saturday.”
And there you have it. Hamas understands that the more
it murders Jews at the same time presenting itself as a
victim, the closer we get to the day when the
international community (biblically, “the nations”) will
finally blow a gasket with Israel.
In a sane world, Hamas would be brutally crushed, never
to be heard from again. They are killers, pure and
simple. But we don’t live in a sane world. We live in a
world where American power is no longer used to save
innocents, Russia is expansionist, Iran intimidates the
West, and Islam wishes to impose a new caliphate on the
rest of us.
Plus, Israel is in the crosshairs for defending itself.
Israel actually has decent coordination with Egypt at
the moment, but the situation in Egypt is fluid, so no
one knows how long that will last. Were the Gazans to
gain a seaport and airport, it would embolden the
jihadists and pose a grave threat to Israel.
Notice how savvy are Hamas leaders:
“Former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh reiterated
on Friday his movement’s refusal to disarm.
“During a Friday prayer sermon in Gaza City, Haniyeh
said the ‘weapons of the resistance are sacred like our
cause and land. We will agree to disarm on condition
that Israel is also disarmed and leaves our lands.’
“Haniyeh called on Abbas to sign the Rome Statute in
order to join the International Criminal Court and
prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes against
(This is the same Haniyeh whose family is treated in
deluxe Israeli hospitals.)
Look for this type of pressure to increase, as we speed
ever closer to the time of the end.
Stay in the Word and guard your heart.
Sep 1, 2014
The Burgeoning Threat
This week, I wrote a piece for the Times of Israel (http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israels-battle-of-the-burge/),
warning again about the growing attacks on Israel and
Jews, from America’s evangelical leadership. This time,
the Huffington Post allowed Wheaton professor Gary Burge
to spread more of his propaganda.
Although many pro Israel sources lament this very
troubling trend, most aren’t aware of how we got to this
place. That background is what continues to fascinate
me, and I think it’s important to understand what forces
and conditions led to this moment, when Israel has a new
threat to deal with: Evangelicals Against Israel.
The current American Church — which I would argue is now
virtually synonymous with the Church
Growth/Seeker-Driven model — is a strange mixture of
liberalism and corporate structure.
When Peter Drucker and Leadership Network made the
decision to infiltrate evangelicalism a few decades ago,
they selected certain up-and-comer pastors like Rick
Warren and Bill Hybels, who would be open to ecumenism
and center-left perspectives. With regard to Israel,
Hybels and his wife, Lynne (co-founders of the Willow
Creek Association) had been mentored by pro Palestinian
sources for years. Warren, of course, loathes Bible
prophecy because it conflicts with his agenda of
creating the Kingdom of God here, now.
It took a long time, but these change agents managed to
begin changing the landscape in the American church,
with regard to Israel and Zionism.
We now have Burge and many others advocating for the
But what were the other contributing factors to this
erosion of support for Israel?
I’ve discussed before how liberal scholarship kicked
into high gear in this country more than 100 years ago.
Harry Emerson Fosdick, the famous “preacher” of the
early last century, began to wage open warfare against
Bible-believing Christians, and the results of the
famous Scopes “Monkey Trial,” in Tennessee (where
evolutionary concepts were mainstreamed and marketed)
contributed to a marginalization of Christians.
This was the stage-setting period, which would take
decades to bear fruit for liberals. The key idea was to
introduce doubt in people’s minds about the Bible and in
particular, the Old Testament.
In Calvin Johnson’s terrific book, “Beyond the Point of
No Return,” we discover the beginnings of this agenda:
“The institutions of learning responsible for preparing
the preachers for the pulpit had turned to humanism and
universalism by at least the 20’s and 30’s. Most had
adopted Darwinian humanistic psychology.”
Further, Johnson gives specifics that show an opening
was created by these liberal teachers:
“Neo-Orthodoxy gave credence to two Biblical truths –
the sinfulness of man and the need for a life-changing
encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. However, it did
not accept the miracles and the historical events of the
Bible as true.”
The liberal, mainline denominations were already
attacking the veracity of the Bible’s creation accounts
in Genesis, and then they began casting doubt on the
very origins of the Jewish people: the accounts of
Abraham, Moses, Joshua…all were relegated either to myth
or the misty realm of “semi-legend.”
