Israelis dashing for a makeshift shelter at the sound of sirens warning of an incoming rocket from Gaza. Many older homes do not have bomb shelters. Note that a soldier is attempting to calm another soldier who, instead of helping civilians, has herself suffered trauma.
By Shira Sorko-Ram
I remember our own brief history with rockets in Tel Aviv. In 1991, Saddam Hussein lobbed exactly 39 Scud missiles - mostly into the Tel Aviv area - and 39 times we had to run for our lives. Once we and our two kids, aged 13 and 11 had just gotten into our car to go to a national prayer conference in Jerusalem. We had driven only a hundred meters from our house when the sirens went off. We left the car in the middle of the road, doors ajar, and raced towards the house. That was the end of the prayer conference for us.
After that, our two children absolutely refused to wear pajamas to bed. For years, they went to bed fully clothed because during that short period of 41 days, numerous times they had to jump out of bed in the middle of the night and race to our safe room, waiting for the “boom.” What was crazy about the whole thing was that if a day or two passed without a Scud, tension began to build as the city waited for the next Scud to hit.
Now imagine. In the south of Israel, since 2001, more than 12,800 rockets and mortars have been launched by Hamas and their affiliates from Gaza. That’s about three rockets every single day for 11 years. (idfblog.com)
But Hamas’ rockets don’t fall according to an orderly timetable. There may be quiet for three or four days or a week or two, and then out of the blue, the sirens wail. The heart stops, the adrenalin kicks in, and the mind focuses on finding the closest safe place to hide. On any one day 10 or 20 or 50 rockets can explode as adults and children race over and over and over to their shelters or somewhere.
Children from southern Israel explain that as they walk down the street they are always checking out which building near them might have a strong wall facing away from Gaza in case they are caught on an open street. Today, 1,000,000 Israelis live in the line of constant fire. Natal, a trauma center for victims of terror and war, says that 70% of the children in one town are suffering from post-traumatic stress, while many have trouble functioning at all due to anxiety. Those who have the resources have moved away. The poor have no other place to go.
When Israel retaliated with a major offensive twice in the last five years, Israel was forced by UN members to agree to a cease fire before she could dismantle the terrorist network meaning that the day will come when it will happen again.
Israelis are far from perfect. But after living here 45 years, and understanding the dynamics, I am convinced that Israeli soldiers are as moral as any army in the world. The well-known British journalist Melanie Phillips wrote: No other army in the world goes to such lengths to avoid civilian casualties. Yet no other army in the world is accused by western commentators as is the IDF, of targeting not just civilians but babies and children.
“Palestine from the river to the sea, north to south is our land. Not an inch can be conceded. The liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine is a duty, a right and a goal. Holy war and armed resistance are the real and right path to liberation and recovery of rights.” ~Hamas chief, Khaled Meshaal at Hamas’ 25th anniversary
WHO ARE THE GAZANS?
To trace how this irreconcilable situation evolved, let’s take a cursory look at Gaza’s modern saga.
Britain conquered the Gaza strip along with the rest of the Holy Land seizing it from the 400-year rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1917. But only 31 years later, Britain pulled out of the Holy Land, totally disgusted with the unsolvable Arab-Jewish conflict, and left it for the UN to figure out what to do. The UN decided to divide the tiny strip west of the Jordan River between Arabs and Jews. Jews said “yes.” Arabs said “no.”
War ensued with the Arab nations intent on destroying the new Jewish state. But the Arabs failed and Israel’s poorly equipped and undertrained army succeeded in gaining another 60% of the land in dispute. The UN demanded a cease-fire. Lines were drawn where the armies stood. Suddenly, Gaza became Egyptian.
In 1948 Gaza was a backwater area of some 60,000 to 80,000 poverty-stricken peasants living in the most primitive of conditions. Unfortunately, Egypt had little interest in the 25 mile by 5-6 mile strip along the Mediterranean and did nothing to build up its infrastructure or its economy.
