by Shira Sorko-Ram
As far as the whole world is concerned, Israel stands nearly alone in the sea of 192 countries.
The United Nations is obviously a microcosm of the world’s human beings – sinners, mostly pagan, with rulers who are lost, corrupt and evil.
Not surprisingly, the U.N. is at the top of Israel’s list of most feared adversaries list.
The Israeli people feel that their military capacity can protect the nation physically. But it is the U.N. which works incessantly, relentlessly, to prevent Israel from protecting herself from those who wish to destroy her.
With no shame, the U.N. members sit in their pompous General Assembly meetings with vicious regimes regularly passing threatening resolutions against Israel.
This coming September Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his more “moderate” Fatah faction believed the time is ripe to petition the U.N. to pass a resolution declaring the 1949 cease-fire lines as today’s new borders for the yet-to-beborn Palestinian state.
Those ceasefire lines came into existence when a truce was called between Israel and the five warring Arab nations that had invaded the new-born state the day after Israel declared her independence.
Notice that I said “cease-fire lines,” because the Arabs have never accepted Israel as a Jewish state, and have never accepted any borders ever since Israel became a nation 63 years ago.
But now Abbas is claiming that the 1949 lines (also called the pre-1967 lines) are the real borders for Israel and for the new Palestinian state “according to international law,” – one of the Muslim’s favorite phrases.
Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist government ruling Gaza, recognizes no border and no Israel.
DEMANDS AND COUNTER-DEMANDS
To remind the reader, Israel’s requirements for the creation of a Palestinian state have always been the same:
1.Palestinians must recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
2.Palestinians must end terror.
3.Israel must have defensible borders – insisting the 1949 ceasefire lines are NOT defendable.
4.The Palestinian state must be demilitarized (so rockets will not rain down on Tel Aviv and the central part of Israel, as has happened with Hamas in the south).
5.The Western Wall and Jewish holy places in Jerusalem must remain under Israel’s sovereignty.
6.The cities and villages in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) where large Jewish populations live would remain under Israel’s sovereignty.
In turn, Israel would transfer to the Palestinian state equal amounts of land from Israel proper.
On the other hand, to make peace with Israel, the Palestinians’ demands are as follows:
1.The Palestinian state must have full authority over any type of government or military arrangements it desires.
2.The Old City of Jerusalem must be its capital – including the Western Wall, and all of Israel’s ancient holy sites.
3.Five million Arab “refugees” must be allowed to live in Israel as citizens (with voting rights of
4.The half-million Jews living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must be expelled – as were the 10,000 Jews from Gaza.
5.The “moderate” Palestinian Chairman Abbas continues to categorically refuse to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state to exist.
The PA has greatly reduced terror attacks but threatens to launch a Third Intifada if Israel does not meet its demands.
What can I say? It ain’t gonna happen! I mean, there is not going to be a negotiated peace agreement between the Jews and the Muslims.
HAMAS – RULER OF GAZA
When Israel pulled every last Israeli citizen out of the Gaza strip in 2005, the Gazans held an election and voted in a Hamas majority in the Gazan parliament, knowing that this movement existed for the purpose of destroying Israel.
But just being the majority in Gaza’s parliament wasn’t enough for Hamas; in 2007, they violently seized every governing infrastructure in Gaza from the Fatah faction by force – and created a terrorist dictatorship.
In so doing, they killed or expelled every Fatah military and security personnel.
There has been a bitter power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank for four years.
But lo! A move that surprised everyone including the U.S. and Israel!
In May of this year, Abbas’ Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza buried their differences and reunited, planning to set up a united government.
There are several reasons for this sudden unity.
Hamas is looking around the Arab world and sees that its patrons – especially Syria – are under great stress and may fall from power.
The head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Damascus, realizes there is a possibility he may have to find another place to move his operational base and all his long-range rockets he has been stashing away in Syrian military bases.
By reuniting with the Palestinian Authority, Hamas believes it can acquire more respectability on the coattails of the much admired statesman Abbas.
Abbas, on the other hand, has had a difficult time making his case to the U.N. for a Palestinian state because of the division between Fatah and Hamas.
