Jun 20, 2016
Although Benjamin Netanyahu has
been a model of consistency since assuming power in
Israel for a second time (since 2009), he is still a
target by political rivals.
A few weeks ago, in an effort to
bolster his ruling coalition, Netanyahu replaced Moshe
Ya’alon, the Foreign Minister, with Avidgor Lieberman.
Now, long-time rival (and former PM) Ehud Barak says
it’s time to remove Netanyahu “before it’s too late.”
Ya’alon announced this week that
he’ll make a bid to replace Netanyahu. As is usually the
case, the Jewish state faces so many daunting
challenges, politics is anything but usual.
(A very interesting historical
irony is now taking place, too. Netanyahu has met
several times with Russia’s Putin, the latest coming
last week. This is supremely ironic, given the fact that
a couple generations ago, the Soviets had all sorts of
client states in the Middle East, bedeviling Israel at
every turn. Their hardware and observers decades ago led
to the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War. Now they are
behaving as an ally for Israel.)
Barak is claiming three things:
•Netanyahu’s “right wing”
government will alienate the world
•tear Israeli society apart
•sour American Jewish youth on
I think this is ridiculous. The
international community already loathes Israel.
Secondly, Israeli society is unusually strong and
together on many issues, such as security. Third, while
some youth who are part of the Millennial generation are
flirting with leftist ideas, many more remain strongly
I think this is about political
posturing and competition. Remember, many centrist
Israeli politicians like Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni
have chosen to make their own political careers priority
Notice the odd nature of Barak’s
“’I call on the government to get
a hold of itself and to get back on track immediately,’
Barak said at the Interdisciplinary Center's Annual
“’If you do not, it will be the
duty of all of us, yes, all of us, to get up out of our
seats, no matter how comfortable they are - and to bring
it down, through popular protest and through the ballot
box, before it's too late.’
“Barak stated that Israel was
strong in every sense of the word, ‘able to face reality
no matter how cruel it is and to defeat any enemy.’”
So, Israel is endangered because
of the Netanyahu government, but at the same time,
Which is it?
Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (in
the Hebrew: “Israel Is Our Home”) party has brought
Netanyahu more seats and, frankly, some statements made
recently by Ya’alon (Israel needs to make sure the
country’s moral standards are maintained in the face of
vicious terrorists) have alienated some on the right.
Barak has said that Netanyahu is
leading Israel to “fascism” and to “the abyss.”
This is typical Israeli politics.
The fact is, while one can quibble over some policy
issues (I personally decry the government’s rather timid
attitude toward allowing Jews on the Temple Mount—though
it’s easy for me to say that from my perch), the
Netanyahu government has kept the nation safe; no wars
and while terrorism has claimed lives, Israel always has
to deal with terrorists.
Barak was a failed premier and
needs to stick to helping his rival, not undermining
him. According to the Jerusalem Post:
“Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel
(Bayit Yehudi) accused Barak of refusing to accept the
will of Israel's voters. ‘Ehud Barak refuses to
recognize Israeli democracy and Israel's citizens'
choice of a nationalist government,’ he stated.
“’Israel has still not recovered
from Barak's short, but failed premiership, and here he
is threatening to topple the government,’ Ariel said.
‘He's like a pyromaniac who started a big fire and then
gives advice about how to put it out.’”
Let’s all pray for Netanyahu in
the coming days, months, and years. His sole task is to
protect the nation.
One day soon, he’ll have to make
a decision about Iran. And he will.
Jun 13, 2016
The Burden of Arrogance
Hard to believe it’s coming up on
a decade that I’ve been writing for RaptureReady. I was
looking for something to do when Todd and Terry so
kindly asked me to write for them; the column would be
titled “Israel Watch.”
I hope you’ll indulge me this
week, as I get personal.
I have been actively engaged in
advocating for Israel for 20 years. In that time, I’ve
attended conferences, published books, written articles,
networked, and researched like crazy. I’ve been blessed
to visit Israel several times. My friends in the pro
Israel community—both Christians and Jews—are precious
to me. The
whole endeavor is multi-layered and at once simple and
The foundation for all this was
laid many years ago. My father was a strong Bible
believer and taught me early on the importance of Israel
and the Jewish people. I grew up in the era of the
Six-Day War and Entebbe.
In 1995 I met Avi Lipkin, the
indefatigable researcher, writer, and speaker. It was at
a conference in Dallas that Avi helped me learn to
pronounce the name of a rising Israeli politician:
It has been my joy to support
Israel in my own small way. This global community is
amazing and multi-faceted, from grizzled veterans like
John Bolton to young social media mavens (see Simone
One of my favorite memories is
being invited to a Hanukkah celebration at the home of a
friend near Washington D.C. There I met many
Another is meeting Ariel Sharon,
with David Lewis, in 1998 in Tel Aviv.
So many memories.
I recently reflected on all this
after a conversation with a friend—a long-time veteran
of the pro Israel community.
I was telling my friend that
something felt “off” to me of late, regarding some
relationships and activities I’d been involved in with
the pro Israel community. In short, I’ve lost work,
friends, and other opportunities. I have been told
several times that I need to back-off some strong
reporting about, for example, how the Palestinian
Narrative has made deep inroads into American churches,
thus harming traditionally strong pro Israel support.
“Also, you are perceived in some
circles as a Rapture guy,” my friend said.
I like information. I like
knowing where I stand with people. That way I can make
My friend graciously told me a
lot in one or two sentences.
You see, within the varied pro
Israel community globally is a segment that is what I’d
call highbrow. They identify as intellectuals who are
embarrassed by, for example, the Bible prophecy
I think we’re all aware of the
excesses of the prophecy community. These range from the
very unfortunate emphases on fringe topics (just this
week I saw a post on Facebook that speculates we are all
part of a video game produced by aliens. It’s frankly
depressing to see this kind of stuff.), to the very
public scarecrows our opponents love to tie us to, such
as Harold Camping.
Overall, though, some of the most
sophisticated thinkers I’ve ever known are folks in the
prophecy community. I recently had a remarkable
after-breakfast conversation with Todd Strandberg at a
prophecy conference. Scholars like Andy Wood enrich us
all. I could go on and on.
A couple years ago I listened to
a conference address by Hal Lindsey, who has been
vilified by many in the Christian community over the
years. Some minor criticisms of him are valid, I
suppose; anyone could say at least the same things about
any of us.
Yet, if push came to shove, I’d
rather stand with Hal Lindsey than with all the
highbrows who sniff and turn their backs on us at dinner
And if push really came to shove,
I’m happy to stand completely alone. Because at the end
of the day, any Israel advocacy is ultimately limited if
it doesn’t include some mention of the biblical promises
to the Jews.
I so appreciated hearing this a
few years ago from the peerless (literally) Bill Koenig,
my friend who is a White House correspondent. Bill stood
at a press conference and asked the organizers to
include such teaching. He was politely dismissed, of
And of course, he was totally
correct in his assessment.
A few years ago, Porter Speakman
Jr. (producer of the Christian Zionist-bashing film
“With God on Our Side”) referred to me publicly as a
Again, I’ve been told that my
alliance with RaptureReady removes me from consideration
for speaking at certain conferences, publishing
When the smoke clears, I will
still be standing with my friends. I am so proud to be
able to write for RR, and I hope that when Jesus
returns, I will be in mid-sentence for a new “Israel
My real friends are much smarter
than my sometimes-friends. When my sometimes-friends
chatter about Rapture folks and then marginalize me as
well, I think of the phrase: They are too clever by
So I will double down—check that,
quadruple down—on remaining loyal to the community that
has been loyal to me.
I could tell you stories that
would curl your hair regarding the cowardice at top
levels of pro Israel Christian support. Cowardice when
it comes to naming names and identifying the real
problems with the erosion of Israel support in the
So often, such leadership and
activists call me, email, text…each time wanting
information, which I provide. Then publicly they stand
quite a few miles away from me because, after all, I’m a
Boy, could I tell you stories.
Maybe someday I will.
Meanwhile, the ones consistently
standing for the Word (which is where Zionism
originated, after all) will remain the ones I admire.
My sometimes-friends are no
friends at all. One day, I will feel sorry for them. I
don’t disparage their work; how sad they don’t return
Arrogance must be a terrible
burden to bear.
Jun 6, 2016
What Up, Bibi?
Things have gotten weird(er) in Israeli politics of
late. The Knesset is notorious for its volatile
exchanges from time to time. Add to the mix Arab
representatives that hate the state, and you have the
recipe for some real trouble.
The Likud Party, the one that Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu leads, is sort of the equivalent of the
Republican Party in the States (at least, the former
perception of the GOP as the “conservative” party). In
fact, Likud and Republican officials have been chummy
for years. The Likud’s national platform has always been
Zionist in its foundations, and remember, it was the
party that Menachem Begin rode to power in Israel in
1977. Until then, Israel had been ruled by the
socialist-leaning Labor Party.