Egypt was more interested in wiping Israel off the map, and after blockading Israel’s shipping in the Red Sea (an act of war) once again its President Gamal Abdel Nasser stated his plans to throw the Jews into the sea. War ensued again in 1967. This time, Gaza became Israeli, as Israel pushed all the Arab states that had invaded her back to their own capitals and conquered the entire area west of the Jordan River.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
It was about this time that new nationalistic Arab organizations began to sprout. Yassir Arafat created the concept of a ‘Palestinian people’ in 1956. Heading up his new organization, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), Arafat claimed that the area known in the Bible as Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the land of the Philistines (Gaza) belonged to the ancient Palestinian people. In fact, Arafat declared that Jews had never before lived in this part of the world, and were therefore aliens who had come to steal the land from the ancient Palestinian people. (He also claimed that Yeshua the Messiah was the first Palestinian.)
Nevertheless, most Arabs in the Holy Land saw themselves as citizens of the countries which occupied the land where they lived, i.e. the Arabs of the West Bank which Jordan had conquered saw themselves as Jordanians. Gazans’ identity and sympathies were with the Egyptians.
The fact is that it was not until the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel captured the West Bank, the Old City of Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Gaza, (plus the Sinai Desert) that Arabs living in those areas began to see the benefits of becoming a Palestinian people. And Arafat was there to move the new idea along. Fatah joined the PLO that year.
Larry Miller, the American comedian and talk show host, recently put it very simply:
“The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like ‘Wiccan,’ ‘Palestinian’ sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no ‘Palestinians.’”
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD SPREADS ACROSS GAZA
When Israel took over the Gaza Strip, the population had grown to some 400,000 souls, still living hand to mouth from their agriculture produce. (Half of them had fled from Israel to Gaza during the Six Day War.) Now that all the land west of the Jordan river was in Israeli hands, there is no doubt that Israel would have loved to help Gaza become a first-class business and resort area a little paradise on the Mediterranean.
But it was not to be. The Israeli acting-governor of Gaza in 1979 watched a certain Sheikh Ahmed Yassin build a network of mosques, clubs, hospitals and schools across the Gaza Strip. At that time, Yassin showed no hostility to the Israelis whatsoever. When the IDF found weapons in his possession, he claimed they were meant to be used against the secular Palestinians, not Israel. In the Muslim Brotherhood’s fine-tuned tradition, Yassin’s timing was exquisite.
It was now 1987. As Yassin’s infrastructure grew into a national movement, he founded an organization within the Brotherhood organization which he called Hamas. It was a full blown terrorist organization created to destroy the State of Israel (See excerpts of its charter in the next article). Hamas carried out its first act of terror against Israel in 1989 and never looked back. Hamas also began enforcing Islamic law on women, demanding the hijab. Not surprisingly, they also attacked Christians, killing the head of the Bible Society and burning down a Christian youth library. Most Gazan Christians fled the Strip.
Gazan citizens participating in one of the many Hamas protest rallies in Gaza City.
THE OSLO ACCORDS BRING ARAFAT TO THE WEST BANK
Meanwhile Arafat was still occupied with creating a Palestinian people. He had set up his headquarters for a nationalist, secular organization in Tunisia, but in 1993, Israel and the PLO signed an agreement called the Oslo Accords which held great hope among Israel’s politicians and citizens that there could actually be peace between Israel and the Arabs.
Israel gave Arafat permission to rule the so-called Palestinian territory. He moved to the West Bank, but then decided to set up his regional headquarters in Gaza City.
His corruption and fraud knew no bounds. He became President and Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. He also appointed himself as Chairman of the Palestinian financial organization which the World Bank had set up, channeling all funds through his office.
According to “60 Minutes,” Arafat diverted nearly $1 billion in public funds to insure his political survival, but a lot more is unaccounted for. All told, U.S. officials estimate Arafat’s personal nest egg at between $1 billion and $3 billion. And that does not include what he handed out to his cronies. During his rule, the economy of Gaza fell by one third according to Wikipedia.
But Israel began to work to build up the economy of the Palestinians. After the Oslo agreements, Israel employed 25,000 Gazans, most of whom entered Israel for their work. But when Arafat launched the Second Intifada in 2000, whereby Arab terrorists killed 1,083 Israelis almost all civilians Israel closed off the Gaza Strip, bombed its Yassir Arafat airport and blockaded its entrance from the sea. The reasons are obvious. Hamas and the PLO were amassing weapons from abroad.
During that terrible period, Israel targeted Hamas terrorists and PLO terrorists. Israel had built a security fence around Gaza and IDF closed off the crossings to commerce into Gaza.
