Mourning for Brussels or Bashing Israel?

On March 22, 2016 the world witnessed the deadliest terrorist attack on Belgian soil. The concerted bombings at the Brussels Airport and the Maalbeek Metro station claimed the lives of over 30 people and injured over 300. Belgium has been in the news lately because of its connection to some of the 2015 terror attacks in France. I thought that the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack of January 2015 was going to be a wake-up call for France in particular, and Europe in general. It certainly looked like French authorities had finally committed to defending their citizens and even more so, their own Jewish community. Then November 13, 2015 came around and France was hit again, this time 130 people died and 368 were injured. Was France caught off-guard? What about Belgium in March 2016? I think that we are way passed the wake-up call stage for Europe.

For reasons that defy all logic, the Islamic State's appeal to a young generation of Europeans is growing fast, and we are starting to see the fruit of IS propaganda and recruitment. Terrorism "à la ISIS" has gone global. While all politically correct people continue to dislike profiling and segregating, Islamic terror is simply becoming a redundant phrase. Terror is Islamic and Islamism is terror. Please prove me otherwise!

In the midst of a tragedy like this recent terror attack, people seem to cling together. Religious or not, Belgians or not, people are coming together one more time in a sobering demonstration of solidarity. The human spirit still can prevail. Photos of victims, candle vigils and a sea of international symbols and flags can be spotted in Belgium. People are organizing peaceful gatherings akin to the historic Paris March of January 2015. So, we might be passed the wake-up call stage, but people are still people and tragedy–as devastating as it might be–can be bonding. Today is the time for putting our differences aside and holding hands against terrorism of any kind.

Well, apparently, this is true for all people except those who are pro-Palestinian. In a despicable display of hatred that is more politically targeted than anything else, we have seen several people come to vigils and either tear or remove Israeli flags to only cover them with a Palestinian flag. What in the world does this have to do with the Islamic State attacking Belgium? Absolutely nothing! At a time when the world mourns the innocent victims of yet another terrorist attack, some people have the chutzpah to barge in and inject their antisemitic venom with no apparent shame whatsoever. The hatred of Israel is so deep that pro-Palestinian people cannot even stomach the mere sight of and Israeli flag at a peace vigil for the Brussels victims. In some cases, they will even go as far as burning the flag and chanting anti-Israel slogans. Are they insinuating that the terrorist attacks were Israel's fault? seriously!

What is even more disturbing is the fact that these acts don't seem to phase anyone in the media. A woman in a Hijab and wearing a Palestinian scarf is seen tearing an Israeli flag apart and then covering the remains with the Palestinian flag as people all around her watch in silence. Are they clueless or careless? How about the commentators on that French speaking TV who are talking about an upcoming gathering for a memorial as they show the woman live and not one of them seem to notice or care?

Even though the whole world knows that Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu are far from being friends, when came the time to march in Paris in 2015, they both showed up, and even if there was a hint of hypocrisy from Abbas who clearly supports terrorism, he was still in the midst of an international historic moment.

It should now be clear that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is much more than a land issue. It is not and never was about Israel occupying Palestine. Rather, it is about the simple goal of completely erasing the Jews and Israel from the face of the earth. How would you explain the fact that the simple display of a flag amidst a myriad of other flags would provoke pro-Palestinians to rip and/or cover the Israeli symbol?

Frankly, in a normal world, these displays of hatred would be singled out and rebuked immediately, and even more so in the context of the aftermath of a terror attack like the Brussels airport and subway attacks. But we do not live in a normal world. We live in a world where the victims are made into perpetrators and where more and more people worship death more than they value life.

Apparently, Israel bashing now supersedes any international display of unity in honor of terror victims. Hiding or destroying the Israeli flag as if Israel was somehow guilty or involved in the recent terror is beyond despicable. Please do not go on telling me that the Palestinian narrative is one of justice, human rights and tolerance. Where was human decency, and more tragically where was human outrage for such acts of pure hatred?

France's Second Chance to lead the War against Apocalyptic Islam!

On Friday November 13, 2015, France was hit by yet another series of terrorist attacks in Paris, claiming the lives of 129 innocent people in several locations practically simultaneously. I had just returned from my biannual ministry trip to France four days prior, on the 9th of November. On the 7th, my wife and I attended a concert in Paris in a place as frequented and as famous as the Bataclan. Almost everyday of our stay we ate meals at restaurants and bistros near the attacked venues. The victims were the 129, but it could have easily been us or it could have easily been you!