When Netanyahu won the chairmanship of the Likud in
the 1990s, and then the prime minister’s seat in 1996,
he was in his mid-40s. His staunchly Zionist father,
Benzion, had instilled in his sons a love for Zion.
But when one moves full-time into politics, one is
forced to compromise. I’m speaking of conservative
politicians. The Left never moves one centimeter to the
right, always demanding concessions from the Right.
When Netanyahu assumed power in 1996 (after a
razor-thin win over Shimon Peres), he was forced to go
along with the recently enshrined “Oslo Accords,”
whereby Israel agreed to a staged plan that would
eventually see a Palestinian state.
(I once asked a former aid to Yitzhak Rabin why the
wily old general-turned-politician had ever agreed to
Oslo; Rabin had been the architect of the Six Day War
victory and was one tough old hombre. The aid replied
that the PM’s wife, Leah, pressured him to accept it.
Leah Rabin was a hardcore Leftist. Interesting
Netanyahu always knew the Palestinian leadership was
corrupt and duplicitous. He knew what Yasser Arafat was:
a cold-blooded killer never interested in
nation-building. That George H.W. Bush forced the
Israelis to the negotiating table is a travesty that
will go down as a dark moment in American diplomacy.
By the end of the ‘90s, as Palestinian terror brought
new horrors, Netanyahu dug his heels in. This infuriated
the Clinton team, and in 1999, Ehud Barak defeated
Netanyahu in elections.
Interestingly, Barak’s willingness to give the PLO
almost everything it officially claimed made him look
weak and in 2001, he was defeated by Ariel Sharon.
The old “Bulldozer” then followed the pattern all
major Israeli leaders eventually find themselves in:
appeasement. His 2005 pullout from Gaza paved the way
for Hamas rule in the Strip.
It became clear many years ago that the Palestinian
society, raised for generations on Jew-hatred, is
nowhere near ready to live in peace with Israel.
And when I visit with Israeli friends, those on the
Right and the Left, they are more unified against
Palestinian demands than their leaders usually are.
So…in the past week, Netanyahu announced a bombshell:
he would support the 2002 Saudi Peace Plan, which calls
for normalization of relations between Israel and the
Arab world, in exchange for Israel withdrawing to the
This has always been thought of as suicidal for
Israel. The truth is we cannot know at all what is in
Netanyahu’s mind. We can guess.
My guess is he never supported Oslo and he doesn’t
really support the Saudi plan. My guess is, he’s hoping
that one day, the international community will wake up
and realize a new paradigm is called for regarding a
Maybe the Saudis can come up with a plan to relocate
the Palestinians in their territory.
On the heels of Netanyahu’s announcement came an
equally surprising announcement by brand-new Defense
Minister Avigdor Liberman that he would support the
Saudi plan, too!
Liberman has been a hawk for a long time, and
supposedly recently said that within 48 hours of being
appointed Defense Minister, he would order the
assassination of Hamas terrorist leader Ismail Haniyeh.
As of this writing, Haniyeh is still breathing.
On the one hand, Israel has navigated an impossible
environment remarkably well over the years. On the other
hand, their concessions are seen as weakness by their
enemies, and so the whole pattern repeats itself
I do not believe that America’s top political and
diplomatic leadership cares for Israel at all. They know
their constituents do, so they lie to us and the
Israelis when proclaiming their support for Israeli
Where this will all end up is anyone’s guess.
However, I do not believe that when it gets right down
to it, any Israeli leader will put a gun to his nation’s
head. I believe the Saudi nonsense is just that, and
I’ve always believed Israel will never allow Iran to get
Few realize that Iran’s real nuclear ambitions began
more than 40 years ago, under the Shah. The plan then
was to build 20 nuclear reactors. Of course, when the
mullahs took over in 1979, all that became super scary.
And in the bizarro world we now live in, Iran is
fighting against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Fallujah…even
as the Americans have joined the Iraqi army in this
effort, along with both Sunni and Shia militias!
According to a report from the Meir Amit Intelligence
and Terrorism Information Center:
the Iranian media have emphasized the participation
of Iran and the Iraqi Shi'ite militias operating under
Iranian direction in the fighting.
“According to the reports, Qasem Soleimani,
Fallujah area and plays a central role in conducting the
Welcome to geopolitics in the Age of Obama.
Israel has to navigate all this insanity, while still
growing their economy and maintaining security.
What exactly Bibi is up to is anyone’s guess.
But something tells me he hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Not at all.
May 30, 2016
George W. Bush was a wily
politician before he ever got to Washington. He knew
that running for president in the aftermath of the
leftist Clinton Regime would require some deft
campaigning. That’s when someone came up with the phrase
It was a bid to peel-off some
Democrat and Independent votes in the general election,
in the hopes that more people would like George.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, it
also led to conservatives being seen as somewhat soft.
Remember, the left is always brutal, relentless, and
contemptuous of conservatives.
When Bush declared just after
9/11 that Islam is “a religion of peace,” it signaled
our enemies that we weren’t totally serious about waging
total war. We are dealing with the fall-out from that to
In the pro-Israel world, I have
noticed that key voices seem to follow the same path.
They believe we can even dialogue with some of our
I noticed this week that Joel
Rosenberg tweeted the following:
“I’m praying for Palestinian
President Abbas’ health and strength, especially as he’s
81 & signaling to colleagues he may soon step down.”
I strongly disagree with this
approach. But there are a lot of moving parts in the
community Rosenberg lives in, namely, the evangelical
The bestselling novelist runs in
lofty circles. I admit to being fascinated with how he
got access to so many top officials on both sides of the
Atlantic. I interviewed him once, and he seemed affable,
if a bit reserved. Rosenberg is perhaps the top
eschatological writer today.
Yet I’ve noticed a tendency on
his part to dialogue with people who have troubling
theology or contrary political views. I suspect that
when one rises to the status Rosenberg has, the Big Tent
makes it harder and harder to stand fast on bedrock
principles. This is identical to a mega-church pastor
who consciously makes a decision to avoid “controversial
topics” in the pulpit. He knows he might alienate a
significant number of congregants.
And then the cash starts to dry
Honestly? It infuriates me that
Abbas has made it to 81. Many of his victims did not.
Does anybody remember he was one of the architects of
the ’72 Munich murders?
Does anybody still care about
that in Christian circles?
Why the fawning over such an
According to a 2013 story in
“Palestinian Media Watch has
reported that the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud
Abbas, has honored Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Abu
Sukkar, who murdered 15 Israelis and Americans, and
wounded 77 others in the Zion Square Refrigerator
Bombing on July 4, 1975. Among the dead were American
citizen Rivka Ben-Yitzhak and husband Michael, who left
behind two small children. Daoud Khoury, an Arab
accountant at the King David Hotel, was also murdered.
“The PA also gave Abu Sukkar an
official military funeral after he died of a heart
attack at age 78. His coffin was draped in a Palestinian
flag and brought from the hospital to the center of
Ramallah in a military vehicle.
“In a eulogy, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas stated, ‘His pure soul passed on
to the kingdom of Heaven during these blessed days in
this honored month [Ramadan] after a journey of struggle
full of exceptional giving and devoted activity for
What kind of a sick mind
I can’t understand Rosenberg’s
bouquet of roses to Abbas.
He isn’t the only one who does
Openly now, whether in
“pro-Israel work” or in interfaith dialogue between
jihadists and evangelical leaders (a key plank in the
Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to infiltrate American
Evangelicalism), more and more evangelical leaders are
reaching a hand to those who wish us dead.
As for pro Israel activists, I
can’t understand anyone advocating for a “two-state
solution” at this time. The Palestinians should be told
that only by tangible efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism
from their national life can they hope to achieve
statehood. It is repulsive to think of rewarding them
Ten years ago, the usual
suspects within “evangelicalism” (the ones I call the
Christianity Today crowd—“evangelicals” who identify
more with the center-left mainline) were advocating for
a two-state solution, firing off letters and signatories
Today, more traditional
evangelicals are doing the same.
The left knows where our
weaknesses are, and they exploit them. Seeking dialogue
with people like Abbas, or Sami Awad, or the Muslim
Brotherhood or CAIR operatives weakens us.
A long time ago, the jihadists
hatched their plan to overthrow the West. The fight was
always going to be hard enough.
It’s galling that we are tying
at least one hand behind our back.
May 23, 2016
Some Good News
As I travel through our 2016
seminar schedule with the America-Israel Friendship
League, my latest stop in Edmond, Oklahoma gives me
much hope for the future.
(This comes on the heels of the news from my friends
at Christians United for Israel that they have now
passed the three million-member mark! Truly astonishing
and a testmament to the marvelous work done by David
Brog’s team over the past decade.)