ISRAEL PULLS OUT OF GAZA
So when Arafat died in 2004, stability was an unknown entity. Funds were lacking to pay government and security workers and unemployment was high. Israel finally decided that maybe the only way to help the situation was for Israel to completely move its 9,000 citizens and its military out of the Gaza Strip which it did in 2005. American Jews, wanting to help the Palestinians jump-start their economy, contributed $14,000,000 to buy the Israelis’ renowned high-tech greenhouses that they were leaving behind. It was a gesture to the Palestinian people, wishing them the best.
Yes, Gaza could have been a Garden of Eden with its beautiful beaches and its balmy climate. But the day Israel’s military left, hordes of Gazans rushed into the farms, looted and destroyed the greenhouses, destroying their hopes for jobs or any type of economic revival.
THE VICTORY GOES TO HAMAS
In all this chaos, the international community urged the Palestinians to begin life anew. They were encouraged to hold elections. To the shock and dismay of the Western world, Hamas won the election. Actually, it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Everybody knew how corrupt the PLO was, and the Arab citizens were absolutely sick of it. On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring Hamas were known for honesty and morality! After all, the Muslim Brotherhood was a charitable organization, helping the poor.
Within a few months, Hamas kicked all the Fatah members out of power. In the internecine fight, 118 Palestinians were killed, 550 wounded and the two fighting gangs threw each other off of tall buildings.
Map of distances from Gaza to Israeli cities vulnerable to rocket attacks. The map also color-codes the distances the different rockets can reach. Israeli citizens have from 15 to 50 seconds to reach safety from the time the siren sounds, depending where they are.
With Hamas in complete control, its rockets have pounded Israel by the thousands. When Israel has had more than it can bear, it hunts down Hamas leaders and bombs ammunition dumps which are usually near civilian homes, and when there is no other choice, enters Gaza with ground troops to take down the attackers. Hamas knows with pictures of dying children and claims of Israel atrocities, the Arab League and the UN will demand Israel stop before her military completely demolishes the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.
Today Gaza has 1.7 million citizens. With a yearly birth rate of 3.2%, it has the seventh highest population growth rate in the world. Hamas has chosen continued poverty for its people while the people blame who else but Israel?
Israel supplies water and electricity to the Gaza Strip. It supplies mobile phone service, and four Internet Israeli service providers give access to satellite TV. Gaza uses Israel’s shekel currency. At the moment, Israel allows about 250 trucks carrying goods into Gaza every day. The number of trucks will increase as long as Hamas does not fire rockets or carry out terrorist acts.
THE UNDERDOG AND THE BULLY, WHO IS WHO?
Yet Hamas has no regrets over the destruction in Gaza. On the contrary, Hamas gets a great deal of economic and political benefit from the damage because of the large donations that will come from the world and the political image of the organization that stands on the front line against Israel that wows the Arab world.
Hamas has killed more than 400 Israelis and at least 25 U.S. citizens since the Oslo agreements in 1993, using suicide bombings, homemade rockets, and mortar attacks, according to CRS report.
Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told the Algemeiner, the Jewish online newspaper:
“There is a very effective anti-Israel propaganda machine and there has been for some time. It’s partly from the Palestinians, partly from the other Arab states and many people in the West from Europe in particular but also the United States. [They] see Hamas as the underdog and Israel as the bully and their natural inclination is to side with the underdog; but it’s to misunderstand the reality: Hamas is not a small group of lone freedom fighters. Hamas is a terrorist organization supported, financed and directed by Iran. Israel on the other hand is not a bully. It has shown amazing restraint far more restraint than most other countries would show in the face of this sort of provocation.”
What is certain, a cease-fire does not produce peace. To the Arabs it is, on the contrary, a signal for war since they believe it means the other side has shown weakness and that victory is therefore within their grasp. This last round in November 2012 has caused the Arabs in the West Bank to look to Hamas as someone who can stand up to the Jews. Hamas could well win the next election in the West Bank. That would produce the catastrophic danger of rockets raining down on Tel Aviv and its heavily populated surroundings.
Today, the newest vogue in polite society is to argue that Israel must negotiate with Hamas. It is reported that Chuck Hagel who is being considered for the next American Secretary of Defense at the time of this writing, claims Israel must negotiate with Hamas and lift the blockade (which will allow Hamas to bring in unlimited weapons just as Hezbollah has).