It was only nine months ago that the whole world joined France in the mourning of the 17 Charlie Hebdo/Hyper Cacher victims. Hashtags like #jesuischarlie and #jesuisjuif abounded. Flowers and candle memorials kept growing on Paris sidewalks and of course there was the 4 million people march on January 11. France had woken up to the sad reality that apocalyptic Islam had hit them hard. Freedom of Speech at Charlie Hebdo was hit hard, but also Freedom of Religion at Hyper Cacher. Days later, Prime minister Manuel Vals delivered a very poignant speech to the French National Assembly in defense of the Jewish community and vowing to go to war against terrorism. I was hopeful that things would change but I didn't hold my breath. The world continued to placate the comforting hashtags on all social networks. It was the warm and fuzzy appropriate thing to do. It was a time when the planet was united with France and its Jewish community. Well, virtually united I should add, but you don't fight a war with hashtags and candle vigils. Unfortunately,  the world's attention span is only as long as the next Super Bowl, Hollywood hit or iPhone iteration. And so, we went our merry way, quickly forgetting France and its crisis with terrorism.

But what about France itself? What was really accomplished in the aftermath of the January attacks? Not much I fear. Sure, there were some foiled attacks here and there, some arrests and even search warrants. But soon after the emotional and seemingly determined speeches, politics returned and it was business as usual. The different political parties would rather be blinded by petty disagreements than catch a common vision on how to fight the real enemy. By real enemy, I am not speaking of global warming here but the global WARNING of apocalyptic Islam. Don't misunderstand me for saying that France doesn't care about the attacks. I think the French people care very much and to an extent even the government does too. But there is a strange behavior resulting from a hydrid of denial, fear and political correctness. And so it goes with France...another day, another euro!

It was obvious to all that another attack would take place. That it would be so soon and so intense wasn't expected. The use of explosive belts brought terrorism on French soil to an all new level. And of course, for once it would appear as if the targets weren't Jews. This is in no way any relief, but simply an observation. I just want to point out that flexing under Islamic threats, Palestinian social justice demands and/or BDS rulings will not stop the enemy. According to Winston Churchill, appeasement is akin to feeding a crocodile hoping it will eat you last. Well, France, on November 13 the crocodile just bit off your hand! Now what?

France was devastated last January and had a chance to take action with the kind of authority and leadership that would have led the free world into an all out war against apocalyptic Islam. That ship has sailed! But now it returns as an armada and with a vengeance, because the Islamic State hates France and all that it represents. It probably goes back to the early 1800s and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the French Revolution of 1789.  Looking back nine months, France was mostly all bark and no bite after the January attacks. Today it has a second opportunity to stop evil. This isn't going to be an overnight feat but rather a concerted international effort that could take 20 years. France could actually lead the way if they put their euros where their mouth is!

On the Monday following the carnage, French President François Hollande spoke in front of the Congress in a room in Versailles that hadn't been used since 1955. It was indeed historic, but it remains to be seen if the outcome will be positive or negative. Mr. Hollande opened his speech by declaring:" France is at war!" He had the Congress' attention and he had mine as well. Contrary to Mr. Obama who one day before the attack said that the Islamic State was contained. Soon after, Mr. Obama declared that what happened in Paris was a set-back. A set-back to what, the Middle Ages? Mr. Hollande on the other hand, affirmed that ISIS had to be destroyed. Not slowed down, not stopped, not talked to...but destroyed! I couldn't agree more. He was speaking one day after having sent fighter jets to bomb strategic ISIS location in Syria. Good for you Mr. Hollande. Please keep on, don't stop now. They must be eradicated.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you close your borders or at the very least strictly enforce border control. Forget about the accusation of profiling, we are way past that. May I also suggest that you seriously limit the intake of migrants into France (and all of Europe for that matter)? It is now proven that one of the Paris terrorists came to France through the Greek island of Lesbos invisible and untraceable in a wave of refugees. This open-door policy spearheaded by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is now showing us how easy it is for ISIS to infiltrate Europe. And finally, please close all the mosques that are instrumental in the radicalization of other Muslims. Incidentally, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 imams in France alone and only 1–the Imam of Drancy– came out to denounce the terrorist attacks of November 13. Muslims of the world, if you want us to make a distinction between moderate Islam and radical Islam, then please speak up against the terror attacks of November 13–not to mention many others worldwide– otherwise your silence will speak for you.

France is at a critical crossroads for the second time in one year. How many more terrorist attacks by ISIS will it take, in France or anywhere else, for us to take them seriously? Protect synagogues and Jewish schools and they attack a stadium, restaurants and a concert hall. Protect these venues and they will attack a movie theater, a mall or amusement park...and the list goes on! Too many innocent lives are destroyed by people who glorify death. My ultimate prayer is that they would truly have a change of heart and meet the true God of the universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through His Messiah Yeshua. It is a difficult prayer to pray but we must not stop praying. Prayer can change them, but if they do not change they must be stopped. This is France's second chance to fight the war against Islamic terrorism and it might very well be Europe's last chance!