At Fairview Baptist Church this past Sunday, I spoke
along with Mark Liotta, the Workman’s Compensation
Commissioner for the State of Oklahoma. Mark gave a
tremendous talk about his two trips to Israel with the
“Israel is the economic engine of the Middle East,”
Once again, I was struck by the enthusiasm of the
audience, and their passion for Israel and knowledge. I
urged them to use that to further advocate for Israel.
The pastor of Fairview Baptist, Paul Blair, is not
only a champion for Israel; he is a passionate and
fearless defender of Christian liberty and American
principles. He is also running for a seat in the state
legislature. Even though Paul played college football at
Oklahoma State (and not for my beloved OU Sooners), I
forgive him that. He later played 10 seasons for the
Chicago Bears, finishing as one of the game’s greatest
We need more men like that taking stands, frankly.
So far this year, I’ve traveled to California,
Florida, and now Oklahoma for our church outreach
program. The crowds have been tremendous. My colleagues,
Ambassador Uri Bar-Ner and Dr. Alex Grobman, have been
able to educate people on a variety of topics:
Holocaust, Israel’s diplomatic standing in the world,
and Bible history. We hope to be at a location near you
All this buoys me, and comes at a time when Israel’s
enemies are having a bit of a rough go. As Hamas tunnels
collapse, and ISIS is pinned down, the Palestinian
Authority also faced a huge embarrassment this week with
the announcement that a new museum dedicated to
Palestinian history and culture will open in the West
They have no
Wow, that story so symbolizes the Arab-Israeli
conflict. As Israel surges on so many fronts: economic,
military, technology, the Arab world languishes in Third
World realities. In 2014, Israel’s gross domestic
product amounted to $305 billion U.S. dollars. This
doesn’t factor-in the new oil and natural gas deposits
The stunning announcement about the Palestinian
“museum” reminds me something I stumbled across in the
‘90s. Helping David Lewis gather material for a book
that would become The Last War, I looked online at the
then-website for the Palestinian Authority.
Stumbling across their section for Palestinian
history and culture, I laughed out loud. I really did.
Right there at my desk.
The items displayed included some sewn dresses
(pretty, to be sure), and some images of old currency
from “Palestine.” If one looked closely at the currency
images, one could see three languages: English, Arabic,
That’s correct: to further add to the mountain of
evidence that there was never a sovereign Palestinian
state with Arab citizens, the currency proves the exact
opposite. The currency was issued (pre-Jewish state) by
the British Mandate government. It was simply currency
to be used by residents of what was then Palestine: Arab
and Jew. In fact, until Israel was birthed, Jews in
Palestine were also known as “Palestinians.”
Amazing, isn’t it?
There is no end to Arab delusion, lies, and failure
to live in reality.
That’s why, as Israel surges into the future, her
neighbors continue to look in the window and covet.
Here’s to the day when all of them will live
side-by-side in peace. We pray for it, We expect it.
May 16, 2016
Truth on its Head
Maybe it’s the weariness of eight
decades of fighting Arab terror constantly. As in, 24
hours a day.
Maybe it’s the last quarter-century
of the West blaming Israel and giving the Palestinians a
Whatever the reason, some Israeli
leaders feel the need to publicly call on the Jewish
state to maintain its moral standing.
I think what we’re seeing is a form
of Stockholm Syndrome.
Recently, Israeli Defense Minister
Moshe Ya’alon has been compelled to make sure Israelis
don’t lose their humanity when dealing with the
Palestinians. Much of this stems from a recent incident
in Hebron in which an IDF soldier killed a terrorist who
had been subdued.
For what it’s worth, my own
interaction with Israelis lets me know clearly that the
IDF is the most moral army in the world. Israeli society
is built in part on an almost total respect for others.
Some of this comes from centuries of their own abuse at
the hands of gentiles in countries where Jews found
themselves. In other words, Jews are almost
hyper-sensitive to being mindful of others.
While so many others are killing
A recent piece highlighted a
growing divide among Israelis over these issues:
“’Over the past several months,
Israel has been confronted with a wave of Palestinian
terrorism, which indeed has been on a down-slide of
late, but is liable to erupt anew,’ Ya’alon said to a
massive crowd of mourners at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery
in Tel Aviv. ‘Even during the difficult moments, in
which our blood boils and our rage is high, woe to us if
we lose our way and our values, the compromising of
which would likely bring Israel to the abyss.’
“’Exercise force when necessary,
but also understand its limits and its ability to lead
to a dulling of the senses,; he continued. ‘Ensure the
purity of arms and retain humanity, and let us not lose
The article went on to point to the
case of the IDF soldier, and also pointed to two
separate instances when Ya’alon has invoked Israeli
“The first was when he promptly
denounced Elor Azariya – the IDF soldier under
indictment for killing a subdued Palestinian terrorist
in Hebron – and members of the public who protested on
his behalf. ‘We’re not ISIS,’ Ya’alon said, ‘When
there’s a need to kill, we kill. But when it’s someone
neutralized or with his hands up, that is the place for
preserving our moral compass.’
“The second was on Holocaust
Remembrance Day, when Ya’alon immediately and
unequivocally backed IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair
Golan, who suggested that Israel is coming dangerously
close to resembling 1930s Germany and called for an
annual day of soul-searching, like some kind of secular
version of Yom Kippur.”
What gives? The Arabs have been
murdering Jews in the region for a century. Why is there
a constant pressure on Israel? It’s like saying that the
victims of the Manson Family fought back too hard.
Israeli writer Ruthie Blum takes
issue with Ya’alon and others:
“The last time I checked, it was
the job of the minister of defense to protect Israel’s
citizenry from its mortal enemies, by developing and
carrying out military strategies to defeat them. It is a
mighty challenge on today’s battlefield in the Middle
East, to be sure, because the warfare involves multiple
fronts and various filthy methods of engagement. These
include, but are not restricted to the use of children,
both as human shields and as machete-wielding
perpetrators of bloody murder.”
Thank you, Ruthie, for taking us
back to the point. A profound lack of morals has
infected the West, and I think this influences Israeli
Look, no one really knows (but
them) just how much pressure the West, including and
especially now the U.S., puts on Israel. Remember that
Ariel Sharon was very deferential to the Americans while
he was prime minister, and all Israeli PMs including
Benjamin Netanyahu are pressured behind closed doors.
Over 24,000 Israelis have been
killed by the Arabs since statehood in 1948.
That is the story.
The story isn’t that a lone nutcase
once tried to set fire to the Dome of the Rock, or that
in 1994 Baruch Goldstein killed Arabs in Hebron, or that
the Israeli soldier killed a Palestinian who had been
subdued after a terror attack.
The story is that Israel is held to
a grotesque and immoral standard by the West and by the
Arabs. The story is that a campaign of genocide was
launched against the Jews long before Hitler came to
power. The world is still condoning it by making demands
People like John Kerry will one day
answer for their shabby treatment of the Jews. The truth
is, today’s Western diplomats are little different from
the European ones who threw the Jews under the Nazi bus
in the ’30s and ‘40s.
Even now, the chickens have come
home to roost, though, for when civilization tries to
appease Islam by offering up Israel, trouble comes for
London has just elected a Muslim
mayor. Europe will fall to the Islamists.
And then they won’t have the Jews
to kick around anymore.
May 9, 2016
I am a dispensationalist, but not one who believes
there is a second Holocaust coming for the Jewish
people. I’ll write more about that in detail at a later
time, but for now, I’d like to focus on this past week’s
Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The famous mantra “Never again” means just that, in
my view. That the Jews survived through one campaign of
extermination is remarkable in the extreme, and clear
evidence of ultimate Divine protection.
From Haman to Hitler (and, sadly, beyond to our day),
strongmen have sought to murder every Jew. This satanic
obsession is of course grotesque, and yet it doesn’t
deter new madmen from trying where others have failed
One of the most insane statements in history comes
from the mouth of Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects
of the Nazi-led Holocaust:
“I will leap into my grave laughing because the
feeling that I have five million human beings on my
conscience is for me a source of extraordinary
The SS operative has certainly gone on to his
well-deserved reward. When Mossad agents plucked him off
a street in Argentina in 1961, no doubt Eichmann was as
stunned as everyone else. He had enjoyed 15 years of
luxury, after helping butcher millions of human beings.
He was hanged in Israel in 1962.
I find that Christians in America don’t know much
about the Holocaust. It was perpetrated by church-going
Nazi leaders. Although there were a few brave souls in
Europe who saved Jewish lives, by and large the culture
stood by and watched it happen.
More than 1.5 million children were murdered.
Children. The stain has soaked through the fabric of
Germany; it will never be erased.
Today, the global rise of anti-Semitism is as
alarming as it is infuriating.
As my friend Kay Wilson posted on Facebook:
“If there would be a minute's silence for every one
of the 6,000,000 Jews murdered in the Holocaust, the
world would be silent for over 11 years.”