Do you see how this would build a foundation to
undermine Israel’s legitimacy later? In point of fact,
many, many evangelical leaders would later forge a
disconnect between modern Israel and the ancient
Let me be clear: there is plenty of evidence that the
modern Israelis are the direct descendants of David,
Mordechai, Gideon, etc.
To allege otherwise is bizarre? Yet, major evangelical
leaders have done just that. Men like Chuck Colson, D.
James Kennedy, and Maxie Dunnam (former president of the
only evangelical seminary of the United Methodist
Church, Asbury) have denied that modern Israelis are
connected to the biblical patriarchs.
This, my friends, is how we have arrived at a place
where Israel’s natural alliance with the U.S., and
specifically, evangelical Christian, is now in peril.
As I’ve stated many times, NOW is the time to commit
more time to prayer, Bible study and, by extension,
advocacy for Israel wherever you can.
We are in the endgame. Let’s finish well.
Aug 25, 2014
As Israel fights —
with arms and legs tied behind its back — a
barbaric terror group (Hamas), the international
community of course sides with…the jihadists.
Some would say this is due to fear of the terrorists
themselves: “If we give them Israel, they’ll leave us
However, I think it’s due to the spiritual sickness
known as Jew hatred. It’s simply a case of
“sophisticated” people in Europe and the West favoring a
different shade of anti-Semitism than does Hamas/ISIS/Al
As ISIS beheads innocents in the Middle East, and Hamas
murders Jewish children, Western media aid the jihadists
by fingering Israel as the culprit. It is madness on a
colossal scale. An item this week, noted by
HonestReporting, is particularly galling.
TIME magazine is reporting that Israeli soldiers are
“harvesting” organs from dead Palestinians. HR shows
that the report is false (http://honestreporting.com/time-magazine-accuses-idf-of-stealing-palestinian-organs/),
and it all calls to mind the worst dupes of all:
In December, 2009, Relevant magazine, published by
Cameron Strang, ran a story also raising the blood libel
against Israel. The story was a reprint of a European
story, and Relevant made maximum effect of the macabre
tale by using the headline: “Israel’s Reprehensible
Like the PLO-generated propaganda that writer Donald
Miller peddled in 2012, these stories falsely accuse
Israelis of being fiendish, Nazi-like predators bent on
But if one considers that bearing false witness against
the apple of God’s eye is a, well, fiendish thing to do,
then it becomes clear the “evangelicals” are on the
wrong side of history. Much like British clergy like
Stephen Sizer, who accuse Israel of being in the same
league as ISIS.
It’s an upside-down world, one that increasing numbers
of Bible-believing Christians no longer recognize. As we
watch the world descend into madness, and into an
immoral sewer that destroys minds, it is important to
remember that God is in control: yesterday, today, and
Aug 18, 2014
Gabe Lyons seems to be a thoughtful sort. The founder of
“Q Ideas,” a seminar model based in Nashville, Lyons and
his wife, Rebekah, work mightily to bring important
issues to growing audiences…mostly the “new
generations,” the Millennials.
I would encourage you to
check out Q Ideas at
From the website, we learn:
“Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see
Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for
their historic responsibility to renew and restore
cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement,
‘Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not
just individuals,’ Gabe set out to reintroduce
Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades
from an American expression of Christian faithfullness;
valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over
the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and
unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.
“Together, we explore topics that fall into four broad
themes: culture, future, church, and gospel. Q
facilitates the investigation of deeper engagement and
responsibility in each of these areas. As we continue to
work through these ideas on a deeper level, so grows our
commitment to equipping innovators, social
entrepreneurs, entertainers, artists, church-shapers,
futurists, scientists, educators, historians,
environmentalists, and everyday people to do
extraordinary things. At Q Ideas, you’ll see a broad
spectrum of content represented in our small group
curriculum, essays, videos, blog articles, and podcasts.
These are all contributed and commissioned to shed light
on unique areas of culture and the church.”
(An initial thought: our only “responsibility,” as given
by Jesus Christ, is to follow His command: “And Jesus
came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of
the world. Amen. —Matthew 28:18-20. Redeeming entire
cultures, while sounding like a worthy goal, is not the
mandate, yet this subtle shift in thinking has brought
us the Ideas of Men, such as Rick Warren. The call to
“redeem entire cultures” and “change the world” has
gotten the Evangelical community in America off-track.)
