Saturday 24 November 2012

Après moi, le déluge


Why is everyone surprised that Egypt has a new Pharaoh? And why are news interviewers shocked that President Mursi’s supporters can claim with straight faces that a greater, more stringent dictatorship will lead to a greater, freer, liberal and democratic Egypt.

Not only do we not learn from history; we don’t even learn from recent history.

Every revolution and coup in the Middle East in the last forty years has produced greater dictators than the ones ousted. One devil is cast out and seven more, even more evil, take his place. The Shah of Persian was replaced by the mullahs of Iran, paving the way for a beady-eyed, Holocaust-denying, Hitler wannabe who wants to finish what his German counterpart started. And no leftist liberal in the West thinks he means it when he says he will destroy the Zionist entity.

Hamas is the democratically elected government in Gaza, as we are reminded by Israel’s critics. But the last election in Gaza was seven years ago; when will the next election take place? Hamas has no political opponents to be afraid of; they killed them all off after their rise to absolute power. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt supports Mursi’s measures to safeguard the revolution, which means there will be no more elections in that country for the foreseeable future. In both Gaza and Egypt the persecution of Christians has increased since the two Islamic parties came to power.

After Sadam Hussein was ousted from power, the situation in Iraq went from bad to worse. And what will happen there will be the same that is happening in the Israel/’Palestine’; the Islamists will continue to terrorise until they achieve their totalitarian objective.

These countries were ruled by devils but were replaced by far worse devils.

It looks set to be the same in Syria. But Syria has stockpiles of chemical weapons and, according to some, Sadam’s weapons of mass destruction. At least the current regime in Syria made no attempt to deploy the barbaric instruments of warfare at their disposal against Israel but there is no guarantee that a rebel regime won’t.

What will it take to wake western leaders up to the fact that Muslim countries don’t think like we do? What will it take to make our leaders realise that these radical governments cannot be trusted. When will we remember that they are the heirs of the leaders of Arab nations who met in Khartoum in 1967 after the Six Day War to declare there would be no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel and no peace with Israel.

Hence, last week we witnessed the farce of Egypt, whose government has said it will unilaterally tear up the peace agreement with Israel it signed over thirty years ago, brokering a cease fire between Israel and Hamas. It should have come as no surprise, then, that Gaza continued to fire missiles at Israel after the cease-fire came into place.

What hope of peace is there? There can be no possible political solution but at least let’s remember what the situation really is and stop bullying Israel to ‘be serious about peace’. Israel is the only party in this conflict situation that can’t afford not to be serious about peace.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem 2

A caller on today’s Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 thought Israel was over-reacting to the ‘rockets’ fired from Gaza; he thought Hamas was making the area like England on November 5!

I’ve just spoken to my friend and colleague David Zadok in Israel. Today he was at a meeting in Jerusalem that was interrupted when missiles were fired from Gaza. The meeting hastily adjourned to a bomb shelter. David also made pastoral calls to Ashkelon, where elderly church members are living in terror.

The Embassy of Israel in the UK released this update today, Tuesday, 20th November.

More than 1,100 unguided missiles have been fired at Israel since Saturday 10th November of which 900+ were fired since the start of Operation Pillar of Defence (14 Nov.) The Iron Dome anti-missile defence system has intercepted over 300 missiles, preventing them from striking populated areas in Israel. 45 per cent of Israelis are within rocket range. In the last decade, over 12,800 missiles were fired from Gaza.

Forty-five per cent of Israelis are within rocket range - the equivalent of 28 million British civilians under the constant threat of missile launching.


Three Israeli civilians killed: Mirah Scharf, 25, Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24, four in critical condition, six in a moderate condition and 141 lightly injured. On Sunday 18th November, at least seven people were seriously injured in direct hits on a home in Ashkelon and a car in Ofakim. Yesterday, Monday 19th November, a Grad rocket exploded outside an elementary school in Ashkelon. No one was hurt as all schools within a 4o km radius of Gaza are currently closed. Ben Gurion University of the Negev, with 15,000 students, also remains closed.

Three Israeli civilians were killed on Thursday morning: Mirah Scharf, 25, Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24


Operation Pillar of Defence has obtained significant achievements, and the terrorist organisations of Gaza have been hit hard.

The Israel Air Force has significantly deteriorated the long-range Iran-made Fajr missile stores.

Over the course of the morning (Tuesday 20th November), the IDF targeted eleven terrorist squads who were involved in promoting terrorist activity including the planting of explosive devices and the firing of rockets towards southern Israel. In addition, the IDF targeted 30 underground rocket launchers, as well as a senior terror operative’s hiding place which was used to store weapons and ammunition. As a result, severe damage was inflicted upon the rocket launching capabilities and weapon storage facilities owned by terror organisations operating in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, tank shells and artillery fire were used.