Kay herself was the victim of Palestinian terror a
few years ago, when she was almost hacked to death (and
her friend was). The satanic hatred of Jews is
unfortunately alive in our world today. It is why, as
Daniel Seaman said, “Never again” must not be just a
mantra; it must be a call to action.
I know many, many wonderful Christians and even
churches that genuinely love the Jewish people. As a
matter of fact, I love hearing from you. If you are a
member of a congregation or a pastor of a church that
loves Israel, drop me a line; I’d love to hear from you.
Today, more than ever, it’s important to network.
This year I am again taking part in the church
outreach program of the
America-Israel Friendship League, and next weekend
we are holding another seminar at Fairview Baptist
Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, after being in California
and Florida the previous two months. If you’d like to
hear our presentation (we don’t charge a church for
travel expenses, so it’s free!), drop me a line. We are
already booking into 2017, but we can be flexible to
One of our presenters, my dear friend Alex Grobman,
is a leading Holocaust scholar. He’s written a series of
terrific books defending Israel and I encourage you to
check them out on Amazon.
At Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum in
Jerusalem, there is one display that affected me the
most. You can stand on a railroad track and see large
mural photos of Jews. It gives you some idea of having
I believe things in our world are going to get worse
before they get better (forever), and we must resolve
not to allow culture to decline to the point of another
Wherever you are, especially if you are a Christian,
act to defy and oppose anti-Semitism. It is really
May 2, 2016
Our Enemies’ Frustration
For more than a hundred years, attacks on the Bible have
undermined churches in America. Beginning in the late 19th
century, the anti-Bible positions of scholars in
Germany—and the Darwinian philosophy coming from
London—leveled steady attacks on the credibility of the
Bible, starting with Genesis.
These attacks, though they were refuted by a few like
Robert Dick Wilson at Princeton, devastated American
seminaries, which were producing next-generation
pastors. Biblical accounts like the Exodus were called
into question. It was claimed that multiple anonymous
authors/editors contributed to the great prophetic
books, like Isaiah.
Only one reason: those unbelieving scholars did not want
to believe that God can predict the future, and instruct
His prophets to alert us to future events. The scholars,
like all leftists, do not want to follow the One who
sets the rules.
A couple generations ago, the biblical scholar Edward J.
Young wrote, about the critics of the Bible’s prophetic
“They are destructive, for they are seeking, whether
consciously or not, to destroy the words God has
This was from Young’s book,
Who Wrote Isaiah?
The title of the book is strange, because, we think, we
know who wrote Isaiah: Isaiah.
That’s if you believe the Bible is true. If you don’t,
then Isaiah must have been written/collected/edited by
an unknown number of people, who recorded history, not
prophecy. The critics simply do not believe anyone can
accurately predict the future, so the yet-future
declarations from the prophet’s book could not have been
written before the events came to pass.
This is part of what Henry Morris called “the long war
against God,” in which unbelievers would seek to
continually undermine true faith. An added outcome was
the damage done to Israel’s reputation: if the biblical
promises to the Jews are not valid, then today’s Israel
is not legitimate.
Gary Frazier and I discuss these things in our new book,
The Miracle of Israel.
Incredibly, in modern America, few sitting in the pews
have any real knowledge of what the Bible says about
anything. The specialness of Israel and the Jewish
people is near the top of that list.
Let me give you a practical outcome of generations of
these attacks on the Bible.
magazine, produced for Millennials and those in that
group who are evangelicals, never misses an opportunity
to mock Bible prophecy, at least the brand studied and
taught by, say, Dispensationalists.
I believe that the publisher, Cameron Strang, at some
point rejected the prophecy community his father
(Charisma publisher Steve Strang) had long operated in,
and the problem is, he reacted too strongly the other
way. Certainly, there have been excesses in the prophecy
community, but not to the degree its critics allege.
There is a massive, coordinated effort right now to
undermine prophecy teaching in America. And, as I’ve
always contended, if you do not understand modern Israel
through the lens of prophetic Scripture, you won’t get
advocates for the Palestinians and supports authors who
accuse Israel of war crimes (Donald Miller).
But the ripple in the water extends far beyond that.
In the latest issue of
Issac Edwards writes a piece titled, “Through Hell and
Back,” in which he produces a puff piece about the
heretical Rob Bell.
My point is this: the farther one moves from believing
all the Bible is true, including its marvelous
predictive prophecies, the more one embraces humanistic
And yet, when it comes down to it, nothing can stop the
fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Israel and the return of
the Jews to their ancestral land is central to that
Relevant and others decry Israel’s “Occupation” of
the Palestinians is…irrelevant. Their advocacy for the
enemies of the Jewish people is shameful and doomed to
In the meantime, they will continue to apply the
pressure to Israel that they can (Relevant’s
digital and social media reach is staggering, far
outgaining anything that can be produced by prophecy
teachers in today’s climate).
In the end, though, it won’t alleviate their
frustrations that Israel marches on toward her destiny.
April 25, 2016
One of the ways our ideological opponents in the
Arab-Israeli conflict work their plan is to use
disinformation and misinformation to advocate for the
Palestinians. Nowhere is this more intense than in the
Church. Pro Palestinian advocates distort, spin, and lie
about Israel and her Christian supporters.
Readers of “Israel Watch” will recall the claim that
Israel’s security fence (called a “barrier” or “wall” by
Palestinian advocates; remember, words and imagery are
all-important) completely encircles Bethlehem.
This is simply a lie.
Only one side of the security fence in Bethlehem is the
high cement wall; it is in place to prevent Palestinian
murderers from shooting at Israeli cars on the highway.
The other sections of the fence are wire. Keep in mind,
too, that much terrorist activity in Bethlehem and
surrounding villages has killed Jews. It is also the
center of the so-called “Christian Palestinianist”
Another brazen lie came in the book,
Revolution. There, co-authors Shane Claiborne and
Tony Campolo claim that for every Israeli “settler,”
there are three bodyguards. This is absurd, in a country
of eight million. If these two leftist authors are
correct, more than one million bodyguards live in the
When I challenged Claiborne and the editors at Thomas
Nelson about this inaccuracy…nothing was done.
Of course. That’s how propaganda works: lie big and
Now, a new column by Munther Isaac
(“Reverend at Bethlehem Christmas Church and Academic
Dean at Bethlehem Bible College”) displays classic
propaganda. Virtually every sentence can be refuted.
I’ll concentrate on two for now.
(By the way, Isaac is a key figure in the “Christ at the
Checkpoint” gathering, which is the nerve center of
anti-Christian Zionist feeling.)
Early on in the piece, Munther says:
“How do Palestinians perceive Christian Zionism? I will
argue, that Christian Zionism is more than just a
theological belief about Israel and Jews – it is an
Today, it is also – willingly or not – a
political movement. Let me start with a short definition
of Christian Zionism as Robert Smith defines it:
“’Christian Zionism is political action, informed by
specifically Christian commitments, to promote or
preserve Jewish control over the geographic area now
comprising Israel and Palestine.’”
Did you see what he did there? The phrase “I will
argue,” in his first paragraph, is meaningless. Why?
Because Munther Isaac & Friends, vicious opponents of
Christian Zionism, want you not to notice that they are
giving you their opinion of what Christian Zionism is.
Further, Christian Zionism is not a political action. It
is a biblical worldview, rooted in the Hebrew
Scriptures, which are dominated by the entire sweep of
Jewish history. It is a belief that the Jews are
entitled to settle their ancient land.
manipulate language. Unsolicited advice:
never let them
set the terms in a debate.
Next, Isaac takes issue with Genesis 12:3:
“Joel Rosenberg, a regular Fox News analyst and NY Times
bestseller, explains that if the US would turn against
Israel, this would result in an existential threat to
the future of the United States. Rosenberg, like
numerous others, bases this on Genesis: ‘In Genesis
12:1-3, the Lord God vows that He will bless those who
bless Israel and the Jewish people, and curse those who
curse them.’ What amazes me is that Gen. 12:1-3 does not
actually mention Israel. It is about Abraham. This verse
comes in the midst of a glorious mandate to Abraham to
become a blessing to the nations – a mandate that was
eventually fulfilled in Jesus, who is Abraham’s seed
according to Paul, when he died on the cross. How was
this glorious promise turned into the recipe of foreign
policy today towards a
Genesis 12:1-3 does mention a nation coming from
Abraham. Further in the book of beginnings, we learn
that Abraham’s son Isaac is the “child of the promise”
and through him the Jewish people would come.
One can argue that Christian Zionists could cite another
passage to buttress their argument (and there are
hundreds of others in the Old Testament that prove the
specialness of the Jews), but Munther Isaac’s argument
here is very weak. Context and thorough scriptural
examination is always missing from the quiver of the
Just know that Palestinian propaganda against Israel and
her supporters in the Church is heating up, with no end
in sight. Using either clueless or complicit evangelical
leaders in America is a big weapon in their arsenal.
