Evil reincarnated from the past

Haven’t felt like doing much writing, despite much going on the middle east and my new life in London.

I honestly can’t remember when the news was more depressing than this, with war between Israel and Gaza, Iraq and Syria having their own citizens murdered, victims mostly Christian.   Meanwhile naive one-sided white middle class people who don’t know much about middle east history put on kefiyah scarfs and join pro-Palestinian rallies with Muslim people in UK and Europe, and make a nuisance of themselves outside Tescos, but choose to ignore the bigger picture of the often turbulent middle east.

“Boycott Israel”  says your average liberal, leftist, vegan for Palestine, from their iPhone which contains memory chips and 3G technology developed in the only democracy in the middle east.  During the time of the Nazis, Hitler’s Germany had a similar idea to boycott the Jews of Europe.

This got me thinking about the names of today’s enemies of decent civilisation.

HAMAS the terrorism group who run the Gaza strip, their name comprises of an acronym in Arabic.   When transliterated into Hebrew, these five letters are pronounced “חמס” the word for violence.

ISIS is the group currently wiping out the Iraqi Christians at the moment, which bizarrely also a pagan god of Egypt long before Islam.

I was reading a while back also that some churches in Norway were set of fire by members of some heavy metal bands.   Most heavy metal music I have heard has a lot of lyrics about revenge, bitterness, anger, darkness and hatred towards God.   I want to Finland about 11 years ago, the Nordic countries seem to be the metal capital of the world.  Some of the more extreme metal bands contain lyrics and culture related to Norse gods like Thor.     This got me thinking this part of the dominant religious system in this region over a thousand years ago.

Its ironic how evil can be around in society for millennia only to come back with a similar legacy that the world has forgot.

Antiwar Israelis protest in the streets

Few days ago, before the first rocket went in Jerusalem, I was walking along King George Street after visiting a friend to see people with banners and posters being waved and beating a drum.    These Israelis are anti-war protesters that don’t want a ground invasion of Gaza.    Almost everyone here doesn’t want a war.  Those called for duty in the army having a willingness to defend their nation though.

However most people don’t want to be a doormat to terrorists so making sure all traces of terrorist infrastructure are gone from Gaza seems the right idea.

I am not sure how these people propose to fix the issues of rockets coming 20, 40 or 75Km away from Gaza into your own communities though.

Maybe they could protest through the streets of Beer Sheva or Ashdod which is Hamas’s favourite target practice at the moment.

Hamas in Hebrew

A local Israeli I work with told me something interesting today:-

The word Hamas, the political movement that controls the Gaza strip, has eerily similar word in Hebrew.

I am not going to tell you, you have to find out for yourself:- 🙂

http://translate.google.com/

here is the text you need to copy and paste into:

חמס

Here is Psalms 140 in Hebrew which it also occurs in.  Click on above link or click here http://study.interlinearbible.org/psalms/140.htm (if you have a Windows XP computer you might need to add Hebrew support to read this)

Israel now threatened by 75km missiles

This blog has been quiet for a while, but life for me has been anything but.

Just reading today about new Iranian Fajr missiles which hit south part of Tel Aviv today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fajr-5

These things have upto 75km radius, most of Israel is now under threat.    Already we had GRAD missiles which can hit Sderot, Beer Sheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, and a new threat with attacks from Syria, which may have been a mistake from their own in fighting.

This country needs your prayers more than ever, but also the civilian population of Gaza which will inevitably get caught in the middle.

I will report soon on the measures my work and the government have recommended us to take.

 

Double celebrations! Sukkot in Jerusalem and Gilad Schalit’s release

During Sukkot, there is a march through the city each year, usually people from different government organisations like the army, the Magon David ambulance, El-Al airlines etc as well as groups of Christians from all over the world with flags from their respective countries.

The event was just over as I took this stretched picture, but people were sitting on hotel balconies and out in the street with armed guards and buses parked sideways in the roads as make shift barricades.

I heard on the news about the real possibility of abducted soldier Gilad Schalit and thought I would believe it when I see it, knowing that terrorist organisations should be not be trusted with any kind of deal.   It amazes me to think that a swap of 1,000 Palestinian terrorists for one soldier has not been condemned as wrong or immoral by the UN, Red Cross, any moderate Islamic organisations or indeed any nation at all.   A large number of these Palestinians were jailed for suicide bombings and other appalling tragedies.   Nevertheless this shows the people of Israel’s value of human life, I think Yeshua’s story about the lost sheep is quite relevant here: Luke 15 : 3-7

I had to run some errands for some people at work which involved taking a 8 mile or so ride in a car to drop off some food for a staff meeting.  On the way was a helicopter close to a main road that had either just landed or about take off next to a police station. Quite possibly part of the process of releasing the prisoners.