Former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the Washington Post and sundry EU diplomats are among those who are lecturing Israel about “engaging” Hamas.
But here is a question. Since Europe and America can take more risks than tiny Israel, why don’t they start negotiating with Al Qaeda? Why not?
What the world doesn’t seem to know is that Palestinians could have peace and even a state today if they were willing to lay down their arms against Israel. Maybe this land is just not meant for them.
Excerpts From the Hamas Charter The Covenant of the Islamic resistance Movement (1988)
[The Hamas organization was born out of the Muslim Brotherhood organization. When Palestinian militants speak of Palestine, their definition is the land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.] Italicized words are additions by editor.
The Islamic Resistance Movement: The Movement’s program is Islam. From it, it draws its ideas, ways of thinking and understanding of the universe, life and man. It resorts to it for judgment in all its conduct, and it is inspired by it for guidance of its steps.
The Islamic Resistance Movement [Hamas] is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterized by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgment, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders.
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said:
“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
Allah is its target; the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes. [This has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s original motto since the movement’s inception in 1928]
As for the objectives: They are the fighting against the false, defeating it and vanquishing it so that justice could prevail, homelands be retrieved and from its mosques would the voice of the mu’azen emerge declaring the establishment of the state of Islam.
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [protected Islamic property] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day.
This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia [legal system] and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of [Islamic] conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgment. [Note that Hamas confirms the Islamic concept that any land once conquered by Moslems is forever theirs, i.e. Spain, lands conquered by Ottoman Empire, etc.]
Any procedure in contradiction to Islamic Sharia, where Palestine is concerned, is null and void.
Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrators. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?
There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.
The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews’ usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.
It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis.
Woman in the home of the fighting family, whether she is a mother or a sister, plays the most important role in looking after the family, rearing the children and imbuing them with moral values and thoughts derived from Islam. She has to teach them to perform the religious duties in preparation for the role of fighting awaiting them ...so that they would grow up to be good mothers, aware of their role in the battle of liberation.
You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They [the Jews] were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.
The imperialistic forces in the Capitalist West and Communist East, support the enemy [the Jews] with all their might, in money and in men. These forces take turns in doing that. The day Islam appears, the forces of infidelity would unite to challenge it, for the infidels are of one nation.
The Islamic Resistance Movement respects these movements [referring to PLO] and appreciates their circumstances and the conditions surrounding and affecting them. It encourages them as long as they do not give their allegiance to the Communist East or the Crusading West.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization [secular PLO] is the closest to the heart of the Islamic Resistance Movement. It contains the father and the brother, the next of kin and the friend. The Moslem does not estrange himself from his father, brother, next of kin or friend. Our homeland is one, our situation is one, our fate is one and the enemy is a joint enemy to all of us.
Secularism completely contradicts religious ideology. Attitudes, conduct and decisions stem from ideologies.
That is why, with all our appreciation for The Palestinian Liberation Organization - and what it can develop into - and without belittling its role in the Arab-Israeli conflict, we are unable to exchange the present or future Islamic Palestine with the secular idea. The Islamic nature of Palestine is part of our religion and whoever takes his religion lightly is a loser.
The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies. [The PLO is a nationalistic militant ideology against the Jews while Hamas is a religious militant ideology against the Jews. Both are fighting for the destruction of Israel.]
The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion.
Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. “May the cowards never sleep.”
Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions - Islam, Christianity and Judaism - to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history is the best witness to that.
It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror.
The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying.
“Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason, and cursed be he who does that.”
Expansionists have more than once put their eye on Palestine which they attacked with their armies to fulfill their designs on it. Thus it was that the Crusaders came with their armies, bringing with them their creed and carrying their Cross.
The present Zionist onslaught has also been preceded by Crusading raids from the West and other Tatar raids from the East. Just as the Moslems faced those raids and planned fighting and defeating them, they should be able to confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it.
The Islamic Resistance Movement adopts Islam as its way of life. Islam is its creed and religion. Whoever takes Islam as his way of life, be it an organization, a grouping, a country or any other body, the Islamic Resistance Movement considers itself as their soldiers and nothing more.
A LETTER FROM YOSEF HADDAD, our brother in Yeshua who is pastor of a Lebanese Christian Church (whom our Maoz partners have been supporting monthly for many years!)
Last summer my wife and I took the members of our congregation to Acco (Acre), the ancient city of the Crusaders north of Haifa Port.