Nothing like a Third Intifada to regain the World's Empathy!

On Wednesday September 30th, Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas delivered his annual speech to the United Nations General Assembly. It had been advertised for weeks as a "bombshell." Apparently, Mr. Abbas wanted to stir the pot ahead of his yearly opportunity to lambaste Israel in front of a global audience at the UN.

The "bombshell" that Mr. Abbas dropped was thethreat to cancel the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It was a threat, not an actual move. It was a threat with very few details, characterized by vagueness:
"Thus, we declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us, which render us an authority without real powers, and as long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them. We, therefore, declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding."

It looked like Mr. Abbas was grasping for straws. But you can always count on the bias of our liberal media to stir the pot further as many of them bought Mr. Abbas toothless threat, hook, line and sinker.
Most of the international press responded to it as if it was an official reneging of the agreements, their headlines spoke tons:
• Sun Herald: Abbas says Palestinians no longer bound by pacts with Israel
• Associated Press: Palestinian leader declares he is no longer bound by agreements signed with Israel.
The New York TimesMahmoud Abbas, at U.N., Says Palestinians Are No Longer Bound by Oslo Accords.

Frankly, I believe that Mahmoud Abbas was pouting at the UN General Assembly. If it was not for the fact that later on the UN raised the Palestinian flag along with the Vatican flag for the first time ever –booth entities have official observer status–Abbas would have had a temper tantrum.

There is no question that Mr. Abbas' latest threat can still be considered a repudiation of peace, even if it is an empty threat because it clearly shows his heart. But He is tired of playing second fiddle to other Middle East terror virtuosos. The Palestinian struggle has been losing momentum in recent weeks, being replaced in the news by other crisis  that deserve our attention. The following list is a brief overview of what has kept Abbas out of his cherished international limelight.

• ISIS continues to spread throughout the region, terrorizing Christian, Jews and Muslims alike as they indiscriminately behead those in their way of a caliphate.
• Iran is rapidly becoming a nuclear threat to the entire region. By the way, if they bomb Israel, will the nuclear holocaust stop short of leveling out Gaza and the West Bank? Of course not! Iran is also a threat to the Palestinian Authority, even if they ignore it.
• Syria's civil war and its recent Russian incursion, including some military actions is definitely further destabilizing the region.

Mr. Abbas's had the chutzpah to propose the annulment of the Oslo Accords, pointing the finger at Israel. It is akin to having Hitler make the statement that he would not dialogue with the Jewish community because of their crimes against the Germans. Ludicrous of course. The only difference is that 75 years ago, it would never fly but today, most of the world chooses to side with the Palestinians. Mr. Abbas knows it and he is banking on it to further his agenda.

He also knows that if he wants to retain his credibility within the Palestinian circles, he must make the news again, and in a bigger way. We have seen some rock throwing activity from the Temple mount in recent weeks as well as physical harassment in the old city against Jews on their way to the Western Wall for Holy Days prayers. Mr. Abbas probably thinks that now would be the ideal time for a third intifada (uprising).

Mr Abbas is pouting because to a certain extent the world isn't really paying attention to him as much as he would like it. But cancelling the Oslo Accords would also force the Palestinian Authority to dismantle and would eradicate all the credibility–as undeserved as it may be– that they have built over the years. He cannot afford to make that move.

A third Intifada on the other hand, would provide Mr. Abbas with the fuel he needs to revive his campaign of Jew-hatred. Even though in direct contradiction with real facts and the truth, Palestinian victimization and Israel's demonization would most certainly draw the attention of a world audience so enamored with tolerance and social justice. Not to mention that he is even losing popularity within his own people. The very people sick of Abbas' failures who are also pushing for another armed intifada.

The next few weeks will tell us if Israel will soon be faced with another Palestinian uprising. With ISIS pushing from the north, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula; Iran putting the final touch to its nuclear arsenal and Russia coming to Assad's rescue in Syria, that is a very full plate for Benjamin Netanyahu.

A third Intifada would complicate things for Israel but we must not forget that even if the world finds favor with Mahmoud Abbas, God holds Israel in the palm of his hand. Regardless of the many people in Israel who do not believe in God, that does mean that God doesn't believe in Israel.

Thus says the LordWho gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the Lord“Then the offspring of Israel also will cease From being a nation before Me forever.  (Jeremiah 31:35-37)

Refugees, Migrants and Terrorists: Europe is out of Control!