With Q Ideas, one really
does not see a “broad spectrum of content” with regard
to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Lyons has, for example,
been instrumental in helping distribute the so-called
Palestinian narrative — via such speakers as
“non-violent” activist Sami Awad — to vast numbers of
evangelicals, especially young people. I’d like to show
you an example of how a one-sided view of the
Arab-Israeli conflict shapes opinion. Witness a link to
a St. Louis
Post-Dispatch article, written by Aisha Sultan. Note
the opening paragraph:
“Before bombs started
falling on Gaza or a massive ground invasion began,
before rockets launched at Israel, I had invited a
handful of close Jewish friends to my home for an iftar,
the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during
Pay careful attention to
the chronology: Israel bombs Gaza and sends in a
“massive” ground invasion (the IDF actually sent 40,000
troops in to engage at least 20,000 terrorists). Only
then were rockets launched at Israel.
Do you see? Sultan (and, by
extension, Q Ideas?) wants readers to believe that for
some reason, Israel decided to invade the narrow and
congested Gaza Strip and only then did nameless,
faceless responders desperately launch rockets to repel
the marauding invaders.
Now, let’s read on:
“Almost a decade ago, I
overheard a group of older Jewish men at a suburban St.
Louis grocery, sitting, eating and loudly agreeing with
one another that all Palestinians were less than dogs
and needed to be wiped out. At the time, I was rattled
and quickly left the store. For years since then, I have
chastised myself for not having the courage to say
something polite to them, to perhaps challenge the
narrative in their minds.”
“The words and actions of
some Israeli politicians and the actions of Israeli
Defense Forces do not represent some monolith of Jewish
opinion. Just as the hateful rhetoric of anti-Semites do
not represent the diverse group of people sympathetic to
the plight of Palestinians.”
Now, notice the
progression. Groups of Jews favor genocide. Wipe out all
the Palestinians. They are dogs, not even human. Sound
familiar? Of course it does, because this is Nazi
propaganda of 80 years ago. Now practiced by, ironically
and tragically, Israel…
Next, we see that Sultan
condemns the decisions of Benjamin Netanyahu and the
IDF, as if they do not represent their own people. I can
promise you, they do represent their people, and the
decisions to degrade the capacity of Hamas to murder
Jews was overwhelmingly supported by the citizens of the
state of Israel.
Sultan is wrong. Gabe Lyons
is wrong to impose this extreme bias on unsuspecting,
earnest young people who want to live in a better world.
He and his Christian Palestinianist friends sanitize the
entire other half of the narrative, in order to lift up
the Palestinians as being under the heel of a Nazi-like
blitzkrieg of death and mayhem.
The efforts to push Palestinian propaganda on the
American Christian community, specifically evangelicals,
is so strong, well-funded, and choreographed that I
suspect within just a few years the people in the pews
will turn on Israel as much as the regime in Washington
The God of Israel is watching.
Aug 11, 2014
This won’t be a classic “Israel
Watch,” but I think the topic is important (obviously)
for understanding why international dislike of Israel is
so intense. Painfully, we start with our own evangelical
community. I’ve written about this many times.
In late September in Florida,
“The Gathering” will take place. From the group’s
“The Gathering is a community of Christian givers
actively providing comfort, challenge, and cheering on
to people all over the world, as well as, one another.”
Additional information is also available:
“Almost every day there are stories in the media about
philanthropy, major new foundations, and celebrities
supporting causes. Still, people don't feel they have
any usable knowledge about their giving coming from
unbiased sources. And many people don't know anyone else
in their same situation…but would like to. They just
don't know where to start. That's a good description of
why we started The Gathering in the first place. It's
not about high visibility giving. It's about your having
access to information and perspective that is useful to
you. It's about being part of a network of other
individuals, families and foundations who are all
committed to giving in the Kingdom.
“What does this look like? Primarily, it looks like our
annual conference called The Gathering. Here we bring
committed Christian givers together in a setting that
allows for learning, worship, new ideas and fellowship.
Above all, it is a safe place to meet with others. From
the moment you walk in you know you are in the right
place for conversations that matter. We do not solicit
funds for particular ministries and we do not steer each
other in any direction. We don’t pressure people to give
or knowingly convict people to give more. People coming
to The Gathering make their own decisions. We’re a
Community of Givers who are connected like a family
taking joy in partnering with God in what he is doing in
the world at this time in our lives.”
For those of you interested in “New World Order”
subjects, I would submit to you that this is an example
of such. The Gathering is a gathering of religious (and
secular) elites who share information and worldviews.
