By Shani Sorko-Ram Ferguson
I must admit, this Iran thing has me stumped. Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has spent years pursuing nuclear capabilities for his stated purpose of “creating cheaper electricity for the people of Iran.” No one really believes him and many attempts have been made by Western countries to “discourage” Iran’s obvious pursuit of nuclear weapons. All along, although Iran has stalwartly denied its intention to use the nuclear power for weapons, it has repeatedly called for the destruction of the “cancerous” Jewish state.
Iranian Ayatollah Rafsanjani was quoted as saying, “The use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything; however it would only [slightly] harm the Islamic world.” This is an interesting observation since no other Muslim country in the Near East currently has a nuclear weapon they could use against Israel.
With such musings coming from a nation obviously striving to become a nuclear power, the question we are left with is, “Should Israel attempt to take out Iran’s nuclear plants while there is still a chance for success or should she wait for a possible diplomatic breakthrough as the result of sanctions and economic pressure?”
War with radical Islam is always fascinating when it comes to the rhetoric. I’m guessing it’s the influence of the poetic grandiloquence of the Quran, but no one describes how they are going to kill you in more beautiful oratory than Muslim terrorists.
Israel (and America) has been described as “a cancer that must be purged,” “an infectious disease that will be eradicated,” “a regime to be eliminated from the pages of history” “a snake that will be cut into pieces” and my personal favorite: “rats that will die in the tunnels (military bunkers) we dig.”
Should Israel attack preemptively in self-defense, Iran has promised that Israel will “meet her death swiftly.” Should Israel not strike Iran, Iran has promised to pursue its goal of wiping Israel off the map, presumably using a slower method.
WHAT IF ISRAEL DOES NOT STRIKE?
In an article written two years ago (little has changed) in The Atlantic magazine, Jeffery Goldberg offers disturbing insight into the repercussions of an unopposed nuclear Iran.
He said while many might assume the day Iran gets a nuclear bomb they would launch it towards Israel, it is more likely they will first use it to solidify their dominance in the Middle East. This would create two dynamics that would change the face of the Middle East forever.
For the larger Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, a nuclear Iran would spur a catastrophic arms race. Building their own nuclear capabilities would serve as a critical self-defense mechanism against the bully Iran. However, given the instability of leadership in the Middle East those nukes would always be one coup away from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations. And even in “safe” hands they could just as well be used against Israel.
However, smaller Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar would not have the capabilities of creating such weaponry. The ambassador of the UAE, Yousef al-Otaiba explains, “If America allows Iran to cross the nuclear threshold, these countries would have no choice but to leave the American orbit and ally themselves with Iran, out of self-protection.” Arab leaders have not so quietly warned that America’s standing in the Middle East will depend on whether it confronts Iran or not on this issue.
Israeli leaders fear that even if Iran did not bomb Israel right away, the beleaguered nation would no longer be perceived as a safe haven for the Jewish people. Israeli universities are already expressing alarm that Israel’s greatest assets - its human resources such as scientists, researchers and hi-tech engineers who could easily find work abroad - would simply begin to disappear. Israel’s entrepreneurs would look for greener pastures as global investors became less generous. The fact is that last week a poll in Israel reported that half of all Israelis are fearful or very fearful that a war with Iran could eradicate the nation. Half of Israel is that afraid.
For the whole world, the price of oil could easily double or triple with an Iran in control of the Persian Gulf - affecting everything that is transported by truck, plane or ship, not to speak of your personal gas tank. Experts fear such a spike in the cost of living could plunge America into a bottomless depression.
So if Israel does NOT strike Iran, Iran wins. After all, the bringing down of America is the ultimate vision of Iran. Israel is geographically more accessible to Iran, and thus an easier initial target but it is not the end goal. America, affectionately referred to as the Great Satan by radical Islam, is the prized Jewel of the West.
WHAT IF ISRAEL DOES STRIKE?
On the other hand, should Israel decide to take the path of a preemptive strike on Iran, things are also dreadfully complex. Picture some 100 Israeli fighter jets of various types (about all we could put in the air) flying to Iran over Saudi Arabian or Azerbaijani airspace (who might secretly allow a flyover). The jets would fire on their targets, refuel (somehow) and quickly return to Israel to defend against the tens of thousands of rockets Hezbollah (Iran’s proxy) would be expected to immediately fire on Israeli cities from Lebanon. Egypt has also promised to join Iran in the counterattack.