At the very time when global borders should be tightly monitored because of the ISIS invasion, Europe is faced with a tsunami of migrants. I choose to call them migrants because they are far from all being "refugees." The guidelines of acceptance vary from one European country to the next. It goes from Germany having pledged to receive in excess of 800,000 refugees to Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Hungary building fences and walls to prevent anyone from entering illegally. The one thing that all these European countries have in common is a lack of preparedness for such a tidal wave of people.
To be sure, there has always been a somewhat steady flow of immigrants to Europe. They have always been attracted by better lives and safer environments and even in some cases, financial independence.
France opened its doors to Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian migrants in the 1950s. They came as guest workers and received the jobs that native Frenchmen wouldn't dare touch such as garbage collectors, street sweepers and construction workers. Today, their kids and grandkids are French citizens constituting a hard to ignore voting power as seen during the last French presidential elections.

Too many, too fast:
It would almost appear that the refugee crisis happened overnight. It seems like the on-going Syrian civil war is forcing people out. Nobody can argue with one's decision to leave their native land to escape persecution, oppression and even death. So the question isn't about the validity of the Syrian refugee flight. One of the concerns is the sheer number of migrants. For 20 years now, the "New Europe" has allowed people to move freely between its borders, acting as if it had virtually erased them all. But the recent flow of migrants has many European countries reconsider and re-close their borders. Germany still believes that they can welcome at least another 800,000 migrants. Chancellor Merkel is under the assumption that her refugee intake will help balance out the dangerously low native birthrate. I am not convinced that we are comparing apples to apple here! There isn't one country in Europe that has the infrastructure to assimilate such a flow of people properly. We have already seen issues in the area of space needed, health and safety. Curiously enough, most Gulf States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait that speak a similar language, have similarity in culture and religion have taken none. NONE! They do have the space and are some of the richest countries in the world and they have taken none, WHY?

Not all Syrians are Syrians:
And that is all before we even entertain the concept of some of the migrants being impostors. When I speak of impostors, I actually mean two different kinds. First we have those who claim to be Syrians but are not. We could call them the "desperate impostors". Technically, only legal immigrants can remain in a host country. Others, without the proper application of identification papers will be sent back. Of course, this doesn't apply to war or political refugees. Syrians qualify as refugees of war and as such have a much greater rate of acceptance (98%). Since the publication of the 1951 Refugee Convention by the UNHCR, a refugee is a person who from "fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it." Going by that definition, Syrians qualify as refugees, along with other countries being plagued by civil unrest. In reality, many people are flooding the European borders with little or no proof of Syrian citizenship.

A Potentially Dangerous mix:
Then we have those who choose to pose as Syrians to be granted asylum and benefits but know all along that they enter a country with a different agenda. These are dangerous individuals that we could call the "radical impostors." They belong to Al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist organizations. Their immigration isn't a result from persecution and/or oppression but rather based on their desire to infiltrate, recruit, train and deploy more terrorists. The last 18 months have shown us the damage inflicted by ISIS infiltration and recruitment. The current wave of migration will only exacerbate the whole problem. It is virtually impossible to detect a Syrian from a non-Syrian refugee, so how do various European governments expect to detect ISIS impostors? Good luck with that!

An Unlikely Assimilation:
Being migrants in search of a better life or refugees seeking asylum, the vast majority of these people have Islam in common. In and of itself, this shouldn't be a concern since the very definition of who qualifies as a refugee includes freedom of religion. Yet it should now be very obvious to the West that Muslims do not integrate and assimilate very well if at all. This isn't to say that all the incoming Muslims are a menace to Europe, but there is a danger to the cultural and religious divide that is being created by their insertion into the respective countries. And frankly, ISIS' recruits have almost exclusively been from Islam sympathizers of all sorts. Yet there is also another possibility that most westerners are unaware of and that is part of Islam's ideology. It is some sort of "stealth jihad" akin to the changing demographics due to European Muslim high birthrates of the last 50 years. It is known as the Islamic doctrine of migration or hijrah.

The Muslim Migration Known as Hijrah :
Islam's expert Robert Spencer writes: "To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act,” . He then quotes Islam's holy book: “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance, And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful” (Quran 4:100).
While the original concept of hijrah is based on Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina, it can also be applied to modern Muslim migrations. It is usually referring to leaving a country were Muslim are persecuted for one where they are welcome and can join other Muslims. But it can also refer to their moving to a non-Muslim country considered to be a "lesser evil." This goes against every fiber of postmodernism, multiculturalism and tolerance, yet it is happening in front of our very eyes. Again, this doesn't mean that every Muslim is to be treated as a potential terrorist, although I have no doubt that many will end up being manipulated into the radical Islamist agenda, either against their will or even unbeknownst to them.

Europe might not yet be on the edge of extinction but in light of the current refugee crisis, it is running the risk of reaching that point of no return sooner than expected. Many European countries already have a severe "native birthrate drought" and are seeing a demographic Muslim takeover. I am all in favor of helping refugees, but now is not the time to uncontrollably open borders to unknown Muslim migrants.  This blurred combination of stealth jihad, demographic jihad and radical apocalyptic jihad is a lethal cocktail that Europe doesn't seem to be able to control!