The September conference features media leaders,
business and finance experts, and mainline church
Fascinating note: the conference registration is a
staggering $1,750 per person! You get it, don’t you?
They are locking-out, in effect, those who do not have
access to such funds for a conference. It ensures that
only those who would share the worldview of The
Gathering will attend. I see this trend developing all
over the country, which precludes conservative bloggers,
pastors, and apologetics ministries from likely
My point in all this is that anti-Israel folks are
attending and/or speaking. We see Cameron Strang,
publisher of Relevant and staunch pro Palestinian
advocate; Sarah Pulliam Baily, national correspondent
for Religion News Service and buddy of Jonathan Merritt,
fellow writer and speaker at the Telos Group boot camp
(my term) last fall, in which strategies were developed
to advance the Palestinian narrative. Bailey appears to
have a center-left worldview;
Greg and Susan Jones, United
Methodist ministers currently serving at Duke Divinity
School (The UMC is among the most anti-Israel
denominations in the world); andRussell D. Moore, the
president of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty
Commission, who has made troubling statements about
Israel in the context of Replacement Theology.
Smith, who guides The Gathering, is described in the
“Fred Smith is a graduate of Denver University and
Harvard Divinity School. He spent several years as
teacher and administrator at Charlotte Christian School
and The Stony Brook School before joining Leadership
Network, where he served as President for 12 years. Fred
is the President of The Gathering, an international
association of individuals, families and foundations
giving to Christian ministries. As well, Fred is the
Chairman of The Fourth Partner, a non-profit
organization focused on Christian philanthropy and
community development within the East Texas area.”
Leadership Network spawned,
among other things, Catalyst. All these groups are
stocked with people who have a center-left worldview,
which is why their burrowing-into the evangelical
community is highly significant and damaging.
They do not “see” the world they way we do. They read
the Bible differently. For example, in Smith’s July 17,
2014 blog, “Earthquakes in Diverse Places,” he is not
discussing eschatology per se, but rather noting
philanthropical acts around the globe. Note how he wraps
up the blog post:
“When Christ was asked what the signs of the end will be
he includes the phrase, ‘earthquakes in diverse places’
as one of them. As I listened to Jacquelline speak about
the global examples of disruption and spent time with
these 12 fellows from all across the world it started me
thinking that, in a way, I am experiencing earthquakes
and disruptions in diverse places.
“The people I am privileged to meet with here are
fundamentally shifting how we do our work, challenging
the old solutions and charting new courses through
social enterprises. Maybe earthquakes in diverse places
are signs of new beginnings as well?”
In other words, Smith, like other change agents who
identify as evangelicals (ex: Margaret Feinberg, Donald
Miller, Todd Deatherage), minimizes the significance of
Bible prophecy and Israel, relegating both to symbolism,
metaphor…anything but what it really is.
The Gathering will no doubt feature at least private
discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict. No doubt Gaza
will be discussed.
When these subjects do come up, Israel will not be
talked about in a positive light. This is but one
example (but an important one, as it happens in an
“evangelical” context) of the information war Israel
Along with us, the friends of the Jewish state.
Aug 4, 2014
The Demon Hordes Advance
In this week’s Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Spyer rightly
points our attention to the ghastly advances being made
by the Terror Group Formerly Known as ISIS — now simply
“IS” — as they seek to establish a caliphate (complete
Islamic rule) in the region. At best, most media have
been focused on their own propaganda/reporting about the
fighting in Gaza.
Yet IS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is now
growing stronger than the regime troops they are
fighting in the two dark holes known as Syria and Iraq.
Remember just a few short years ago when the future was
rosy for Iraq? Not now. Hindsight is always 20/20, but
removing Saddam Hussein from power blew the lid off the
fish kettle, and now the brutality Saddam waged on his
own people is being widened to include the entire Middle
IS, according to the JPost, is growing in its ferocity:
“There is mounting evidence
that IS has obtained a chemical weapons capacity of some
kind, and has utilized it on at least one occasion
during intense combat against the Kurdish YPG militia in
northern Syria. The organization has achieved signal
successes against regime forces in Raqqa and Hasakeh
provinces that culminated in the capture of the Division
17 base, and the subsequent gruesome execution of over
200 members of the garrison.”
Slaughter, slaughter, and
slaughter are the hallmarks of these thoroughly
committed Islamic terror groups, and they are killing
scores of Christians and Jews are in the crosshairs,
Where is the outcry from
the “evangelical” peaceniks like Brian McLaren, Shane
Claiborne, and Lynne Hybels, just to name a few?