Israel would only get one chance. If by some miracle Saudi Arabia risked Iran’s wrath and allowed Israel to fly over its airspace, its government could never allow Israel a second time without risking almost certain ferocious attacks from Iran.
The UN with its Arab and Muslim majority would be churning out mountains of resolutions demanding sanctions to cut Israel off from every possible economic and military source. Israel would be left standing alone - a leper - both diplomatically and militarily.
With that firestorm, Israel would also have to deal with a possible backlash from Washington. If Ahmadinejad keeps his promise to drag America into the conflict and American assets come under attack she would have the choice to do nothing and look utterly weak or respond and risk being dragged into World War III.
Some have argued that should Iran obtain nuclear weapons they could still be restrained from using them as was true of the USSR during the Cold War. People who believe this simply do not understand the ideology behind Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The former Soviet Union may have wanted to be the dominant power in the world, but they also wanted to be alive to enjoy it. And if they couldn’t live to enjoy it, it wasn’t worth attaining. In other words, the idea of mutually assured destruction of the USSR in a nuclear war with the United States was the deterrent that kept everyone’s nukes at bay.
Not so with Iran. (See Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech) Iran’s leaders believe that in order to bring about the return of the Mahdi - a sort of Muslim messiah - the world must be washed in blood. This means the thought of mass chaos and destruction only adds appeal to the initial goal of destroying Israel - and the ultimate goal of destroying the West (which likely includes your home).
The subject of Israel’s survival is a complex topic to discuss with people who don’t live here because you often get either the optimists who promise you, “God will not let anything happen to the Jewish people,” or the eschatology buff’s approach of, “Well, it’s part of prophecy that Israel is going to suffer the loss of millions. Not much you can do about it.”
To the optimists I say - I lived through more than half a dozen wars in Israel including the first and second Intifada. I can attest that even in the wars where Israel miraculously won - Jews died. And to the eschatology people I say, “If the police in your neighborhood told you, “The Bible says in the last days lawlessness will rule the world so why bother trying to protect your family,” you would be outraged. It is unreasonable for any Christian to sit back and claim ‘absolute protection’ or ‘inevitable destruction’ as an excuse not to get on his or her knees and intercede for God to intervene.
I am confident the Jewish people will ultimately survive. But how many Jews will survive is still up for grabs in my mind. Biblically, the amount of protection Israel enjoys is directly affected by the amount of prayer that is sent up to heaven by believers worldwide on her behalf (See Ezekiel 22:30 and the Book of Esther).
So on behalf of all of us whose lives and homes depend on how all this unfolds, we covet your prayers for God to intervene. Outside of an enormous miracle on the scope of the Six Day War when Israel pushed back the attacking Muslim nations and captured the ancient city of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai Desert in six days, tiny Israel will be severely attacked and battered by literally thousands of rockets.
In the natural, Iran has us in checkmate. But God’s wisdom always surpasses even the most intricate of enemy plans. The Scriptures recount a number of times when the city of Jerusalem or the nation of Israel lay besieged by armies many times her size. The people of Israel cried out to God and out of nowhere the enemy camps were filled with confusion and began to fight among themselves. On some level, we see that very dynamic unfolding in the Middle East today as many Arab nations, including Israel’s sworn enemy Syria, are consumed with infighting.
As people who love God and the life He gives, we do not wish demise for any. We pray for the salvation of the Arab nations and the protection of those who already worship the Living God in their midst. However, we realize that in reality there are those who choose the path of sin and destruction. And when entire societies embrace a religion that glorifies death, it should be no surprise when violence overtakes them. Remember, ultimately this conundrum in the Middle East is not about Iran’s dominance over Israel but about Allah’s dominance over Yahweh, the God of Israel. Allah loses.
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Iran's Ambitions and Israel's Red Line
Excerpts from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
speech to the U.N.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.
The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dream of returning to our ancient homeland.
Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.
We will never be uprooted again.
EXCEPTIONAL CREATIVITY OF ISRAELIS
In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.
In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.
Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.
These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.
Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians - all are equal before the law.
Israel is also making the world a better place: Our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.
Recently, I was deeply moved when I visited Technion, one of our technological institutes in Haifa, and I saw a man paralyzed from the waist down climb up a flight of stairs, quite easily, with the aid of an Israeli invention.