We went there to worship together with a Messianic Jewish congregation pastored by Guy and Tali Cohen. My wife and her team led worship in Arabic and the Messianic team led in Hebrew worship.
Two congregations - Jewish and Arab -worshiping together in the Nahariya Lebanese Congregation.
We felt heaven had touched earth as Jews and Arabs came together as one new man in Yeshua the Messiah to worship Jehovah Almighty God.
That night I preached in Hebrew from Ezekiel 37 about the desire of our powerful God to revive the dry bones of Israel and bring to pass His promise from Romans 11:26 that all Israel shall be saved.
Home group in Haifa.
And so recently we hosted the Cohens’ “Katzir Asher” Congregation in our church. (Katzir Asher means the Harvest of Asher, as Acco is in the area belonging to the tribe of Asher.)
Our sanctuary in Nahariya was not really big enough for both congregations but we managed and had a powerful and anointed meeting.
It seems that the God of Peace is always pleased when Jews and Arabs come together to worship him through his precious son Yeshua. His Holy Spirit enveloped us as we worshipped in Hebrew and Arabic and as Pastor Cohen brought a message regarding the importance of unity in the body of Messiah in the land of Israel.
Yosef Haddad and Guy Cohen, Arab and Jewish pastors, sharing the pulpit.
Afterwards we enjoyed a fellowship dinner with homemade Lebanese food prepared by our Lebanese families. It’s really amazing to see Jews and Arabs sitting together at the same table, experiencing loving fellowship as real brothers and sisters, especially in such a time as this with Israel being under severe attack from Iran and its Arab neighbors.
We witnessed again as Yeshua proved that he is the only solution for the long term strife and conflict that has been going on between Isaac and Ishmael and their descendants for over 4000 years!
In our home group in Haifa we are discipling two couples who have the potential to become strong leaders who can help us with the many opportunities of the ministry.
One of those couples represents the one new man in Messiah. Franko is an Arab Christian and Sarit, his wife, is a Messianic Jew.
Ex-Muslim Bedouin girl is baptized in the Jordan River.
They have a lovely girl, Marian who is 9 years old and is growing up to love Yeshua.
We were also invited to start a new home group in Haifa recently. We had our first meeting on the balcony of a new believer’s home who is a gifted musician.
We were surprised at the conclusion of the bible study when both of his parents who were present requested to receive Yeshua as their personal Savior. They both prayed with me and asked us to come back and teach them the Word of God.
Another Baptismal service at the Jordan River led by Pastor Haddad.
We were blessed recently to lead a Bedouin Moslem young lady to receive Yeshua as her Messiah and personal Savior. She works in a department store in a mall and heard about Yeshua from one of our ladies shopping at this mall who invited her to our Lebanese congregation. She responded to the altar call and received Yeshua with joy.
We have been discipling her secretly at our congregation and she is growing in her faith. We baptized her recently at the Jordan River and now she is becoming bold like a lion in declaring her faith.
Pray protection over her from her family and close relatives. She is the only born-again believer in a whole Moslem village which has a population of almost 2000 people up near the Lebanese border.
We recently received a Macedonian call from Kiryat Shemonah which is close to the Lebanese and Syrian borders, about two and half hours’ drive from Haifa, to visit a Lebanese couple with five children. They had received Yeshua at a Messianic Jewish home group. A lady from that group called and urged us to come and visit this family and share with them more about the love of God through His son Yeshua.
Children playing and eating at the combined service.
We gave them Arabic bibles and special Arabic literature for their children, and spent several hours with them sharing the plan of salvation in more detail and praying over the entire family one by one.
As we were about to leave they told us that they felt as if Yeshua had visited them that day! They begged us to return. We really ask you to pray for us to be able to visit this hungry family at least once a month to disciple and encourage them in their new faith in Messiah.
We would like to thank Maoz for their commitment to provide a large part of our salary which enables me and my wife to serve the Lord in full time ministry.
Maoz is an integral partner in all the Lord has been doing through our ministry in Haifa and Nahariya to expand his kingdom in Galilee and northern Israel.
Our hope is in the God of Israel. He will intervene mightily and all Israel shall be saved.