Israel Not Taking Refugees is Not a Humanitarian Crime!

There are those who claim that the world is getting better as we are increasingly becoming more tolerant and accepting a multicultural/holistic approach to sharing our planet. I am not one of them! Don't get me wrong, I believe in tolerance and  multiculturalism (within reason and mostly within the home.) But let's face it, the world is far from getting better. Wars and rumors of wars are on almost every continent. The Middle East sits on a powder keg with a very short fuse. Iran is very, very close to lighting the whole region ablaze. Afghanistan is still in turmoil. ISIS has infiltrated just about every country around Israel (reminiscent of an ancient biblical prophecy found in Psalm 83.) Russia is moving weapons to the region, and Syria is being destroyed by a civil war with no end in sight. This is far from what you would expect if the world was getting better. This world is in crisis mode on so many levels!

Another sign of global crisis is the recent influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Albania, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Iraq into several countries of the European Union. Sweden and Germany have been on the receiving end more than any other European country because of the myriad of benefits they offer to refugees, and the fact that Germany announced that they weren't putting a cap on how many could come. The result has been a demographic tsunami hitting multiple borders at once. Even Greece–a bankrupt country desperately trying to rise out of its own ashes– has received several thousands refugees.

Most of the refugees come from Syria for reasons that no decent human being would disagree with. Syria has common borders with five countries: Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel (add Cyprus by sea.) The Russian military build-up in Syria is frightening. This refugee exodus creates a humanitarian dilemma all around Syria and far beyond but it also creates a security problem for the receiving countries. Israel of course is not exempt. Mr. Netanyahu just published a statement where he affirmed that Israel wasn't in a position to take in any refugees. I don't think that he meant solely Syrian refugees, but this will affect them [the Syrians] the most.

Mr. Netanyahu was unequivocally clear about the refugee situation: "Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of the refugees from Syria and Africa. We have already devotedly cared for approximately 1,000 wounded people from the fighting in Syria and we have helped them to rehabilitate their lives. We are speaking with African heads of state, and with the Italian Prime Minister recently and with other European leaders, about multi-lateral aid packages for the countries of origin in Africa – in agriculture, economics and security – in order to deal with the problem at its source. But, Israel is a small country, a very small country, that lacks demographic and geographic depth; therefore, we must control our borders, against both illegal migrants and terrorism. This is what we have done on our border with Sinai; we blocked illegal migration from there."

Of course, it was not long before Mr. Netanyahu was scolded by his own Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog who believes that Israel should take in refugees. Israel has often been accused of committing crimes  against humanity–the latest accusations coming from multiple foes regarding the 2014 Gaza War. The humanitarian crimes have become the leitmotiv of the Palestinian Authority and other enemies. So why is it that Israel decision to not take refugees doesn't constitute a crime against humanity?

Obviously, there are many other countries and states that cannot and will not absorb any refugees for demographic and /or geographic reasons. Israel is already struggling with it own infrastructure to receive the tens of thousands of olim (new immigrants) who just made aliyah (30,000 so far this year.) This would probably require more settlements to be developed and a further reduction of the "Palestinian boundaries" that currently exist. Would so-called "Palestinian refugees" living in Israel's "disputed territories" be willing to share some of their real-estate? Doubtful!

If  I was to make a list of reasons why Israel is right about not taking in any refugees, safety would have to be on top of that list. Once we understand that Israel is the size of New Jersey, with a constant and increasing influx of Jews returning to the land, we also have to consider what opening the borders to more people could do. A flow of unidentified people would undoubtedly include shady characters that could bring more trouble as they come in. There is no doubt in my mind that ISIS is taking advantage of the world's postmodern tolerance. This simplifies their goal of infiltrating as many countries as they can. Israel cannot afford to have terrorists infiltrate their borders when they are already dealing with terror inland on a daily basis.

European countries like Germany, Sweden and even France are opening their doors to more crime and terrorism–something that has also worried me greatly regarding our own borders with Mexico. I want to be clear about the fact that a border between two countries doesn't mean that refugees moving away from one into the next are all from that bordering country. Europe is starting to realize that as they see a massive number of refugees coming in from various places as well as many without any papers. These are hoping to become "instant Syrian refugees" and are banking on the asylum-offering countries tolerance for war refugees. But not all are war stricken and destitute. Many just want a better life for their families and who can really blame them?

It is also an undeniable fact that most of the refugees are Muslims. We know how difficult it has been for the West to identify radical and/or apocalyptic Islam from the rest of Islam. This refugee crisis will only exacerbate the issue.