And Israel’s exceptional creativity is matched by our people’s remarkable compassion. When disaster strikes anywhere in the world - in Haiti, Japan, India, Turkey Indonesia and elsewhere - Israeli doctors are among the first on the scene, performing life-saving surgeries.
ISRAEL YEARNS FOR PEACE
In the past year, I lost both my father and my father-in-law. In the same hospital wards where they were treated, Israeli doctors were treating Palestinian Arabs. In fact, every year, thousands of Arabs from the Palestinian territories and Arabs from throughout the Middle East come to Israel to be treated in Israeli hospitals by Israeli doctors.
It’s because Israel cherishes life, that Israel cherishes peace and seeks peace.
We seek to preserve our historic ties and our historic peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. We seek to forge a durable peace with the Palestinians.
RADICAL ISLAM SEEKS WORLD CONQUEST
Yet the medieval forces of radical Islam, whom you just saw storming the American embassies throughout the Middle East, they oppose this.
They seek supremacy over all Muslims. They are bent on world conquest. They want to destroy Israel, Europe, America. They want to extinguish freedom. They want to end the modern world.
Militant Islam has many branches - from the rulers of Iran with their Revolutionary Guards to Al Qaeda terrorists to the radical cells lurking in every part of the globe.
But despite their differences, they are all rooted in the same bitter soil of intolerance. That intolerance is directed at anyone who doesn’t submit to their unforgiving creed.
I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
LEARN FROM THE PAST
Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
It makes no difference whether these lethal weapons are in the hands of the world’s most dangerous terrorist regime or the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization. They’re both fired by the same hatred; they’re both driven by the same lust for violence.
IRANIAN REGIME’S RECORD
Just look at what the Iranian regime has done up till now, without nuclear weapons.
In 2009, they brutally put down mass protests for democracy in their own country. Today, their henchmen are participating in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, including thousands of children, directly participating in this murder.
They abetted the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan. Before that, Iranian proxies killed hundreds of American troops in Beirut and in Saudi Arabia. They’ve turned Lebanon and Gaza into terror strongholds, embedding nearly 100,000 missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Thousands of these rockets and missiles have already been fired at Israeli communities by their terrorist proxies.
In the last year, they’ve spread their international terror networks to two dozen countries across five continents - from India and Thailand to Kenya and Bulgaria. They’ve even plotted to blow up a restaurant a few blocks from the White House in order to kill a diplomat.
And of course, Iran’s rulers repeatedly deny the Holocaust and call for Israel’s destruction almost on a daily basis, as they did again this week from the United Nations.
So I ask you, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons. Imagine their long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads, their terror networks armed with atomic bombs.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu draws a red line, which if crossed, would mean
it will no longer be possible to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAMISTS AND MARXISTS
Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?
There are those who believe that a nuclear-armed Iran can be deterred like the Soviet Union.
That’s a very dangerous assumption.
Militant Jihadists behave very differently from secular Marxists. There were no Soviet suicide bombers. Yet Iran produces hordes of them.
Deterrence worked with the Soviets, because every time the Soviets faced a choice between their ideology and their survival, they chose their survival.
But deterrence may not work with the Iranians once they get nuclear weapons.
There’s a great scholar of the Middle East, Prof. Bernard Lewis, who put it best. He said that for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.
Iran’s apocalyptic leaders believe that a medieval holy man will reappear in the wake of a devastating Holy War, thereby ensuring that their brand of radical Islam will rule the earth.
That’s not just what they believe. That’s what is actually guiding their policies and their actions.
Shockingly, some people have begun to peddle the absurd notion that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually stabilize the Middle East.
That’s like saying a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda would usher in an era of universal peace.
FIFTEEN YEARS OF WARNING
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’ve been speaking about the need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons for over 15 years.
I spoke about it in my first term in office as Prime Minister, and then I spoke about it when I left office. I spoke about it when it was fashionable, and I spoke about it when it wasn’t fashionable.
I speak about it now because the hour is getting late, very late. I speak about it now because the Iranian nuclear calendar doesn’t take time out for anyone or for anything. I speak about it now because when it comes to the survival of my country, it’s not only my right to speak; it’s my duty to speak.
For nearly a decade, the international community has tried to stop the Iranian nuclear program with diplomacy.
That hasn’t worked.
Iran uses diplomatic negotiations as a means to buy time to advance its nuclear program.
For over seven years, the international community has tried sanctions with Iran. Under the leadership of President Obama, the international community has passed some of the strongest sanctions to date.