You answered correctly:
there isn’t any.
The inexcusable silence
from the leftists in the American Evangelical community
is a stain on church history, and on their personal
Interestingly, reports are
that Palestinians are fighting in IS groups in Iraq and
Syria. That, coupled with the fact that the Hamas
capability in Gaza has extended farther than many
thought possible, and Hezbollah is busy in the north,
signals a new chapter in Middle East tensions. In the
past, Israel engaged conventional armies that were not
always heroic to the international community (even the
media) and they always defeated them, decisively.
Now, Israel is faced with
complex terror wars that operate on many levels:
military, political, even cultural. And make no mistake:
the Media Wars have become savage and out-in-the-open.
We also know that the Obama administration loathes
Israel and makes no real attempt to mask that contempt.
It is fascinating to note how far American political
discernment has fallen regarding Islamic terror in the
In Colonial times,
one-fifth of American exports were bound for ports in
the Mediterranean. When American shipping was threatened
by Muslim pirates, Thomas Jefferson sent the navy to
eliminate that threat.
During World War I, a
combination of Islamist and military forces butchered
Armenians. The United States sent battleships
to the Turkish coast.
Today, Obama and Secretary
of State John Kerry extol the virtues of Islam (a
contradiction in terms) and demand that Israel negotiate
with terrorists who really do want to kill every Jew in
the Middle East.
As IS continues to murder
Christians and plan strategic military operations in
order to wrest control of Syria and Iraq from secular
governments, it “appears” the noose is tightening around
Israel. Stated earlier, Hezbollah is watching Gaza very
closely, and reports this week of noise under the homes
of Israeli citizens in the northern part of the country
would suggest that the same serpent-like tunnel system
Hamas has used to great effect is also being implemented
in the north.
Should Syria and Iraq fall
to the worst form of Islamist terror, Israel will be
forced to go even deeper in its multi-layered attempt to
protect its citizens.
Only a month ago, IS
launched an attack on a Kurdish enclave in the northern
part of the country, and used U.S.-made Humvees,
captured in Mosul, in the attacks. Frankly, the botched
withdrawals ordered by Obama have cost many innocent
lives, with more to come.
As for Israeli hard
choices, now more than 60 young men have lost their
lives as the IDF has sought to destroy the tunnels of
Gaza. Again, added to this is the growing threat of
Al-Qaida affiliated terror groups operating on Israel’s
borders and possibly even within the country. From the
“As far as IS links to Gaza: An
identifiable Gaza contingent named the Sheikh Abu al-Nur
al-Maqdisi Brigade is active with IS forces in northern
Syria, and photographic evidence has emerged of this
group’s activities. This group is named after a
well-known Salafi sheikh from southern Gaza, killed in
an abortive revolt against the Hamas authorities in
“IS also has an identifiable
franchise within Gaza and northern Sinai itself,
according to a prominent researcher of the IS
phenomenon, UK-based Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi; the name of
the group in question is Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi
The immediate future is very
uncertain on many fronts. But one constant remains: we
who cling to the Bible as the Supreme Authority know
that Israel will survive and endure. We don’t know the
methods the Lord will use to bring this about, but he
has promised this and in fact miracle stories are now
emerging from sources within the Israel Defense Forces.
This will be our topic this coming Tuesday night on
RaptureReady’s “Israel Watch” radio program. Join us at
Jul 28, 2014
“We Will Succeed”
Perspective is everything, as they say. In the terror
war forced on Israel, perspective is important as we
struggle to wade through the media chaos about exactly
what is going on in Gaza.
So it was that I greatly benefited from the update by
Major General Yaakov Amidror, the former Israeli
national security advisor, who took time out of his now
busy days last Thursday to provide a briefing to friends
of EMET (Sarah Stern’s fantastic think-tank based in
The general’s insights into Israel’s Operation
Protective Edge (preventing Hamas rocket fire into
Israel) were fascinating and the greatest takeaway was
this: ignore the media reports that Israel is in a
precarious position, or is in any way unsure of what is
happening. Amidror made it clear during the conference
call briefing that Israel clearly maintains its
qualitative edge in the conflict. At one point, he
answered a caller’s question about the possible need to
finish the job by destroying Hamas:
destroy Hamas, we have to re-enter the Gaza Strip…to
fight around 20,000 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
At the end of the day, we will succeed. It will take six
months or a year to clean up the area. At the end of the
one-year operation, Gaza will not be a threat to Israel
Keep in mind, that’s if the Israelis decide to do that specific
operation. At the moment, as Amidror noted, the
government is committed to erasing the rocket threat and
the infiltration threat that has made kidnappings a
major component of the Hamas strategy:
prime minister was clear from the first: not to destroy
Hamas, but ‘quiet for quiet.’”