But in the end, they underestimate the staying power of
Zionism. When they come to their senses, we’ll be
waiting for them at the finish line, with an
April 18, 2016
Palestinian Propaganda and the UN
For decades, the Palestinians
have been very friendly with the United Nations, and the
latter has helped the former to spread gigantic lies
about Israel. The many and varied lies also touch on
Jewish history, or, to say it a better way, the denial
of Jewish history.
The Palestinians, beginning with
Yasser Arafat, learned from the Soviets how to
manipulate people with lies and propaganda, and it has
always been relentless.
Since last year, the Palestinian
Authority and Hamas have resurrected the total lie that
Israel is trying to destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque, on the
Temple Mount. Make no mistake, this kind of egregious
lie will one day be Judged. Until then, Israel must also
fight on this front.
Let me be clear: there is no
plot to destroy the Al-Aksa, or the Dome of the Rock.
It’s painfully obvious that the Israelis have no
interest in doing such a thing, and their security teams
make sure no lone wolf attack can take place. I’ve been
there several times and the security measures undertaken
before one is allowed on the Temple Mount make it
impossible for someone to smuggle anything onto the site
that would damage the structures.
Yet the Palestinians continue to
knowingly lie. Why? To keep their people in a constant
state of turmoil and rage at the Jews, and the deflect
attention from their own evil and corruption.
When you step onto the Temple
Mount, the Al-Aksa (originally a Byzantine church) is on
the right; the Dome of the Rock is on the left.
Palestinians continually stream into Al-Aksa to pray and
also be radicalized by clerics’ “sermons” that incite
them to do violence to Jews. That Israel allows this
behavior is somewhat of a mystery, but since the Six Day
War, the policy has been to basically allow the
(religious authority) to do what it wants.
The evil Hamas leader Ismael
Haniyeh contributes to the incitement, which has led to
many Israeli deaths, which the UN does not care about.
According to the Jerusalem Post:
“Haniyeh on Friday pledged that
the current 'intifada' against Israel will continue as
it is the will of the Palestinian people.
“’There are those who try to
bury the al-Quds (Jerusalem) intifada, but this intifada
will continue and it is the option of the people, the
nation and the entire generation,’ he said at a rally in
Gaza ahead of the Palestinian Prisoner's Day.”
Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO), has issued another menacing
resolution against the Jewish state:
“UNESCO’s Executive Board in
Paris on Friday adopted a resolution whose language
ignored Jewish ties to the holy religious site of the
Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s
“The broad ranging resolution
condemned Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, the West
Bank and Gaza. But the resolution focused in large part
on Israeli actions with regard to the Temple Mount and
the Western Wall Plaza.
“The resolution also charged
that Israel had planted ‘Jewish fake graves’ in other
Muslim cemeteries located on Wakf property east and
south of the Al-Aksa mosque.
“The 58-member board approved
the resolution 19 with 33 votes in favor, six against
and 17 abstention. Two countries, Ghana and Turkmenistan
were absent all together.
“Those countries who opposed it
outright were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands,
the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
“France, Spain, Slovenia,
Sweden, Russia and Slovenia were among those countries
who supported the resolution.
“A second resolution that more
globally condemned Israeli actions, passed with 45 votes
in favor, 1 vote against and 11 abstentions.”
The “fake Jewish graves” is
language straight out of classic Palestinian propaganda,
which proves that the PLO is helping shape even the
propaganda language of UNESCO.
The truth is, the world stands
by and tolerates horrific lies about Israel. Bill
Clinton knew Arafat was denying Jewish history (claiming
the Temples were never on the site). International
diplomats listen to these kinds of lies constantly.
The two Democrat candidates for
president knowingly lie about Israel (Clinton claiming
Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal,
while Sanders accuses the IDF of war crimes in Gaza). Of
the Republicans, it’s likely that only Ted Cruz
understands the detail about geopolitics in the Middle
Let me say this: the toleration
of lies about Israel from the international diplomatic
and political community parallels that of church
leadership that does the same thing. For decades,
mainline church officials have cuddled up to the Arafats
of the world, and now even evangelical leaders are
totally silent when anti-Semites like Donald Miller
accuse the IDF of war crimes in Gaza…with no
All this means of course that
the global political and religious elites are birds of a
feather. Corrupt and heartless, their cruelty and
calculation are part of their desire to throw the Jews
under the bus, hoping the jihadist will leave them
alone. But notice: the putrid resolution from Paris
comes from the same city attacked by jihadists. And
Europe’s de facto capitol, Brussels, is also the victim
of a jihadist attack.
The demons that run Hamas and
the Palestinian Authority will have a short shelf life.
So will all those who use their religious authority to
spread lies about the Jews and Israel.
I wonder if they will be Judged
more harshly in that day, simply because at least in
theory, they should have known better.
Apr 11, 2016
sure and take advantage of our special offer for Jim’s
Miracle of Israel!)
As Barack Obama continues working his Marxist plan of
undermining the West—a key plank being chipping away at
Israel’s deterrence against her enemies—the Jewish state
remains confident it can meet all challenges.
That includes the Iranian nuclear threat.
All through history, despots have underestimated the
Jewish people. In his second term, Obama has allowed
leaks about Israeli security and operational plans,
which experts believe hindered Israel’s ability to deal
with Iran’s existential threats.
Yet the Israelis always work one, two, or ten steps
During a recent speech at a cultural event, Israel’s
director of the Institute for National Security Studies
(INSS), Amos Yadlin, declared that Israel can deal with
"[The] Israel Air Force can meet the challenge of
exterminating Iran's nuclear reactors if necessary."
Yadlin also noted Israel’s successes in this arena in
the past, including a 2007 strike against Syrian nuclear
facilities. He pointed out that if Syria’s reactor was
not knocked out, it would today be in the hands of ISIS.
A similar situation arose in 1981, when a daring Israeli
airstrike in the Iraqi desert destroyed Saddam Hussein’s
nuclear reactor. Think of the implications a decade
later, when Saddam’s forces were defeated by the U.S. in
An interesting situation now exists on the diplomatic
front, as well. As the Middle East burns, thus affecting
Europe and the West, Israel’s stature is rising. Let’s
not jump to conclusions and think the entire
international community will condemn an Israeli strike
South Africa is one more country of late that is
warming up to Israel. South African ambassador Sisa
Ngombane says his country is serious about improving
ties. While the two countries were equal as recently as
2009 in terms of exports, Israel now exports four times
as much product to South Africa.
Not only is Israel’s military the envy of the world,
its technological advances are coveted. More African
countries are cozying up to Israel, and even Arab
nations like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are
For those who have predicted disastrous international
implications were Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear
facilities, it’s just as likely world leaders will be
relieved if Iran is removed as a regional threat.
And there is growing evidence that, leaving Israel
out of the equation, Iran is a lethal threat to everyone
Recently an Iranian hacker gained control of the
sluices of a New York dam (the gates had been taken
offline for maintenance just before), a signal that the
mullahs are up to much mischief. It remains a serious
threat that Iran or some other rogue nation will launch
an EMP attack against the U.S., which would prove
Many express wonder that Obama would seem so soft on
Iran, or so incompetent in the face of his absurd
nuclear “deal.” He is neither soft nor incompetent. In
fact, if few will say so, we must say clearly that he is
anti-American and anti-West, and is in effect a plant in
the White House, to weaken America.
Getting down to brass tacks, the question becomes:
Why would Obama do everything but hand Iran a loaded
gun? Isn’t he worried about his own safety, should there
be some type of attack on this country?
My answer would be that Obama won’t be here. He’ll be
in Switzerland, or Qatar or on an Australian beach. Far
from the action. Far from the danger.
This is one reason he expresses no real concern over
All this destabilization among the nations points to
another fast-fulfilling Bible prophecy: as the nations
are set up for judgment, Israel finds divine favor and
Apr 4, 2016
Selling Out Your
For a long time (officially, since
1948), the world has offered the Jewish state to
totalitarians, if said totalitarians leave them alone.
The French, the British, the U.S.
State Department, and now the European Union have
routinely placed Israel in a perilous spot, if it would
appease the Arabs.
Astonishingly, this week
Syria—Syria!—admonished Israel in the U.N. Security
Council for its treatment of the Druze on the Golan
Heights! This on the heels of Obama’s taking in a
baseball game in Communist Cuba while Brussels burns
and…released Gitmo terrorists have murdered Americans.
The outrage has reached historic
levels. Our government not only no longer protects us,
but puts each of us in peril. Likewise, the Obama
administration has sold-out Israel diplomatically. The
international community is following that lead.