It’s had an effect on the economy, but we must face the truth. Sanctions have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program either.
RED LINES PREVENT WARS
At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs. That’s by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Red lines don’t lead to war; red lines prevent war.
Look at NATO’s charter: it made clear that an attack on one member country would be considered an attack on all. NATO’s red line helped keep the peace in Europe for nearly half a century.
President Kennedy set a red line during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That red line also prevented war and helped preserve the peace for decades.
In fact, it’s the failure to place red lines that has often invited aggression.
If the Western powers had drawn clear red lines during the 1930s, I believe they would have stopped Nazi aggression and World War II might have been avoided.
In 1990, if Saddam Hussein had been clearly told that his conquest of Kuwait would cross a red line, the first Gulf War might have been avoided.
Clear red lines have also worked with Iran.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormouz. The United States drew a clear red line and Iran backed off.
A red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: on Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium.
HOW TO MAKE A BOMB
For Iran, amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse [detonator].
For a country like Iran, it takes many, many years to enrich uranium for a bomb. That requires thousands of centrifuges spinning in tandem in very big industrial plants. Those Iranian plants are visible and they’re still vulnerable.
In contrast, Iran could produce the nuclear detonator - the fuse - in a lot less time, maybe under a year, maybe only a few months.
The detonator can be made in a small workshop the size of a classroom. It may be very difficult to find and target that workshop, especially in Iran. That’s a country that’s bigger than France, Germany, Italy and Britain combined.
The same is true for the small facility in which they could assemble a warhead or a nuclear device that could be placed in a container ship. Chances are you won’t find that facility either.
So in fact the only way that you can credibly prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, is to prevent Iran from amassing enough enriched uranium for a bomb.
So, how much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb? And how close is Iran to getting it?
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
[Netanyahu presents his diagram of a bomb representing three stages of enriching uranium.]
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer, at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and [will] move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks, before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a pilgrimage to Mecca.
READ IT ONLINE
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
[Netanyahu draws a red line at the top of the second stage.]
The red line should be drawn right here - before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb.
Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency.
All [the] leading intelligence agencies are superb, including ours. But they are not foolproof.
For over two years, our intelligence agencies didn’t know that Iran was building a huge nuclear enrichment plant under a mountain.
Do we want to risk the security of the world on the assumption that we would find in time a small workshop in a country half the size of Europe?
WHEN WILL IT BE TOO LATE?
The relevant question is not when Iran will get the bomb. The relevant question is at what stage can we no longer stop Iran from getting the bomb.
The red line must be drawn on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target.
I believe that faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down.
Two days ago, from this podium, President Obama reiterated that the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be contained.
We share the goal of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program. This goal unites the people of Israel. It unites Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, and it is shared by important leaders throughout the world.
Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue, and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together.
The traditions of the Jewish people go back thousands of years. We heed the words of the Jewish prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Jeremiah to treat all with dignity and compassion, to pursue justice and cherish life and to pray and strive for peace.
These are the timeless values of my people and these are the Jewish people’s greatest gift to mankind.
Let us commit ourselves today to defend these values so that we can defend our freedom and protect our common civilization.
Speech given to the U.N. General Assembly, September 27, 2012.
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Helping One of Our Heroes of the Faith
by Chaim Goldberg
Pastor Umar and Evelyn Mulinde from Uganda, now residing in Israel for medical care.
The mask which Umar has worn for months, helps to smooth the skin that has been grafted to his face.
When I was in the seventh grade, I met Rosa Parks. Yes, ‘the’ Rosa Parks, as in the woman who is credited with being the “mother of the American Civil Rights Movement.”
I met her at the Bar Mitzvah of my best friend. As part of the Bar Mitzvah service he had to write some sort of “book report.” He chose to write his report on Mrs. Parks.
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan where Mrs. Parks lived in her latter years. Somehow my friend’s family got word to her about the event and invited her to attend. When my friend finished reading his essay, honoring the achievements of Mrs. Parks, he then recognized her in the audience and asked her to stand.
All of us sitting in that synagogue were stunned that she was in attendance. Not only did I not know she was there, that evening, I didn’t even know she was still alive! I had learned about her in Social Studies/History class. I just assumed that everyone in my history books, was…HISTORY! George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks…long gone, from another era.
But there she was, alive and well, at my friend’s Bar Mitzvah! And so it was this past week, when I met another figure that could easily be assumed to live in the “history books”, a man by the name of Pastor Umar Mulinde.