I believe that Israel is doing the right thing by not accepting refugees but before anyone accuses me or the Jewish people of committing humanitarian crimes, we must consider all that Israel has done and continues to do around the world. As a matter of fact, Israel is helping several European countries with this very crisis by sending help as I write this. Israel has long been one of the first responders in global disasters and wars. This is the way that the only democracy in the Middle East rolls when it comes to partnering within the global village; they give, give, give.

So, Israel not taking refugees IS NOT a humanitarian crime because there is so much more you can do to help, and they are already doing that. In many cases, they are doing much more than the very countries pointing the finger at them!

Could the conspiracy of Psalm 83 against Israel involve ISIS?

It was only fifteen years ago that I was conducting research for my first book on anti-Semitism They Have Conspired Against You. This led me to an in-depth study of the 83rd Psalm written by Asaph who was a contemporary of King David. Psalm 83 spoke of many enemies of Israel and of the pleading of Asaph with God for His miraculous intervention on behalf of the Jewish people. Of the several points made by this short psalm, I was intrigued by the ten people groups who were described as conspiring against Israel. In digging a little deeper, I realized that this covenant of nations had never taken place in the history of Israel. I also thought that there was a strong possibility that Asaph usage of the sentence: "They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more." could very possibly be a literary device to express emphasis in despair. Maybe Asaph wanted to express that Israel had enemies–a true statement–and for emphasis, he described all her neighbors as the enemies, akin to someone with a few foes saying:"The whole world hates me!"

Of course, an equally valid interpretation could be that it is a future attack on Israel by a confederation of countries and/or states. I find it fascinating to look at the people described in Psalm 83:6-8: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them, and compare them to modern day countries or people groups. The results could even be too close for comfort.

Edom - Southern Jordan
Ishmaelites - Ishmael was one of the fathers of all the Arabs.
Moab - Central Jordan
Hagarenes - Egypt
Gebal - Lebanon
Ammon - Northern Jordan
Amalek - The Sinai Peninsula
Philistia -  The Gaza Strip
Tyre - Lebanon
Assyria - Iraq and parts of Syria

By these standards, Israel finds herself surrounded by enemies who have conspired together to destroy the Jewish state. This would be a likely scenario in light of the fact that eventually the whole world will go against Israel, but we are faced with an inconsistency. There are two countries that have an ongoing peace treaty with Israel in the whole Middle East: Jordan (Edom, Moab and Ammon) and Egypt (Hagarenes, Sinai Peninsula). Yet these are listed as enemies of Israel, so how can this be possible? I wonder if the answer could not be found in the events of the last year and the progress of ISIS (Islamic State) in the region? ISIS is continuously making progress in a very volatile region, not to mention their global recruitment over the last year. A quick review of their progress could lead credence to an upcoming fulfillment of Psalm 83:

• ISIS started their bloody takeover campaigns in parts of Iraq and Syria.
• ISIS has also been trying to gain some ground in Northeast Lebanon and Northern Lebanon. The mere idea that Lebanese Christians would praise Hezbollah for fighting ISIS is frightening at best and most likely temporary.
• They even got into the Gaza Strip, giving Hamas a run for their money.
• Of course, they also recently launched an offensive in the Sinai Peninsula. How's that peace treaty with Israel looking right now? Very shaky if ISIS spreads further into Egypt!
• This leaves us with Jordan and the Iraqi border, which have also been affected.

So there you have it in a nutshell. To an extent, ISIS has infiltrated all the areas listed in Pslam 83, INCLUDING JORDAN AND EGYPT, the only two countries with existing peace treaties with Israel. Asaph might have spoken prophetically and we might be getting really close to seeing the evil confederacy of Psalm 83 being formed. It was almost impossible to fathom that Psalm 83 would have a literal fulfillment 15 years ago. Today and with the advance of the Islamic State, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it took place. And what if it did take place?

While the entire civilized world appears to be in agreement regarding the barbarism displayed by ISIS, it is now becoming obvious that the terrorist group is not being stopped, let alone even contained. It is very surreal and quite puzzling to see ISIS recruits coming from all corners of the world to train under "the black banner of death". So yes indeed,  the grip around Israel is tightening at the hands of ISIS.

Israel has her plate very full with a Hamas ruled Gaza Strip in the south and a Hezbollah ruled Lebanon in the north. The Jewish state has been on high alert since May 14, 1948. They will not provoke but they will certainly respond. They will do it better and faster than the rest of the world because their existence depends on it. To an extent, the rest of the world's existence also depends on how serious we are about ISIS. But when you hear people such as Richard Barrett, former head of counter-terrorism at MI6 who said that:We cannot destroy ISIS, so we will have to learn to live with it", you wonder how serious anybody really is about defeating ISIS? We are not even discussing how Islamic ISIS really is or is not, but we are still faced with a terrorist group that is organized, wealthy, well advertised and very arrogant. The minute that ISIS crosses the line where Israel feels threatened, they [Israel] will respond swiftly and efficiently. No question about it.