Israel has no interest and no ambition in conquering land, but we have to stop Hamas firing at our citizens.

It must be noted that Israel disengaged unilaterally and completely from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The result of Israel’s disengagement is that Gaza has become a giant ammunition depot. In addition, it provides a breeding ground for terrorist groups to organize and to operate. All this is done under the rule, responsibility and sponsorship of Hamas.

Israel, as any other state, has the right under international law, and a moral obligation, to act in self-defence, to defend its population and to protect its territory when under attack, as well as to take military action against the terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas’ actions are in clear violation of the most fundamental principles of international law, including the principle of distinction, which requires Hamas and other terrorist organizations not only to refrain from directing its attacks at Israeli civilians, but also to clearly distinguish itself from its own civilian population.

These terrorist organisations consciously and deliberately violate these principles in a repeated manner, by deploying weapons and command centres in densely populated areas, operating from residential areas, and exploiting the civilian population by exposing them to serious harm. They also deliberately direct their fire at the civilian population of Israel. These acts constitute a double war crime.

Israel directs its actions against the military targets of Hamas and other terrorist organisations. It goes to great lengths to minimise harm to civilians. Israel regrets any injury to civilians and places responsibility squarely on Hamas, which uses the residents of Gaza as human shields. Israel does everything possible to prevent harm to Palestinian civilians. Hamas does everything possible to put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way.

It should be noted that the IDF made tens of thousands of phone calls to Gaza residents to warn them about the military operation.

The IAF dropped flyers throughout the Gaza Strip calling for people to distance themselves from known terrorists, weapons stores and launching sites

In addition, the IDF has called off airstrikes when pilots spotted civilians – even when missiles launched by terrorists were speeding toward their target


Israel is making a major effort to maintain the fabric of civilian life in Gaza, despite the situation of current hostilities.

Sunday 18 November

Kerem Shalom crossing was open for movement of food, medicine and other goods from Israel despite the ongoing missile attacks on the Israeli population and previous attacks on the crossing.

The Erez crossing was open, as on every other day of Operation Pillar of Defence. Seventy foreign journalists entered Gaza today by way of Erez, 26 Gazans entered Israel for medical treatment, and 23 foreign nationals, representing NGOs who until now had been prevented by Hamas from leaving the Gaza Strip, departed.

Tuesday 20 November

The Kerem Shalom crossing opened on Tuesday morning (20 Nov) to allow the transfer of 120 trucks of humanitarian aid. However, when it was targeted by missile fire from Gaza, the IDF was forced to close the crossing to ensure the safety of all those working at the crossing and passing through it. Only 24 trucks of humanitarian aid managed to make it through the crossings prior to the missile strikes.

Click here to watch the video

Saturday 17 November 2012

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

Latest news from Israel.

Fourteen rockets were fired from Gaza at the Bnei Shimon Regional Council area, Beersheba, the Eshkol Regional Council area and the Merhavim Regional Council area in one hour. No injuries or damage were reported.

Magen David Adom treated 20 Israelis on Friday, bringing the total number of people treated by MDA to 74 since the beginning of 'Operation Pillar of Defence' on Wednesday. Of the 20 people tended up to last night Friday, five were lightly injured and 15 were suffering from shock.

Yesterday, the third day of 'Operation Pillar of Defence,' the Israel Air Force struck 238 targets in the Gaza Strip. A total of 105 rockets struck Israel yesterday, while the 'Iron Dome' missile defense system shot down an additional 99 rockets and also destroyed a bomb-laden smuggling tunnel.

The Israeli cabinet has approved Defence Minister Ehud Barak's request for 75,000 reserve troops in preparation for a possible ground operation in Gaza. On Thursday, the cabinet approved 30,000 reserve troops, 16,000 of whom the IDF mobilized on Friday.

Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula launched rockets into Israel last night. The missiles fell near an Israeli village on the southern border, causing some damage but no injuries.

Two rockets were fired at Jerusalem from Gaza at the start of the Sabbath yesterday. Police reported there was 'no indication' that rockets landed in the city, stating that 'most likely, the rockets landed in an open area outside of Jerusalem.' Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming to have shot 'an improved Kassam,' which it called an M-75 towards Jerusalem. The launch represents the first Hamas rocket attack aimed at Jerusalem.

A friend in Israel mailed me to say: 'Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Last night, for the first time, a siren was sounded in Jerusalem. Our girls were so frightened (after some of their older friends told them that someone was trying to bomb them) that they could not sleep properly last night. Even today all they can talk about is the 'bad people' trying to kill us. Pray for wisdom in knowing how to quieten them and give them the Peace of the Lord.'