Fruma and Bob Knight, hosting the Mulinde family while in Israel.
Many of us believe that the “heroes” of the faith are confined to the elegant words of Hebrews 11 and other fantastical chapters in the Bible. Abraham, Moses, David, Paul…they weren’t like us. They were “super-human,” with super-hero abilities. We read about the highs and lows of their lives, and the way they changed history. And deep down we think of them as almost legendary in their lifestyle and perseverance for God.
But in actuality, they weren’t so different from us. They were flesh and blood human beings, who woke up every day and had a choice to make; will I live my life for God today, no matter the challenges…or will I live for myself according to the ways of the world? On the days they chose the former… God used them to change the world.
And so it is with us today. The same two options and the same possibility for worldaltering “greatness.”
Umar Mulinde had much of his fate seemingly mapped out by birth and geography. He was born in the 20th century, in Uganda, Africa. That should have been the end of the story. Africa, poverty, disease, early death. It’s the pattern countless millions find themselves trapped in, each day. But that was not to be Umar’s path.
Umar was a Muslim. Life for a Muslim in Uganda is easier. Go along, get along, don’t make waves and you can live mostly without hassle. But then something unexpected and perhaps unwanted happened to Umar. He heard the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and his life was forever changed.
Soon Umar grew in his faith and at some point he was not only a “believer” but he became a pastor/teacher, leading a congregation and even appearing on television in Uganda. God used his testimony and his teachings to touch the hearts of many including Muslims. Countless Ugandans began renouncing Islam and embracing Yeshua. It was a miraculous revival causing the heavens to rejoice and Satan to panic.
Not only did Umar’s heart turn away from the darkness of Islam, it also turned away from the blind hatred of Israel. The more Umar learned of God’s love for the Jewish nation, the more his own love for Israel grew. In Umar’s church hang two flags; the flag of Uganda and the flag of Israel. And he shared that love with his congregation and in large campaigns, encouraging them to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Umar was becoming a force for Christianity in Uganda. And the Muslims knew they had to do something to stop him. They plotted and planned and when they had the opportunity, they pounced. In a flash, in an instant, Umar was attacked. Not with a gun or even a knife. Umar was attacked with liquid acid. A quick death was not to be his fate. No, the plan was to torture. To disfigure and ultimately to silence.
That was their plan, but God had a very different idea. Instead of silencing Umar, the attack only relocated him. Today Umar is in Israel.
When the Israeli government together with Orthodox Jewish organizations heard about what this Christian pastor and Lover of Israel had suffered, they immediately arranged to bring him to Israel where he has received 100% free hospitalization and the finest medical care possible. (Israel has very advanced medical technology and experience in its burn units because of the reoccurring wars.)
The Mulinde four-year-old twins, Calev and Yeshoshua,
named after the two Hebrew spies who cambe back to Moses
with a good report.
After a number of months in the hospital with numerous skin operations, he was deemed strong enough to be an outpatient. He would continue the numerous operations on his body at no cost. But he would have to pay for his living expenses.
That is where Maoz partners came to the rescue. After writing about Umar’s story in the Maoz Israel Report, funds came pouring in - enough that we have been able to support him for the last six months and also bring his wife and four-year-old twins from Uganda to be with him. And we have enough funds designated for him that will supply their needs for several more months. We want to thank every single one of you who helped this family that has endured the most terrible persecution imaginable.
Furthermore, Bob and Fruma Knight, long time active members of our Congregation Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv, invited this family with their two active four-year-olds to live with them as long as Umar needs medical care. The twins are actually in kindergarten learning Hebrew!
Yes, Umar is currently disfigured. But silent he is not. Despite the terrible physical pain he’s in, Umar continues to preach the Gospel. Only now he does so in Israeli Messianic Jewish congregations. In between excruciating procedures to re-build his eye-lid, eye-socket, nose and ear, he shares the love of Yeshua with his Israeli doctors. Yes, what the devil meant for evil, God is using for good. Umar’s story has been well publicized throughout Israel - a Muslim who became a Christian who now loves Israel and teaches his nation to do the same.
By now some Israelis are perhaps seeing a pattern. Mosab Hassan Yousef was the son of one of the founders of Hamas. He is now a born-again Christian, and has even worked with Israeli intelligence to help thwart terror attacks. Taysir Abu Saada was the personal driver for Yasser Arafat, and an admitted terrorist himself. Today he is a born-again believer in Yeshua, who preaches around the world about his love for the God of Israel and the people of Israel.