Many blessings Pastor Yosef & Ibtissam Haddad River of God Lebanese Congregation in Nahariya, Israel
Just as Abraham had three allies, Aner, Eshcol and Mamre, and Solomon had a wonderful partner in Huram, King of Tyre, so we who follow the God of Israel can be thankful for people of other nations and even the Muslim faith, who have become supporters of Israel, often at considerable cost to their personal and professional lives. [Editor]
Muslim Member of British Parliament Supports Israel!
By Rachel Avraham
British Economic Secretary to the Treasury and MP for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid, is a self-made man. The son of a bus driver, he grew up attending British state schools and won a place to study economics and politics at Exeter University. Twenty-one years ago, he became active in Britain’s Conservative Party. In 2010, Javid would be elected to the British Parliament as a member of the Conservative Party after working his way up the ladder with his own hands. He is a secular Muslim who married a Christian woman and also happens to be a supporter of Israel.
As a member of the British Parliament, he recently addressed an audience of 700 people at the Conservative Friends of Israel business lunch in order to vocalize his support for the Jewish State. There, he stated, “If for some reason, I had to leave, with my young family, and I was told that I must go and live in the Middle East, where would I decide to go? […]There is only one place I could possibly go: Israel, the only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain and the only nation in the Middle East where my family would feel the warm embrace of freedom and liberty.”
He continued, “In Britain, we are rightly very proud of our long history as a nation. But we are mere beginners compared to Israel, a nation that is governing itself in the same territory, under the same name, with the same religion, and the same language as it did 3,000 years ago. Now that’s what I call sustainability! Israel is a country about which almost everyone has a passionate opinion — an opinion which they’re not usually shy about sharing, especially when that opinion is based on total ignorance. If you want to have any chance of understanding the complexities of the Middle East, you can’t just read about Israel, you have to experience it.”
Javid was not shy about making these statements, despite the fact that many voices within the UK, especially within the British Muslim community, are radically opposed to the State of Israel. Both moderate Muslims who are not anti-Israel and Jews who attend British universities claim that anti-Israel intimidation is a major problem on British campuses. Not to mention that the British media is full of anti-Israel articles and the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement is quite active in the UK. Nevertheless, in spite of all of this, Javid decided to be courageous and to speak out for the truth in regards to Israel.
This was not the first time that Javid has come out to support the Jewish people. This year, Javid also commemorated Holocaust victims on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day by signing the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons. According to Javid, “This is an important opportunity to remember the victims of genocide and to pay tribute to the extraordinary men and women who, having survived the Holocaust, work to educate young people about what they endured through the Holocaust Educational Trust’s outreach program. […] It is vitally important that we remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust and that we continue to challenge all forms of bigotry.”
There’s one thing we want you to know. We at Maoz LOVE the Arab people!
They are so very warm and hospitable and they have much to offer the world.
And therefore we grieve for them. We grieve that they are bound by the chains of Islam, and as a people, can never fulfill God’s destiny for them until they are freed.
Islamists serve a god that demands hatred and violence against both fellow Islamists together with the “infidels,” or non-Muslims.
And through this religion, the Muslim Arabs have brought a terrible curse upon themselves because of the promise God made to Abraham that not only would He bless those who bless Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s descendants, but He would curse those who curse the children of Israel.
Therefore, it is important for all of us to understand how courageous our born-again Christian Arabs are who bring the Light of the World to such a dark part of the earth.
Thankfully, we must praise our God that at least in Israel, there is legal freedom for believing Arabs to share the Gospel with whomever they choose. Of course it is still not easy by any means because it is anathema in the Islamic culture for a Muslim to become a Christian.
Nevertheless - it is happening!
Maoz has supported Pastor Yosef Haddad monthly for more than a decade. We feel honored that our Maoz partners can invest in the harvest among the Arab people. But that is not all. Jews who see the love of the Messiah in this believing Arab congregation are also receiving the Prince of Peace as their Savior!
Yosef and his wife Ibtissam tirelessly serve their people, ministering in several different cities in the north. They reach out to the Lebanese (which also is their background) living in Israel many whom are nominal Christians, but who have not heard the simple message of salvation.
And the Haddads reach out to Muslims, Druze and even Bedouins one of the most un-churched people groups in the world.
We also want to begin to help another Arab minister on a monthly basis, who actually works in the Palestinian territories. We may not be able to show pictures or give his name, but we are excited about the work he is doing. In heaven we will see the fruit of our investment!