Some of us have a problem with this, with the current
Israeli strategy of containing Hamas. Remember, the U.S.
followed a policy of containment against Communism for
And there’s this: none of us have any clue what the
Israelis have up their considerable sleeve. This is
about strategy and tactical maneuvers and winning.
It is the tunnels
that are the key part of Operation Protective Edge.
Amidror said that Israel has not had any intelligence
surprises since the operation began (70 percent of the
country’s population has been within rocket range, and
as of last week, 2,100 rockets have been fired by Hamas;
that brings the grand total to around 12,000 since the
Gaza pullout in 2005).
He said that when Israel destroys a tunnel, it takes
Hamas two full years to rebuild it. He said that the IDF
is identifying new tunnels every few hours and that so
far, 30 had been found and destroyed. The destruction of
these extensive and sophisticated tunnels is extremely
complex and daunting, but the IDF is well capable.
All of us who support Israel are concerned about the
situation, but let’s trust the Israeli leadership to do
what is necessary to win this thing the right way, the
way they deem best.
After all, we also know Who fights for them.
Hamas is in a lot of trouble.
Jul 21, 2014
A Protective Edge
A few days ago, at the outset of Operation Protective
Edge, IDF troops targeted the home of Islamic Jihad
commander, Ibrahim al-Shawaf. Incredibly, in this terror
war Israel seems to be fighting with two hands and two
legs tied behind its back, the IDF sent a warning to the
residents that the house was going to be targeted.
Still, the Jew-hating fury that is (predictably) rising
around the world demonizes Israel for the inevitable
civilian casualties that are resulting from fighting in
the densely packed Gaza Strip.
Al-Shawaf, commander of the “Jerusalem Brigages,” was
storing explosives in his home, and encouraging the
participation of human shields.
According to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and
Terrorism Information Center:
“Using the houses of terrorist operatives to store
weapons and carry out military-terrorist activities is
familiar from the past. The extensive use of houses for
terrorist purposes was exposed in Operation Cast Lead.
For example, on December 27, 2008, the Israeli Air Force
(IAF) attacked a Hamas weapons cache stored in the house
of a terrorist operative in the Zeitoun neighborhood of
Gaza City. The previous day the IDF had warned the
residents of its intention to attack the building and
they were told to vacate the premises to prevent harm to
uninvolved civilians. Not only did they not leave the
house, but civilians mounted its roof to serve as human
shields. In view of the situation the IAF fired warning
shots with a different kind of ammunition to encourage
them to leave the roof. Only after they left did the IAF
attack the target.
“A strong secondary explosion proved that the house had
in fact been used to store weapons.”
As in operations to clear-out terror nests in 2002 and
2008, Israeli forces are fighting a fanatically hostile
population, in order to protect their own people. It is
a horrible reality, and one can only think that Ariel
Sharon would have realized the mistake in pulling out
from Gaza. For more than eight years, since the 2005
Gaza pullout, the “Strip” has been used as a lethal
terror base against Israel.
The Jerusalem Post is also reporting similar tactics:
“Hamas is an expert at embedding itself in the midst of
the Palestinian civilian population and using it as
human shields, to seek immunity from the army.
“In recent days, IDF sources reported spotting Hamas
gunmen boarding ambulances in Gaza filled with children.
“Hamas urged residents of northern Gaza to remain in
their homes, and provide cover for its concentration of
rocket launch squads in that area.”
The grotesque nature of Hamas—murdering their own
people—seems lost on the international community and, as
I often maintain, the immoral stance by many evangelical
leaders actually gives aid and comfort to the enemy.
Palestinian terrorists have long known they can rely on
gullible Western religious leaders to provide them moral
Many have criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu for not launching a ground invasion earlier.
However, it must be remembered that Israel’s forces
fight when they are ready to fight, not when public
opinion wants them to. They have been “getting their
ducks in a row.”