He is hoping that a united Palestinian people will be more attractive in his bid to create a Palestinian state.
Certainly, the Arab League is ecstatic.
Amr Moussa, the outgoing chief of the Arab League – and a leading candidate in Egypt’s presidential race – optimistically told the Arab press, “The description of Hamas as a terrorist organization is over.”
Some European countries think this union signals a breakthrough.
Prime Minister Netanyahu sees it as a disaster. He knows that Israel can no more negotiate peace with Hamas than the U.S. can negotiate with Al Qaida.
Meanwhile Hamas is Hamas – an organization that was birthed for one reason and one reason only – to destroy Israel.
To make sure they are not misunderstood, Hamas leaders with their new unity status have reiterated their eternal hatred of Israel and their eternal goal to destroy the Jewish nation.
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar explained that he could never recognize Israel because that would mean the “5,000,000 Palestinian refugees” would lose their rights to live in Israel.
Translation: Five million Arab votes would gladly destroy the Israeli democratic state without firing a shot.
Israel reasons, does the U.S. negotiate with Al Qaida? If not, why not? Because the U.S. understands that the ideology of Al Qaida is to destroy America, Israel and the West, and to create a world-wide Islamic state.
Nothing to negotiate.
THE QUARTET’S THREE PRINCIPLES
So far, the U.S. has said it would not deal with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the Islamist group reforms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared that the Palestinian leaders must adopt the Quartet principles.
She was referring to the principles laid down by the U.S., E.U., Russia and the U.N., stating that the Palestinians must agree to the following:
1. Israel has a right to exist, 2. the Palestinians will renounce terror, and 3. respect treaties previously signed by the Palestinians with Israel.
The U.S. Congress remains very suspicious of Hamas’ intentions.
Indeed, the prospect of Hamas being part of a Palestinian government has already led to calls from Congress to suspend assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
The United States has given the PA $542 million since 2005 to train the Palestinians’ police organization, including $150 million this year. It stands to reason that as the two factions unite, Hamas will benefit from the U.S. training.
WHICH WAY WILL EUROPE GO?
As far as the U.N. is concerned, the critical question for Israel is what will Europe do?
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that if peace talks don’t progress, he will consider recognizing the Palestinian state.
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said the same thing. (You can imagine how much motivation there would be for the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel when they may be handed a sovereign state on a golden platter – with no obligations in return.)
Only Germany and Italy have flatly stated they will not support a Palestinian state with Hamas as a partner.
It must be noted there are some Israelis who think such a proclamation would be a good thing.
If terrorist attacks come from a sovereign state – such as the state of Palestine – say these optimists, Israel would have the right under international law (there’s that phrase again) to hold the Palestinian government responsible for attacks and could legally defend herself against another invading nation.
This would keep the U.N. off of Israel’s back, the thinking goes. (Israel, don’t hold your breath.)
To tell the truth, most Israelis feel a Palestinian state is inevitable. The pressure on Israel is almost unbearable.
The world is simply tired of hearing about the Israel-Palestinian conflict and believes the Palestinians deserve a break and Israel needs to do more to make it happen.
ISRAELI GOVERNMENT VERY CONCERNED
Indeed Israel’s government and security officials are very worried.
Their hope is that the unity pact between the PA and Hamas will simply fall apart over power struggles.
The idea that Israel, nine miles wide at its narrowest point, might, in the mad Middle East find a Palestinian independent nation with shaky Islamic leadership on her doorstep is causing a lot of Israel’s politicians to lose sleep.
Adding another neighbor-state that gives no guarantees to even accept Israel’s existence could hardly be expected to bring peace any closer to the Middle East.
If the world only knew they are negotiating land that God vowed to give to Israel as her inheritance. But the nations are planning to present it to the children of Allah.
If this plan were to succeed, to whom will Yeshua return when His feet touches the Mount of Olives? To the sound of the muezzin crying out from the mosque that Mohammed is Allah’s
Where will the King of Israel sit? In the Mosque of Omar?
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Messiah...