I have been praying for Gilad and written some updates here as I used to pass tents campaigning for his release every day.

https://britinjerusalem.com/2009/10/02/succot-and-gilat-shalit-video/

https://britinjerusalem.com/2010/08/18/kidnapped-gilad-shalit-4-years-on 

Later on I went to a convenience store to get something for lunch to see a 5 second video of Gilad drinking a bottle of water next to a helicopter and smiling, so this was proof Gilad was coming home and so desperately what the people of this nation wanted to see, although there was understandable anguish from families who had lost loved ones to terrorism.

If you see the tall overhead traffic light in the above picture, if you turn right, this heads down Berlin Street, just a few yards down there is the Gilad Schalit tent which I have visited before.   This place is a kind of protest structure and shrine to this young man locked up for 5 years.

Outside this spot, there isn’t as many people as I thought, but the atmosphere is still buzzing!!

Here, I got to watch the TV on a projector as they showed Gilad in a car been taken to his parents house in the upper Galilee, there is a emotional sense of satisfaction as it shows the front door of his family’s home shut giving him some much needed privacy and he looked clearly pale and disoriented when on the TV.

This was a really good to be in this city when this history making event happened.

I think we need thanks for our loving Father in heaven that has been a happy ending to this ordeal, and I hope everyone in Israel and overseas who has been watching this does too.

Part of the quirky nature of Jerusalem means I often see friends, Christian, Jewish and Arab, natives, immigrants and foreigners accidentally in different parts of the city, I hope to one day see Gilad here and shake his hand when hes in a fit state to get around. 🙂   I expect hes going to want to know what a Facebook is and amazed at the amount of publicity there has been to get him free.

A few days ago, a friend from my church pointed out some interesting scripture about Sukkot and foreign Christians gentiles visiting…  more soon!

August in Israel, Missile attacks, Glen Beck visits and ELAV 2011

Its now close to the end of August, and thought I would briefly comment on some things happening here of late;

Glen Beck comes to Israel

I’ll be honest that I don’t know much about Glen Beck, all I know is he is some US TV celebrity, hes a Mormon and he supports Israel.

A lot of people around this land including people from many Christian organisations went out the Caesarea this week to see him speak, along with John Hagee and some senior Orthodox Rabbis.

There seems to be a frenzy amongst Christians to see Glen Beck, but I am not sure why as hes not a Christian.  Its nice that he is out here showing support.   My message to any believers here looking forward to seeing this event or watching it on Christian TV stations is discernment, discernment and discernment.   In the past theres been dubious things dressed up meant to be Christian, so it great to see this man show support, and mingle with Christian organisations, people just need to be careful.

Terrorism

You will of heard about the recent bus attacks in Eilat, the bottom corner of Israel which looks out onto the Red Sea, my Japanese housemate went to this place only 5 days earlier, I have traveled on this Egged bus service but not since November 2009.   This tragedy is significant for several reasons, again this was just ordinary civilian Israel folk on this bus that were shot, and another bus had an RPG launched at it resulting in 8 innocent people dead, there has been reports that Palestinian terrorists also were wearing Egyptian army uniforms and therefore risk dangerously damaging relations with Egypt.

Often the war between Israel and the Palestinian militants, is not just a war of deadly weapons, its also done with the media, something that manipulates the news, so Palestinians always look like the victim.

Lately one of the main BBC reporters Yolande Knell who does many of the recent stories about Israel and Gaza also works for the Muslim Brotherhood English web site!

Its rare I see any pro-Palestinian organisation or secular news source ever to look at Christian Arabs being persecuted or how the main political group Hamas acts as a mob over the people in Gaza.   I do know of wonderful Christians that work here who have a genuine love and compassion for Arab people here though.

At the moment, there is a sense of nervousness because of a high risk of terrorism alert, and last weekend I was advised by a friend who is in the IDF not to use the bus or go near any crowds.

This week the several years overdue light electric rail system finally went live in Jerusalem, although to me this seems like bad timing as it could well be a target.

I work with people who have family in places like Ashdod where missiles are being rained down upon, and its upsetting that around 1 million Israelis (from places like Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva) are having to sit in bomb shelters lately, as well as two people killed and several seriously injured also.