Caroline Glick recently wrote:
“Europe’s funding of anti-Israel
campaigns like its bankrolling of the PA does not make
the EU incompetent to deal with the jihadist forces that
are presently assaulting its member nations and
citizens. But it is true that there seems to be a direct
correlation between hostility to Israel and inability to
competently fight jihadists. And this makes sense. If
you believe that Israel is the cause of the pathologies
of the Islamic world, then you will likely be blind to
the nature of the jihadist threat and the danger it
poses to your nation.”
It is clear that Europe does not
know how to fight the jihadists in the arena. Decades of
offering Israel’s head on the block has resulted
in…Europeans being murdered by the same jihadist mindset
Europe wanted to appease.
Appeasement is an abysmal failure.
I am old enough to remember the gas
lines from the 1973 oil embargo, our “punishment” from
the Arab world for supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur
War—which was designed to help Syria and Egypt liquidate
Israel! Our State Department has been manned by Arabists
(those loyal to the Arab world, at the expense of
Israel), and if jihadists were today able to do to us
what they are doing in Europe, they certainly would.
Barack Obama wants that scenario in
this country. There is no other explanation for his
seemingly insane policies of helping jihad and
handicapping America. There is no other explanation.
Now, his protégé in Canada, Justin
Trudeau, is echoing the same insane rhetoric.
As it seems the last glimmer of
rationality is leaving our planet, thankfully there is
still some wisdom; Glick is such a voice:
“Following the ISIS strikes in
Brussels, both Israeli and American security experts
spoke bitterly of the ineptitude of Belgian security
services. It is not that the forces themselves are
incompetent. Rather, the experts said, their political
leadership refuses to allow them to take the actions
necessary to protect their country.
“The Belgians, like their European
brethren generally, refuse to deal with jihad. Rather
than acknowledge and deal forthrightly with the
phenomenon, they seek every possible excuse to ignore
“According to senior government
officials, the Belgians are among the most vociferous
foes of Israel in the EU. Europe’s obsessive castigation
of Israel is a central aspect of their jihad avoidance
strategy. If Israel is to blame for everything, then
they can save themselves by pouring billions of euros on
the PA and by funding Israeli anti-Zionist subversives.
“This position is of course
irrational. In clinging to it, the Europeans have
enabled the jihadist forces arrayed against them to
gather and grow.”
My dear friend, Dr. Alex Grobman
(who partners with me in our “Israel in the
International Community” seminars), has a term to
describe this: reversal of culpability.
In other words, the victim becomes
the villain. If Europe is confronted with demons in its
midst, Europe blames…Israel. They are reversing the
It has never worked, and now Europe
and other global communities are beginning to realize
the horrifying truth: jihad wants to kill everyone.
Selling out your friends always
Mar 28, 2016
Israel Is On It!
One of many remarkable things about
Israel is the innovation that the tiny nation possesses,
in order to do big things for the world.
I’ve known about this for some
time, but am still astonished by each new thing brought
forth from Israeli minds and hearts.
My friend Marcella Rosen, founder
Untold News, has
launched a new campaign to highlight these innovations.
The “Israel Is On It!” initiative brings to light the
fact that far from being a pariah state, or an apartheid
state, Israel is actually a world leader in making
people’s lives better.
campaign was created to raise awareness of Israel's
major contributions to the environment, medicine, and
Simply put, Israelis ask, How to
make the world a better place?
Israel Is On It is a project by
Untold News, a 501C3 based in New York City. Untold News
is dedicated to building support for Israel by
highlighting positive news about Israeli innovation. For
example, it is not generally known that Israel has sent
Crisis Teams to many nations in trouble, or that they
produce nearly as many start-ups as all of Europe
combined. Untold News is not political.
The campaign launched in January,
in the NYTimes, print and digital editions. The
objective: to inform and intrigue younger Americans with
Israeli inventions that benefit their lives. (This
demographic is weakest in their support for Israel.)
Over 2500 have visited the
campaign website (www.israelisonit.com),
where information is shared about nine major Israeli
inventions. Of these visitors, 61% are under age 35 (76%
are under 45).
’d like you to consider
helping Untold News with this campaign. It will cost you
nothing to visit the site, and invite those in your
network to do the same. Should you choose to help
financially with a donation, you have my personal
guarantee, Israel Watch reader, that your money is going
to a good cause.
(For more information contact
Consider these mind-bending
How To Drink
Six years ago, Israel was almost
out of water. Today, there's plenty to go around, thanks
to Israel's advances in desalination (removing the salt
from seawater) and recycling of wastewater. Severe water
restrictions (like limiting showers to two minutes) have
25% of Israel's fresh water is now
created through desalination. Israel has also become the
world leader in recycling wastewater for agricultural
use. 86% of wastewater in Israel is recycled, creating
more than half the water needed for farming.
As reported in the New York Times,
Israel has a multi-pronged effort to end the drought.
Good for Israel. And because Israel
is happy to share what it's learned with our
drought-threatened world, good for all of us. Israel’s
IDE Technologies Ltd has built the US's largest
desalination plant in San Diego, California using
Israel-invented reserve osmosis technology.
How To Read A
Israeli tech companies are working
on an airport system that can detect emotional strain in
a passenger – a specific kind of strain that is
associated with people who intend to commit an act of
WeCU (pronounced 'We See You')
Technologies uses psychology and physiology to thwart
evildoers. The WECU system puts subliminal images and
remote sensors in the environment, causing wrongdoers to
have involuntary reactions like raised blood pressure,
increased heart rate or sudden, rapid breathing. These
reactions are instantly picked up and analyzed in real
WeCU has received a grant from the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency
of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Once
implemented, WeCU technology will keep passengers in
airports from Tel Aviv to Toledo a whole lot safer.
There’s much more at the Israel Is
On It! Website. Take a few minutes and help a fantastic
Mar 21, 2016
Recently in a Charisma magazine newsletter titled,
“Standing With Israel,” a writer titled his piece, “Is
the Current State of Israel the Fulfillment of Biblical
Technically, the correct answer is “yes.”
The writer, however, took 594 words and 10 paragraphs
to offer a meandering sort-of answer to the question.
His real aim was to present his exchange with a rabbi
over the identity of the Messiah. The rabbi had called
in to a radio show to enter into a debate with the
author of the above-mentioned article. The rabbi offered
his view of Israel as a modern state:
“From my understanding of a biblical perspective,
today's state of Israel is a bastion of evil; a country
filled with immorality. Also, Scripture also tells us
not to awaken or arouse love before God desires. I don't
believe in Jesus, but I'm waiting for Messiah to come.
Until this happens, I see the existence of the state of
Israel as being against what the Bible teaches. God sent
us into exile to be a light to the nations, not to go
and hide in one little part of the world. Israel is the
Holy Land, but today it's filled with heresy and
wickedness. And even if it wasn't, according to
Scripture, it's just not the time yet for this return to
Now, I don’t agree with anything the rabbi said; as a
Bible-believing Christian, I know who the Messiah is:
I do wonder though why the writer didn’t really
address the title of his blog. He was so busy trying to
convince this rabbi of the identity of the Messiah that
he missed an opportunity to lay out the case that yes,
of course modern Israel is the fulfillment of Bible
prophecy. In fact, he diverted into a brief discussion
of Daniel and Israel’s “seven-year peace treaty.”
In my opinion, it would have been better to show
clearly from Scripture that Israel is the fulfillment of
biblical prophecy. Why not list several prophetic
passages that deal specifically with Israel’s return to
the Land in the last days? Jeremiah 30, Amos 9, Isaiah
66, Deuteronomy 30.
I get the desire to reach a rabbi by discussing the
Messiah, but why not lay the foundation first of the
irrefutable proof that Israel must be a modern
nation-state again before other prophecies can be
It amazes me that so many diverse groups totally miss
the gigantic, specific fulfillment of prophecy from the
ingathering of the Jewish exiles.
We miss an opportunity when we do not present
relevant Scripture and then say simply “yes” to the
question of the writer’s blog.
Mar 14 , 2016
War or No War in
Although Israel is always ready
for a regional war—a nation unique in history; can you
imagine France or even the U.S. in a constant state of
war-readiness?—it appears that experts think the chances
of war with Hezbollah in the north or Hamas in the south
are remote for this year.
Yeah, that’s what they said in
Still, for strategic reasons,
Israel is in reasonably good shape. The army has never
been better or better equipped, and their enemies are
In the south, a Muslim
government in Egypt is fighting and battering Hamas. Who
would ever have imagined such a thing? The terrorist
group is now sandwiched between a modern Muslim army and
the IDF. It makes little sense to think they will engage
any time soon.
And what of Hezbollah? This
other terrorist-demon group is now pinned-down in Syrian
fighting, the civil war that is now in its fifth year.
The carnage forced on Syrians is changing facts on the
ground; no longer is Sheik Nasrallah and his evil shock
troops (about 14,000 fighters strong) able to harass
Israel as they once were.