Already, the Israelis have severely depleted the rocket
supplies of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. More than half
their rockets are now eliminated. The Jerusalem Post
report in fact shows just how successful Israel has
already been in Operation Protective Edge:
“On the defensive front, Iron Dome continues to
frustrate Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s attempt to inflict
mass carnage and large numbers of casualties in Israeli
“Hamas invested years in building up its offensive
assets; tunnels, the rockets arsenal, and command and
control centers. Yet efforts to activate these have
mostly ended in failure.”
Let us pray this continues, and that Israelis will feel
safe in their homes again.
Jul 14, 2014
The Rockets’ Red Glare
Since Israel withdrew from Gaza
in 2005, Hamas has fired a staggering 10,000 rockets
into Israel. When the world hasn’t been silent, it has
Now the terror group can reach
Israel’s major cities, including Jerusalem. This is an
epic escalation, further upgraded due to Hezbollah’s
capabilities in the north. The world awaits Israel’s
probably invasion of the Gaza Strip and while the
government of Benjamin Netanyahu is being criticized for
not moving sooner.
I suspect the Israelis are lining
up their ducks.
And this time they won’t worry
about world opinion.
At Lamb & Lion’s marvelous annual
conference in Richardson, Texas this past weekend, Jan
Markell of Olive Tree Ministries delivered a brilliant
and impassioned talk on the various American presidents
who have dealt with the Jewish state.
Beginning with Woodrow Wilson
(who supported Zionism) and finishing with the
present-day Regime, Jan laid-out devastating contrasts
between several presidents. It is instructive for the
Let’s pick it up with Franklin
Roosevelt. The war president largely ignored Jewish
plight in Europe, but his successor did not. We know
that Harry Truman gave critical early support for the
new state of Israel.
Dwight Eisenhower, though known
somewhat as the chronicler of the Holocaust (he demanded
his troops take photos of the death camps, lest the
world deny it), sharply divided with Israel over the
Sinai Campaign of 1956.
John Kennedy was a staunch
supporter of Israel, tripling aid to the young state; he
broke ranks with his odious, anti-Semitic father.
Lyndon Johnson appeared to have
had a somewhat emotional attachment to the Jews; his
father reminded him of the biblical promises and LBJ
himself saw the horrors of Europe. Yet in the lead-up to
the Six Day War, he urged Israel to show restraint.
Adding to the complex layers of this complicated man is
the fact that he apparently counseled Levi Eshkol
privately to keep all the captured territories.
Richard Nixon, who uttered
grotesque anti-Semitic statements on tape, still
airlifted desperately needed munitions to Israel during
the Yom Kippur War. Golda Meir said later that Nixon
saved Israel from annihilation.
Jimmy Carter. This anti-Semite
(and Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher) was
dismissive of Israel, and laid the groundwork for future
recognition of the PLO. A stain on our nation’s history.
Ronald Reagan was very friendly
to Israel, though he was furious over not being alerted
to the attack on Iraq’s Osirik nuclear reactor in 1981.
George H.W. Bush was a mixed bag,
according to Jan Markell, although I believe his circle
of advisors included anti-Semites who were the
architects of the disastrous Oslo Accords.
The thoroughly self-absorbed Bill
Clinton coldly sought a legacy by forced the “peace
process” through numerous times. His tenure weakened
George W. Bush I do not believe
had much interest in the biblical Israel (led to the
United Methodist Church by his wife. The UMC is
officially anti-Israel, in my view), though he seems to
have had sincere motives and tried to help Israel,
particularly Ariel Sharon. Still, his endorsement of a
Palestinian state leaves much to be desired.
Barack Obama is a totalitarian
and wants to dismantle the U.S., including the historic
relationship with Israel. In the latest conflict with
Hamas, the White House officially states that Israel has
a right to defend herself, but in the next breath, John
Kerry urges “restraint” on…Israel.
This means that the White House
does not support Israel’s right to defend itself. This
is classic double-speak from Team Obama.
We are where we are. At the end
of the day, though, I am optimistic. There are still
Bible-believers in the United States, our beloved
country, and we will never abandon Israel.
I think of my friends like Jan,
Dave Reagan, and those who attend these conferences. A
shout-out to my Texas buddy, Robert Ellis, whose
impassioned faith in these dark times is one of the
reasons I think we will weather these storms and emerge
into the Glory of the Lord…in His timing.
What a wonderful time to be
alive. History is not guided by presidents or kings or
dictators, but by the Lord of History.