I don’t like talking about politics but these are some important things to be praying about.

Christian events in Israel:

ELAV 2011 – www.elav2011.co.il 

Some friends from my church went to the ELAV youth event in Tel Aviv last week, this is a Christian worship event for Jewish and Arab believers, I didn’t go, but heard encouraging things from friends (Christian foriegners and local Jewish and Arab young believers)

Yad Ha’Shmona (Hebrew for ‘hand of eight’)  www.yad8.com

Also with my church I went to an outdoor worship event in this town just a few minutes outside of Jerusalem this week, this was also an youth event, with some really good Hebrew worship music.

In the craziness of things happening in this part of the world (as opposed to a different type of craziness of people stealing and burning things in several parts of the UK!!) its massively encouraging to see great relationships between Jews, Arabs and overseas Christians at these type of events, and friendships and reconciliation.

Still with the places I visit, my job looking after equipment and resources for a Christian organisation to bless the Jewish people, and my church here and my friends of all different backgrounds here and around the world, I wouldn’t change it for the world!!  😀

Peace monuments in Israel part 1

Back in the 60s and 70s, the word ‘peace’ was a greeting used by hippies, I wonder if they got the idea from Jews and Arabs who have used it as a regular hello in their respective languages for a few thousand years.

Just lately I have found it interesting with seeing examples of false peace here in Israel, not just what I see on the news.  Normally its from other nations who are asking the State of Israel to compromise with its security arrangements and borders, but there are some other things as well.

In southern England, around the countryside there are small buildings we called ‘follys’, they are buildings that where made with no specific purpose whatsoever, they were just made to provide a centrepoint on the hill above a village or mark a land boundary and to provide employment for local labourers.

In Nazareth, I saw a slightly odd aerial shaped monument next to the precipice.    Now the precipice is a hill which was meant to be where people tried to throw Jesus off that got upset by his teaching in the synagogues.

On top of here looking south you can see a spectacular view over Megiddo and Mount Tabor.   One is the place of previous wars and a future one planned for the end of the world, and one is a possible location of Jesus’s transfiguration.   On the other less steep side of the hill facing northwards is a TV aerial shaped thing at the front with a series of concrete steps to sit on which looks like a pleasant place to watch a concert or (small) sports event.   The paths that lead in between the step have rough gravel on them, certainly no good for people with baby carriages or wheelchairs.  It looks unfinished and rushed to be honest.   If I remember correctly this project was a gift for peace to the people of Nazareth from the Pope and the Vatican in circa 1997.   Having said that, the view up here is terrific, and it would be nice to see some live bands up there, but I didn’t see anything on any posters about any live music scene.  If you are interested in my travels to Nazareth, start here on part 1 of my trip the city of Jesus’s youth.

In Sderot, I went with my friend Daniel from work with one of his community projects to a small town that most of you will know gets used as target practice for terrorists in Gaza.   These poor people live with worry of being next hit by Katusha rockets.   Next to some fields and an army base on a hill I can see directly into Gaza less than 1.5km away.  Up here is a giant musical instrument, with some chime bars and a hammer thing on a piece of rope you can use to ring as a ‘peace’ gift for Israelis and Gazans.   I don’t remember who made this thing, but it a novelty chime instrument doesn’t help people having to rush into bomb shelters especially when they happen when their kids go to school.

Jerusalem is the same.   Near my house is the UN headquarters, and close to there is a monument with some inscriptions in English, Hebrew and Arabic, probably say people need to give each other a hug or something.

Closeby is the Haas promenade, there is a really nice place to walk along the side of the hill which attracts Arab and Jewish families having picnics and foreigners on rented electric Segway chariots. On the paths that go down, is a few peace monuments here, these actually look quite decent that are designed a viewpoints over the city.

That is until you go up the steps to view out of them, there is graffiti inside them, and smells of that they have used as a toilet.  One of the monuments that was a gift from Canada, has some wooden steps that go sideways onto the path.   Trouble is most of the wooden slats of the steps you can see below are missing, as someone stole them probably for firewood for their barbecue.

Ezekiel 13 : 10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash.

Really, these buildings from foreign nations trying to help Israel, seem like nice gestures, but are not implemented well and are a bit shortsighted in their actual useful value.   Its a bit like getting a present of a picture of an ornament you don’t really like and having to put it on the wall when you friend comes round so not to hurt their feelings.