And so it is with Umar. Not content just to have a private faith in God, he speaks out to everyone and anyone who will listen. It’s because of that he was attacked. And it’s because of that, he joins the list of saints worthy of entry into the history books.
Chaim Goldberg is director of Maoz Media
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What an exciting new chapter we are beginning in the history of Maoz Israel Ministries.
Most of you know about our awesome congregation in Tel Aviv (Tiferet Yeshua), our humanitarian aid work through “istandwithisrael.com” and of course our translating and publishing of books of faith into Hebrew.
Well, by the grace of God, Maoz Israel now has an Internet website channel. (And we’ve just begun!) It’s called “ViewThis.com” and is the brainchild of a talented Israeli media team.
Over a year ago, we began work on producing original video content by Israelis for Israelis.
Up until now, the focus of Maoz’ video efforts have been short-films in English for our friends and supporters around the world. It’s our desire to educate and inform Christians about news from Israel and updates of the work of Maoz.
But it has always been our prayer to produce videos in Hebrew, to reach Israelis with the Gospel of Yeshua. This last year, our prayers began to bear fruit.
Our team has toiled to come up with “show” ideas, to write scripts and to try to produce content on a shoe-string budget with a very small staff.
At the same time, we also had to develop the website that would in the future act as the “virtual TV channel” to host or stream the content.
As the months went by, the staff grew. Slowly as the resources allowed, the website got closer to completion and the finished episodes began to pile up. We soon felt this long-held dream would finally come to life.
One of Israel’s most gifted Messianic Jewish scholars by the name of Leehee Anav is doing a special weekly series for ViewThis.com, sharing the weekly Torah portion from a Messianic Jewish perspective.
And this is just one of the great new shows we’re excited to launch.
We’ll have a video daily devotional series. Great teachings from native Israeli believers sharing God’s word. We’ll have music videos with Israeli Messianic Jewish artists sharing their original songs. And that’s just the start.
Our prayer is that ViewThis.com will reach Israelis, in their language, on every computer, smart-phone and tablet across this beautiful country. That it will reach those seeking to know God and those searching for answers to life’s most important questions.
Please pray for our team, that God will inspire us with more and more fantastic creative ideas and that every Israeli will be telling their friends to: “View This” new site!
And by the way, even if you don’t read Hebrew, take a look at our new website: “www.viewthis.com”!
Dear Maoz Partner,
Our lives have changed forever. Especially this last decade.
When we work with our three graphic artists, we have multiple ways of contacting them - even though they are in Tel Aviv, Peru and Florida - by Skype, Viber, Internet telephone etc.
In Israel 3.5 million mobile phones are sold - every year! And that’s with a population of only seven million people, including babies.
The iPad is everywhere. Even the Talmud and other rabbinical books are now ebooks!
And Israel is the second highest user of Internet in the world! (Only Canada is higher.) 85% of Israeli households own computers.
This is a whole new harvest field that has opened up to us in the last number of years. The devil is so aware of this field - with his porn, violence and blasphemy flooding the Internet.
But the Internet has also opened to us, the Messianic Jews of Israel, a whole new way of reaching multitudes of Israelis with the Way to Eternal life. And with this tool no one can stop us!
In utilizing Internet, however, we must use professional people - video photographers, scriptwriters, designers, directors, producers, etc. But the results can be phenomenal.
For some of the older generation, Internet may not be a huge attraction. But for the 21st century generation of Israelis - many who are seeking and searching - Internet and social networking are the center of their lives.
We want to use these fantastic tools to our fullest capacity.
We believe that God allowed this technology to come into existence to help bring the Gospel to every creature. And with this Hebrew website we want to ultimately reach our nation. If you feel the same, then we invite you to partner with us in investing in this awesome tool for Israel.
And we do need your prayers that our quality will far surpass our natural abilities!
Since the Word of God says, “All Israel shall be saved,” and “their acceptance [will be] life from the dead” [for the world], what can each one of us say but, “Lord! Send me!”
Yes, when we see an open door here in Israel to reach our people, we say, "Lord, Open It Wide! We’re coming through!"
For Israel’s salvation,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. When you help our Internet outreach team bring the gospel in Hebrew, you will be part of taking the gospel to the Jew first!
P.P.S. Check out our new Hebrew site www.viewthis.com even if you don’t read Hebrew!
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