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”
Psalm 2:1, 2, 4-6
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY VS. ISRAEL
The U.N. stage is set. The General Assembly is always stacked against Israel.
First of all, there are 22 nations in the Arab League. No need to discuss their voting habits.
Secondly, there is the Organization of Islamic States, 57 in all, including the Arab League.
After that, there are about 115 nations under the NAM (Non-Aligned Members) umbrella which includes all the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic nations plus a large assortment of third-world countries and others who have joined NAM, mainly as a symbol of independence from the U.S. and western interests.
Since many U.N. General Assembly resolutions need only 51% of the 192 nations (96), there is never much of a problem passing anti-Israel resolutions.
And, in fact, if a 2/3rds majority is needed to pass an “important” resolution (128 votes), it is not difficult to make that happen either.
However, because an important Arab-initiated resolution also needs quality votes (from Western democratic nations) to be truly acceptable, and not just third world countries, Europe is pivotal.
Often, Europe votes with the Arab nations – not for moral reasons, but economic. The Arab nations hold serious leverage over European votes – because (of course) of oil.
SECURITY COUNCIL VS. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
A few technicalities: Only the U.N. Security Council with its five permanent members can pass binding resolutions such as creating a new state.
On the other hand, the General Assembly which gives each country one vote – whether it is China or Trinidad – can also pass resolutions, but they are nonbinding (except in certain internal decisions.)
However, the General Assembly has a caveat: If it cannot get what it wants from the Security Council because one or more permanent members use the veto, then it can convene a special session under a “Uniting for Peace” resolution that has more force than other resolutions.
A Uniting for Peace resolution can use “collective measures,” including the use of force.
The Palestinian Authority needs 128 votes in the General Assembly to pass its resolution for a Palestinian state.
P.A. Chairman Abbas hopes that “an overwhelming vote” in the GA will put pressure on President
Obama to not use a veto in the SC against the creation of a Palestinian state.
But even if Obama vetoes the U.N.’s attempt to create a Palestinian state, Abbas is hoping the momentum will cause the nations to ignore strict procedures in the U.N.’s charter – and international law – and just bulldoze the new Muslim state into existence.
Nations would be encouraged to bully and threaten sanctions against Israel if she did not accept the GA’s decision.
In this way, Abbas will have created a Palestinian state without having to promise Israel anything - no promise to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, no promise to stop all terror, no commitment to keep a Palestinian state demilitarized, and no promise to allow Israel to have defensible borders.
Back to Top
Blessing the Poor
By Chaim Goldberg
In recent weeks Hamas terrorists have resumed firing a barrage of rockets and mortars at our southern communities.
Recently a school bus was hit and destroyed, tragically killing a teenage boy. (The great miracle was that a couple of minutes before, most of the children had gotten off the bus.)
So as we headed south to the community of Kiryat-Gat in southern Israel for a special Passover outreach, our visit had heightened drama and importance.
Kiryat-Gat, a city of 52,000 souls is not only within the line of Hamas’ fire, it’s also suffering economically. Twenty-five percent of its citizens are ultra-Orthodox, and secular Jews there feel the growing pressure of creeping rabbinical domination.
Sixty percent of city residents are on welfare. Many are Russian immigrants who are still struggling to learn the Hebrew language and adapt to their new homeland.
When the city officials invited us as Messianic Jews to help their poorest among their non-Orthodox population, our humanitarian aid fund, istandwithisrael.com partnered with a local Messianic Jewish congregation to distribute much needed financial aid on the day before the start of Passover.
Israel Pochtar, a Messianic leader in Ashdod, organized the event, in collaboration with Kiryat-Gat’s Deputy Mayor Yakov Efraymov.
Israel Pochter (left) translates into Russian Ari’s message to the poor in Kiryat Gat, Israel
The light of Yeshua shines brightly in Israel Pochtar. He is passionate about serving his community and sharing the love of God with them.
That is precisely why the haters of Yeshua, known as Yad L’Achim, chose to stage their recent hatefest directly outside Pochtar’s congregational building.
It was there that Yad L’Achim compared him and all Messianic Jews to Hitler and demanded we be removed from the Jewish nation.