 

Other examples of false peace are so called authorities that provide prizes or bestow awards, such as PLO chairman Yasser Arafat who got a Nobel Peace award in 1994.   Also a well known ex-Palestinian terrorist who wrote a book about accepting Jesus, has be spoken about as being a fraud as still hating Israel, after some things spoken about recently in Arabic appears to be different from the story he originally gave in his book.

Architects seem to like create buildings for peace purposes that don’t quite yet have a proper purpose to them.

My thinking is if you want to do a tangible construction project for peace purposes maybe start with something that has a social benefit like hospitals and schools.  I really like the Magon David ambulance service which I think is entirely funded by foreign donations, but assists Jewish, Arab and foreigners to Israel if an accident or emergency happens.

I am really proud to part of Bridges for Peace, true, our two food banks won’t win any design awards, our headquarters looks lovely and has a wonderful garden but is tucked away from the public with an electric gate, and my role is in a backroom to look after resources and equipment, but the works we do impact the poor people in this nation, as well try as close as we can to follow the actions of Jesus in this land to the most needy.

Jeremiah 8 :  8-12 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,”when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? 9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.   Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?  10 Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners.  From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.  11 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.  “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.

It smells nasty in this look out post, signs of arson and grafitti, not all of it bad though!

My point isn’t to poke fun too much at efforts to make peace between nations, but for me, true reconciliation will only happen between Israel and the Arab neighbours will happen with Jesus’s return.

Part 2 of this article is here:

Jerusalem people gather to remember deaths in Itamar

When I came back from Tel Aviv at the first day of setting up at the robotics event, I was sad to hear about the earthquake in Japan, and fear of a nuclear disaster.
Even more so as I have worked with at least 6-7 Japanese people in the last year and half.

The other tradgedy just after then was five members of a Jewish family were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist who broke into their house.

Only brief snippets of this was on the mainstream news, not mentioned much apart from in Israel news and Christian supporters of Israel was the fact that people in Gaza celebrated the deaths and threw candy at children in the streets.  The news channels took the step of showing deeply upsetting pictures of murdered people, to try and provoke the mainstream media to encourage condemnation of these horrible acts.

I went down to Zion Square, a busy junction where Ben Yehuda Street meets Jaffa Street, often used for events and protests sometimes.

This was more like a tribute event, rather than a protest, there were police here guarding the event.

Later when I went home, some police barriers were still there and some signs but the people had gone.

Kidnapped Gilad Shalit – 4 years on

Last Sunday I had a relaxing morning, went out to the old city, I wanted to visit the recently built big synagogue built on the site of a famous one destroyed in wars from long ago, but it was shut so this is for another day.  King of Kings Church was really good, great teaching as usual from Wayne Hilsden and some great worship music too.

After church, I went with my Arab believer friend as he said there was some special event happening at the Gilad Shalit tent.   There is a tent usually manned by two people with various pictures and news stories about the young soldier currently being held captive somewhere in the Gaza strip.   These days this street corner has got bigger as news last year confirmed that Gilad is still alive, verified by a videotape of him with a recent newspaper last year.

This sunday evening was extra special, there was a TV interview being held with Gilad’s parents and brother and a famous basketball player (I didn’t get his name) who came to show his support.   The tent is positioned close to some government buildings.

Anyway I am not sure exactly what is said as there was no English posters or spoken announcements.  But it is quite sobering to see something to see events shown on worldwide television and being actually there.

There are several very very long posters signed in a mixture of Hebrew and English there.

There were people opposed to event.  I am not sure what was said but someone stopped outside in a small Hyundai hatchback and yelled something probably abusive.   Across the road was another protest which someone told me was to stop the government making a deal to let out I think something like 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for this one solider.

Its crazy the rest of the world doesn’t have the courage to speak out why there is something seriously wrong with why one soldier should be a traded for a couple of hundred known terrorists responsible for the deaths of Israeli civilians in past tragedies

In the past, criminals have been traded for the bodies of dead Israelis who fell in foreign ground.   This is not a new thing, when you consider when King Saul, Jonathan and his two brothers Ishvi and Malki-Shua (funny these names aren’t as popular as Jonathan today 🙂 ) were killed by the Philistines, and much later their remains were found and brought home, check out 2 Samuel 21

If you are reading this, doesn’t matter if you are Jewish, Christian or whatever, please consider praying that this young soldier gets released without any negotiations to release terrorists. By not negotiating with these kind of deals this halts the incentive for future possible kidnappings.

In the past some people like Terry Waite, a British Christian author and humanitarian was free after over four years in jail in Lebanon, and a similar thing also happened John Macarthy so I think there is hope.