According to a report in the
Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah has all sorts of problems:
“The Lebanese Shi’ite
organization also has 15,000 reservists who are called
to duty for training or field missions for up to 40 days
a year – similar to the IDF reserve system. So far,
Hezbollah has lost nearly 1,500 soldiers, killed in
action – many of whom belonged to its elite units – and
more than 6,000 have been wounded. Hezbollah’s losses
are a heavy blow to its military capabilities and have
dented its morale to go to war with Israel.
“FURTHERMORE, HEZBOLLAH is
suffering from a serious economic crisis. Its annual
budget is estimated at around $1 billion, 70 percent of
which comes from Iran and the rest from taxes, levies
and trade, mainly in drugs and contraband cigarettes,
and electronic appliances. Due to the sanctions regime
imposed on Iran (soon to be lifted), Tehran in recent
years has had difficulties meeting its financial
commitments to its Lebanese proxy.”
While Iran will no doubt resume
funding Hezbollah, it is still a fact that the
Lebanese-based terror group is not quite as mouthy as it
once was. It’s true that they still have tens of
thousands of rockets to aim at Israel, but the latter is
also technologically equipped to deal with any threat.
In fact, this week I was talking to an Israeli tech
company chief and he remarked that Israelis create
solutions to problems that don’t yet exist! Think about
that for a minute; it makes the Jewish state all the
Here, I want to interject again,
as I have recently, that Bible prophecy teachers who try
to exactly pinpoint geopolitical realities are dealing
in folly. Think about the fact that virtually none of
the problems that faced Israel five years ago in the
Middle East exist today.
The Israelis are coordinating
with the Saudis(!) on strategy for dealing with Iran.
Egypt’s al-Sisi is a strongman, but one relatively
friendly to Israel, and his handling of terrorist
attacks is perhaps unprecedented in the Arab world
(although Egypt is not technically Arab, they have long
been a leader in the region).
Jordan is still Jordan, meaning
King Abdullah, though he blusters about the injustices
toward the Palestinians, is still a realist and knows
Israel routinely saves his hide.
Saddam is gone from Iraq. Assad
is hiding-out in Syria.
All of a sudden, much of the
mischief that used to be aimed at Israel is now a
Sunni-Shi’ite Hatfield-and-McCoys affair.
So from a geopolitical
perspective, Israel is in pretty good shape. In a
biblical sense, Israel is home free.
Thank the Lord above that we get
to watch all this play out.
Mar 7 , 2016
Trump and the Jews
More than ever before, I feel
like just an observer during the presidential election,
like I’m somehow emotionally disconnected from the
circus-like atmosphere. Never before have I seen so many
broken relationships over politics…within the Republican
Party. Friends and family seem to split over who is
supporting Donald Trump, who is supporting Ted Cruz,
Rubio, Carson, etc., etc.
And, it’s another “most
important election of our lifetime.” Aren’t they all,
I don’t, however, mind being tagged as a
single-issue voter, and this year, national security and
our relationship with Israel top the list.
Although the Republican Party seems on the verge of
cracking up (the Establishment loathes Trump and vice
versa), the New York billionaire seems poised to win the
My purpose here is not to tell you
who I’d vote for, or even try and influence you, but if
Trump is the nominee, would that be good for Israel?
Look, a bag of toy soldiers, or an artichoke would
be better for Israel than Barack Obama. That menacing
presence in the White House for eight years has damaged
the Jewish state, which was his intention all along.
Anything is better than Obama.
daughter converted to Judaism and he has deep ties to
the New York business world. He has moved in high-roller
circles for a long time, and seems to genuinely
appreciate Israel’s successes in business and hi-tech.
Yet there are troubling signs, too. Last month he
said he be a “neutral guy” in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
He also has been dismissive about moving the U.S.
embassy to Jerusalem; according to the Jerusalem Post:
“At a Republican Jewish Coalition candidate’s forum
in December, Trump demurred when asked if he would
recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In January, he
appeared to shift gears when he promised to move the
American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ‘We are for
that 100 percent,’ Trump said.”
waffling came into play there, but to be fair, it
doesn’t matter if presidential candidates promise to
move the embassy; they don’t do it once in office. Trump
He has expressed admiration for
Israel’s security fence, since much of his campaign
rhetoric centers around building a giant wall on our
southern border. So he seems to be “with” Israel in
terms of practicality. But where is his heart?
Despite claiming to be a “strong” Christian, it’s
doubtful that Trump really does read the Bible more than
anyone else (as he said that he does). It’s highly
doubtful he would see geo-politics in the prism of
Scripture, and I doubt he puts any stock at all in
Israel’s title deed to the Land.
most important issue at hand is the “deal” Obama did
with Iran on nukes. Interestingly, Trump has loudly and
often denounced the deal as horribly incompetent, and it
But what a lot of people don’t
realize through all the rhetoric is that Trump didn’t
pledge to dissolve the deal. He merely said he’d be a
much tougher negotiator. Even though the “deal” is not a
binding treaty. Why not just get rid of it and go back
I have no doubt that Donald Trump
would not be an enemy of Israel, as Obama surely is. He
would be a vast improvement.
Just don’t expect
any dramatic, positive breakthroughs from him in the
Oval Office, with regard to Israel.
Feb 29, 2016
The Miracle of
Over the years, many people have asked me for a
resource that explains the basics of Israel in Bible
prophecy. There are some good ones, but I always thought
that one day I’d produce one.
That day has come.
With my good friend (and one of the very best Bible
prophecy teachers) Gary Frazier, I’ve co-authored
The Miracle of
Israel. The thrust of this easy to read book is that
if God keeps His promises to Israel, then He will keep
His promises to all people. This, against the
astonishing backdrop of the detail with which God
fulfills prophecy. A dominant them of the Old Testament
is that God is going to restore the Jews to their
ancestral land, period.
This He has done, in our time.
The book itself is a primer of sorts for those who
want to understand the Big Picture.
We trace the history of the Jewish people from the
beginning, presenting this story of the ages in a clear
Our publisher, New Leaf Publishing Group (the
publisher for my dear friend and late mentor, David
Allen Lewis, who got me involved in prophecy and pro
Israel advocacy) has agreed to help me with an offer I’d
like to make available exclusively to readers of “Israel
In a marvelous gesture, NLPG will also give a FREE
digital copy of my book,
The Last War
(which features an interview with the late Ariel Sharon)
for each Miracle of Israel copy you order for $13.99. The link for this offer
is as follows:
If you’d like to order an autographed copy, drop me
an email and let me know what special message you’d like
written in your copy, and we’ll do that. Also be sure
and ask NLPG for special discounts on bulk/case
quantities, which work well for Sunday school settings
and home studies.
A year ago, Gary had the idea for this book and
graciously asked me to be part of it. I must tell you,
too, that Gary’s whole approach to Bible prophecy
teaching is beautiful in my opinion. He keeps the main
thing the main thing, and doesn’t get distracted by
weird speculations and extra-biblical nonsense. I
appreciate that very much. As such,
The Miracle of Israel relies on Scripture itself, along with
incredible stories from the history of the Jewish
people, particularly in modern times. We also include
interesting “factoids” and other information useful to
the reader. The goal is to educate both Christians
and people who
have no faith, because, after all, most people do not
have a real understanding of the specialness of Israel
and the Jewish people.
for your help in getting this message out; I genuinely
love the readers of “Israel Watch,” and corresponding
with many of you. So remember,
get your specially signed copy of
The Miracle of
Feb 22, 2016
Don’t Be Distracted
“Yanush” Ben-Gal died this week.
Israeli general, a tank commander, had, like so many of
his colleagues, a glittering military career.
Distinguishing himself in the Six-Day War, and providing
key leadership under fire in the Yom Kippur War, Ben-Gal
also helped plan the Entebbe raid.
is perhaps even more fascinating.
Before I get to
that, I want to mention something else that happened
this week, within the Bible prophecy community, and then
circle back around to Ben-Gal.
A couple Bible
prophecy teachers are sparring over the timing of
certain prophetic passages, things obviously still
I am so tired of this stuff.
society is disintegrating, we are reaping the rotten
fruit of a century of scholarly attacks on the Bible
(and with it, generations of ill-equipped pastors), and
oh by the way, opportunities for sharing the Gospel have
never been greater.
(Thank goodness for teachers
like my friend, Gary Frazier, who keep the Good News at
the forefront of what they do.)
It is sadly
necessary to continually remind people that we have a
limited understanding of how certain Bible prophecies
will play out. We just can’t know certain things. The
chronology of wars predicted, the actual flow of
sequences in the very last days…most of this we cannot
ourselves predict with any real degree of accuracy.
Yet some insist on doing so. They immerse themselves
in details of battles and international and regional
alliances. They get into fights with colleagues over the
timing of the Tribulation, etc.
disservice they do to the Body.