But to the people of Kiryat-Gat, Israel Pochtar and the Maoz representatives of the Messianic Jewish body were anything but ‘Hitler’ on this hot day in April (temperatures neared 100 degrees that day).
Quite the contrary, they brought light, life and love.
We arrived at one of several new youth community centers in Kiryat-Gat and were greeted by over 100 smiling faces.
Ari Sorko-Ram shared with them about God’s faithfulness. “I learned that the God of Israel’s hand is not short and we can not ‘out-give’ God,” Ari told the crowd.
Even as he spoke in Hebrew, Pochtar translated the message into Russian for the crowd.
Ari greets each of the 100 recipients of istandwithisrael.com’s passover gift coupons.
Israel Pochter (left) translates into Russian Ari’s message to the poor in Kiryat Gat, Israel
Rather than give each family a supply of food, as istandwithisrael.com has done in years past, this year we decided to give gift-cards which could be used at a variety of stores and shops, including grocery stores, clothing stores and others.
That way each family could meet their most crucial needs, as they saw fit – although most put it towards their Passover Festival, which would commence in less than 24 hours.
The gratitude and joy on the faces of each recipient was genuine and quite moving.
As Israel Pochtar put it: “I see it’s very important to help people, to encourage them because it’s not only money or food, it’s also hope and encouragement. And a lot of them really need someone who will encourage them and lift their spirits up and give them good hope.”
Back to Top
Dear Maoz Partner,
The outreach possibilities that God has granted to Maoz are amazing. Everywhere we look we see opportunities to touch lives!
One of our greatest joys is blessing the poor among the Messianic believers of Israel through istandwithisrael.com.
We see the results throughout the country – where we have been able to bring financial help to the truly destitute at critical times when misfortune touches God’s children. When congregations suffer because of religious persecution, Maoz contributors are there to help.
“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psalms 41:1)
Not only do your gifts to istandwithisrael.com help the poorest and neediest, they also give opportunity to the next generation of believers.
By offering language courses for new immigrants, career courses for those without skills and university opportunities for young on-fire Israelis so that they can really develop their natural God-given talents, we are increasing the spiritual and material capabilities of the growing Messianic movement in Israel.
And that’s not all. Sometimes the Lord places in front of us opportunities to reach out to the secular community, letting them know that Jews who believe in Yeshua and Christians around the world have been given a generous and loving heart for their fellow man.
When there were raging fires near Haifa, we were there to help. When bombs were raining down in Sderot, we were there.
The people of Kiryat Gat will not forget our help. We pray that as times become increasingly difficult and stressful in Israel, these people will cry out and ask God to show them where to seek and find Him.
Even as we rejoice in delivering these gifts, we know that our first calling is to preach the Gospel to the lost and disciple those followers of Yeshua that God has entrusted to us.
To do that, we need your help every single month!
Not long ago a scholarly paper was given to us from the “Stanford Social Innovation Review.” The name of the article was “The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle.” The essence of the paper affirmed that contributors to charitable organizations love to give to projects, but in order for those organizations to function efficiently and effectively, they must have regular funds for their infrastructure. Only then can they really do the work driven by the vision of the leaders of the organization.
With our A Team of laborers in Maoz on the ground in Israel, and our faithful partners like you, we are able to reach out in so many areas – our congregational life, translating literature, national conferences (just finished a very successful one with John Maxwell’s EQUIP team) and most recently, our media endeavors.
Our media and communication personnel are opening brand new doors for reaching the Israeli people through Internet – perhaps the greatest vehicle ever for bringing the Gospel to Israel. Here’s the bottom line...
When you give to the poor, you are blessed according to the Word of God.
When you give for the preaching of the Gospel and discipling of the believers, you are fulfilling the Great Commission.
Whatever God lays on your heart, you are helping to bring closer that great promise when ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED!
May the God of peace and salvation return to you many-fold your gifts to the Israeli people.
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. Along with your regular gift this month, we ask you to consider an additional gift to the poor through istandwithisrael.com. Many lives will be touched by your love!
Back to Top