We must also keep in mind the rest of Psalm 83 like verse 5 describing the enemies of Israel as the enemies of God Himself:"For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant." God might or might not intervene between ISIS and the world, but if they [ISIS] go against Israel, I am certain that He will get involved. Yet, there is still time for the enemies of Israel to repent because God might be just but He is also patient as Psalm 83:15-18 says:
So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm.
Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish,
That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth

The prophetic hourglass was turned on May 14, 1948 and it is running out of sand in its top section!

Why Would "Christ at the Checkpoint" Compare Israel to ISIS?

While I was recently traveling throughout Israel, I drove about 600 miles. Looking at the landscape around me, I quickly realized that we were often driving nearby the Palestinian territories and at times even through some Arab neighborhoods.

It was as if someone had ripped pages from the Bible and made street signs and town signs with them, pointing to The Galilee, the Dead Sea, the river Jordan, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Jericho, Ramallah, Gaza, Jaffa, Modi'in etc.

I particularly fell in love with the Old City in Jerusalem. Its extensive color palette mixed with a myriad of scents was a perfect backdrop for Jews, Arabs and Christians to interact. We had dinner in an Armenian restaurant, a Jewish one AND an Arab one. If you asked me to tell you where the food tasted better, the answer would be.... YES!

While the Middle East crisis is indeed a crisis and Israel is far from perfect, it is obvious that Jews, Arabs and Christians share their cultures, heritages and foods on a daily basis. The mix is simply overwhelming…in a good way, of course!

Sadly, while I was in Israel I was also made aware of a video that was released to promote an upcoming conference in July 2015, by and for young adults. The conference promotional piece was advertised as coming from “Christ at the Checkpoint-Young Adults” or CaTC-YA.

While I must admit that I was unable to understand the closing commentaries in Arabic, the video collage that came first was enough to upset any supporter of the truth about the Middle East. The video is rather short and it even repeats some of its footage on a loop.

Yet, what it tries to do will turn your stomach upside-down. It sends the very clear message that Israel is equal to ISIS in violence and human rights violation. You see footage of ISIS thugs getting ready to decapitate rows of “infidels” dressed in the now world “infamous” orange overalls, juxtaposed with Israelis filtering Palestinians though checkpoints. Then, another frame shows the Islamic State brandishing their black flag followed by an Israeli tank brandishing a Jewish flag, making again a "not-so" subliminal connection.

The attempt at drawing a parallel between ISIS and Israel shouldn’t be missed AND shouldn’t be dismissed either. It is a new low in Christian Palestinianism. To be sure, the parallel was already attempted by CaTC superstar Stephen Sizer, when he compared Israel to ISIS and even said that Christian Zionists were Christian Jihadists.

Christ at the Checkpoint (CaTC) is a conference that started in 2010 and continues to take place every two years, sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). The next official CaTC conference should take place in March 0f 2016 with the theme: "The Gospel in the face of religious extremism." In the meantime, a group of young adults proponents of the same agenda, is promoting a 2015 date. Their video is posted on their Facebook page and on the CaTC YouTube channel.

This raises some serious concerns about the biblical integrity of Bethlehem Bible College. How could they possibly claim to be Christians and promote such virulent demonization of the Jewish people and Israel. There is always the possibility that the video in question was produced by a group of supporters not necessarily officially affiliated with either CaTC or BBC (although currently posted on the CaTC YouTube channel). Even if it is the case, we need to hear from either or both very soon. I fear a silence that will of course speak tons about their position.

I cannot help but ask CaTC and BBC which “Christ” do they mean in “Christ at the Checkpoint” and which “Bible” do they use to validate him? If CaTC and BBC do not distance themselves from such unbiblical libelous attacks, they will further validate their anti-Semitic stance. This will leave a vast number of uneducated and/or gullible Evangelicals with a choice to make as well. Each choice we make leads to consequences.

Would they continue to support and attend such a conference as it compares Israel to ISIS? I certainly hope not! You can only claim ignorance for so long before you loose your credibility and ruin your reputation, but then again in a world were tolerance and political correctness are measured by one’s level of hatred for Israel and the Jews, I might be asking for the impossible.

In the meantime, if you want to know what’s going on in Israel, start by reading your bible and then consider making a trip yourself and experiencing some of what I just experienced for a few days. Incidentally, I drove by the Israeli towns of Ramallah and Jericho (under Palestinian authority) where Jews ARE NOT WELCOME EVER, and I drove by plenty of Israeli areas where Arabs AND Jews live in relative peace. But of course that is a topic that will never be covered at such conferences!