Can we not keep
our eye on the ball? Can we not be satisfied that we are
privileged to live in the final days of world history,
from where the Lord will usher-in eternity? We live in
the time Israel is reborn. We live in the time
(painfully) in which the Church Visible is apostate.
Why engage in speculation? And usually it’s wrong
speculation, to boot!
Let me be clear: I do not
care to know the precise timing of the Gog-Magog War.
The public “out there” doesn’t care to know it. It will
happen when it happens and if we live long enough, we
will see it happen on our television screens.
What people are interested in is the fact that the world
is disintegrating, and individuals are rightly worried
about themselves and usually, their families and
friends. This is ripe Gospel timing. This is the great
At the same time, Bible prophecy
teachers and some students are enmeshed in intricate
timelines and personal mini-wars to prove they are
As I’ve said before, Israel lives right
now, and in precisely the way God foretold it literally
thousands of years ago. He predicted it when the
Egyptians were still a dominant world power! And it is
that Big Picture that we should focus on, in my humble
The international community is squeezing
Israel. The international community has lost whatever
moral compass it had, and condemns Israel in the most
heinous terms, while giving a pass to the real bad guys.
Is not this obvious, Big Picture stuff from
Bible prophecy? Read the Old Testament and you’ll have
all the amazement from prophecy you need.
sink into the mire of ego by focusing on precise timing
of future battles, etc?
Back to Ben-Gal.
He was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1936. Not a great
historical place and time to be a little boy.
family fled to the Soviet Union, but he and his sister
were separated from their parents. The elder Ben-Gals
later perished in the death camps, but the children made
their way to Palestine.
In 1973, Ben-Gal
commanded 7th Armored Corps. Two weeks before the
surprise attack by Egypt and Syria, Ben-Gal sensed
something was amiss. This set him apart from others in
the political and military echelons.
tanks poured over the Golan on the evening of October 7,
Ben-Gal’s men met them. Against 750 Syrian tanks, 175
Israeli tanks held off the invaders, losing dozens while
Three years later, Ben-Gal
helped formulate the plan that would take a strike force
of commandos to Uganda, to free 105 Jewish hostages held
by the Ugandans and terrorists from the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Do you see the point? God moves
through His history, and has miraculously preserved the
Jewish people exactly as He said He would. He has
raised-up His warriors for such a time as this.
Think of it: a terrified little boy flees the demonic
Hitler and in later life helps save his people.
There’s your Bible prophecy.
whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a
continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the
head of the wicked.
The fierce anger of the Lord
shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he
have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter
days ye shall consider it. (Jeremiah 30:23,24)
The Lord has raised-up, and is raising-up, a mighty army
filled with men like Avigdor Ben-Gal. He takes the
vulnerable out of danger and later uses them as His
instrument of punishment for the wicked.
He predicted He would.
The text of the Bible
itself is amazing enough. The prophecies therein are
incredible and worth our time to consider. As opposed to
looking at them and using our own intellects to
speculate on precise timing.
sharing Big Picture Bible prophecy with people, most of
whom have never opened a Bible. Talk to them about the
basic structure: God has promised to preserve His people
through history, so that they are in place to be His
instrument of justice.
The Jews have re-entered
History; they are sovereign in the land; the
international community hates them; the end-times
players are coming into focus.
The Gog-Magog War is coming. It will happen when the
Lord has determined it will happen. Any infighting among
prophecy teachers over that timing is a freewheeling
adventure in Missing the Point.
Feb 15, 2016
Why Israel? The AIFL and Church Outreach
For a long time, as I spoke in
churches around the country, I wondered what a
well-rounded Israel advocacy seminar might look like. As
an individual, I could do some things, but my expertise
only goes so far.
Enter some new friends.
The America-Israel Friendship
League was formed in 1971, with the purpose of
strengthening relationships between Israelis and
Americans. In the intervening years, the AIFL’s
delegations to Israel (which include students, state
attorneys general, and bloggers) have become a hallmark
of the organization, and have influenced like-minded
trips from other pro Israel groups.
In short, the AIFL staff and
leadership blend a secular seminar model with the proper
emotional component. The result is a nearly half-century
of deluxe advocacy.
Last year, I joined forces with
the AIFL for a very specific goal: engaging churches to
foster not just wider support for Israel, but deeper
support. The capper for me was the inclusion of two
friends, Dr. Uri Bar-Ner, and Dr. Alex Grobman. Uri is
the former Israeli ambassador to Turkey, while Alex is a
premier Holocaust scholar and great friend to
evangelicals. His books and lectures are solid-gold, and
I’ve personally benefitted from his teaching.
We’ve all been to Israel many
times (Uri lives there) and our knowledge and network of
friends is unique and especially valuable for American
church audiences, many of whom now are being confused by
advocates for the Palestinians.
We launched last year (in
“Why Israel?” seminar format, and the result was so
successful, we decided to get more ambitious for 2016.
Our topics range from the biblical truths about Israel
and the Jewish people, to diplomacy and global
Our 2016 itinerary is already
set (we might have a couple slots to squeeze in, if your
church is interested), and I’m looking at 2017.
Because some groups present only
a secular advocacy model, and others present “only” a
biblical component, audiences sometimes are left without
a well-rounded picture. I humbly think your congregation
would benefit greatly from hosting our team.
(An added value for a host
church: there’s no cost to you! We pay our own way. We
also do not penalize congregations from being small; we
are happy to go anywhere.)
Our seminar formats are varied
and flexible. If your church prefers a one, two, or
three-day seminar, we can do that. We are also happy to
come in for an information-packed evening.
If you are a pastor or
church leader who wants to explore having our
team come to you, just drop me a note. I’ll be happy to
provide you with more detail.
In only the past four years,
I’ve noticed a terrible uptick of pro Palestinian
propaganda coming into American churches. Why Israel? is
a specific corrective to that propaganda, and we stand
ready to serve you.
Feb 8, 2016
The Next White
House and Israel
Many of us are “issues” voters. In fact, who isn’t?
Leftists like to tag conservatives as “issues voters,”
then they do the same thing by voting for immoral
candidates who support abortion, etc.
But what kind of relationship will Israel have with
the next president?
That’s one of my issues.
We can predict fairly easily what the Democrat will
do, if one is elected. It will be at least four more
years of Obama’s anti-Semitic agenda. The only Democrat
currently running that has a chance of winning is
Hillary Clinton, and the sleazy Clinton has a
decades-long history of befriending the Palestinians.
Part of her email scandal involves her exchanges with
aids and advisors that show a clear hatred of the Jewish
state. Just get a load of her exchanges about Israel
with Sid Blumenthal.
Clinton was also deeply involved in her husband’s
pressuring of Netanyahu and Israel in the ‘90s. In
short, she is an old-school leftist who would be very
bad for Israel.
But what of the Republicans?
Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be much of an ideologue,
and that would probably be a benefit. He has done
business with Israelis and the relationship seems warm
and genuine, so his experience there would no doubt be
positive. No doubt he and Netanyahu would get along
I heard Ted Cruz a couple years ago speak at a
Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington. He
sounded like a Likudnik, a real Zionist who is a genuine
friend of Israel.
Marco Rubio also seems to have genuine affection for
Interestingly, I think it is the governors in the
race—Bush, Christie, Kasich—who would be decidedly less
friendly, but it’s a moot point because none will sniff
the White House.
Carly Fiorina I think would have made a good
president, and as my good friend Matt Buff explained the
other night on the “Israel Watch” radio program, Fiorina
might get a shot next time. She certainly is friendly
with the Israelis and Netanyahu.
The only Republican candidate (now former) who would
be indifferent at best (and probably hostile) toward
Israel is Rand Paul. Thankfully, Paul will never get
past the Senate.
Presidential candidates usually trot-out their
alleged support of Israel, then when they assume office,
that support disappears. But John Kasich’s recent
comments about Israel and the Obama Administration seem
genuine, and genuinely impressive:
“’Israel has given a lot of stuff back. They gave
Gaza back. How is that working out? They have everything
launching into Israel,’ Kasich said. ‘I don’t know how
you get a two-state solution when people are walking
into your country and stabbing people. I will say this:
Recognize the State of Israel, guarantee their permanent
security, stop launching Katyusha rockets into Israel,
stop sending in people with knives to kill people in
Israel — they went from rocks to knives now — and knock
it off. And then, I think you can get to a two-state
“Kasich asserted there will never be permanent peace
and Israel should search for stability.
“’Every day that you go by without there being major
problems there, that is a win,’ he said. ‘And I can tell
you, we are not going to bully Israel; it’s their
survival. It’s just very serious stuff. It’s like – man,
we want to survive.’” (Jerusalem Post)
One thing is certain: if a Republican wins the White
House come November, the dreadful damage done to our
relationship with the Jewish state, by Obama, will be
And that’s one big positive outcome of surviving
eight years of the Marxist.