The theme of next year's Christ at the Checkpoint 4 is "The Gospel in the face of religious extremism." As of right now, I doubt that what is meant by religious extremism pertains to Islamism and/or the Islamic State. Based on the current trend and this new video, Zionism and Israel are in the crosshairs.

It doesn't matter if you follow Yeshua (Jesus) or not, the fact is that He was born a Jew not a Palestinian. He was born in Eretz Yisrael not the Palestinian territories and taught His followers to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them (Matthew 5:44)– something that isn't a characteristic of CatC proponents. So really, which Christ is at their checkpoint?

Help us protect ourselves from the people who want to kill you!

Recently, the Saudis have made two very peculiar moves to protect their country from an ISIS invasion and/or Iran. It is interesting to note that we now have an apparently sharia compliant country trying to defend itself from a sharia enforcing state. Is there more than one way to abide by sharia law?

It is also worth noting that the brand of Islam known as Wahhabism or Salafism, that is the driving force behind the Islamic State was born within the borders of Saudi Arabia. Even though it is clear that Saudi Arabia has progressively distanced itself from the extremist brand of Wahhabism adopted by ISIS, the connection cannot be ignored. It would appear as if the pupil has surpassed the master.

First, it was recently officially announced by the Saudis that they had decided to build a 600 mile wall/fence on their northern border with Iraq to protect themselves from a possible ISIS invasion. Seeing how Iraqi forces have poorly responded to ISIS, the Saudis are getting concerned. But this isn't a reaction based on the growing threat from the Islamic State since apparently the idea first came up almost a decade ago.

Then there is the most recent offer they made to Israel in regards to opening their air space for the IDF to use if they choose to strike Iran. Of course it wasn't announced in those words and was only discussed behind closed doors with some European leaders. According to The Wall Street Journal : US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran. While I can appreciate Saudi Arabia's desire to protect their borders, I find both those moves to be quite hypocritical.

The 600 miles wall/fence isn't necessarily a bad idea. I believe that any sovereign state is absolutely entitled to its own safety. This is a sad reflection on the times we live in, when countries have to isolate themselves for their own safety, but like someone once said: "It is what it is!" As Saudi Arabia is building their fence, why isn't there any outrage about their isolationist attitude? Should we accuse them of Islamophobia, or better yet "ISISophobia"? Are they becoming an apartheid state? Of course, you see where I am going with this as nobody is finding the Saudi fence to be out of line, yet the Israeli fence is Islamophobic and driven by colonialism and an apartheid mentality. Give me a break, the Saudi fence AND the Israeli fence have the exact same purpose and that is sovereign protection of their citizens. Why the double standard?

Now let us consider the opening of the airspace over Saudi Arabia for the IDF to fly over he they decide to strike Iran. As the United States continue to flex under the Iranian arrogance, the whole world is wondering how soon Iran will be ready to go nuclear. It certainly appears to be a matter of when and not if. Iran just performed a military exercise days ago and destroyed a life-size replica of a US ship to show the world how capable and certainly willing they are to destroy the West. They now have missiles capable of reaching Europe and the United States. What are we waiting for?

Saudi Arabia doesn't share a border with Iran but finds itself on the other side of the Persian Gulf and definitely vulnerable. They understand that the one country that can and might do something is Israel, so they are willing to open up their air space in case of a strike. They obviously have much to gain with that move. But wait, there is a catch! The Saudis expect Israel to promise progress in the Israeli/Palestinian "Peace talks" if they want air space access. Nothing has been specified regarding what kind of progress, but good will towards reconciliation must be shown.

Excuse me! Saudi Arabia wants Israel to get along with Hamas who pretty much lines up with much of ISIS' ideology and wants nothing but the death of all Jews (first) and the West (next). Last September, at the United Nations, Netanyahu rightfully said: "ISIS and Hamas are branches from the same poisonous tree." Reconciliation requires both sides to be willing to reconcile. One-sided reconciliation is abdication, and in Israel's case, abdication to Hamas would mean instant suicide.

How hypocritical is it from the Saudis to ask Israel to negotiate with some of the same bloody murderers that they [the Saudis] are trying to protect themselves from? How can they keep a straight face and ask Israel to "Help us protect ourselves from the people who want to kill you!"

It might still come to the time when Israel flies over Saudi skies to strike Iran, and it could be a positive move for the whole region. This being said, it is time for the world to recognize that Israel isn't the enemy but the only hope in the Middle East. Deep down, Saudi Arabia probably knows it, otherwise they wouldn't open their air space to them, but they are not willing to make such a statement in the open.

I look at the Saudis and It reminds me of Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone, when he said:"My hypocrisy only goes so far!"