It Was Not About Reclaiming The Land, It Was A 21st Century Pogrom!

"Israel is an occupier!" "Israel is an apartheid country!' "Israel is a colonizer!" "The Zionist regime stole land from the Palestinians!" Over the last few decades, we've heard it all. The world has incessantly painted a very negative picture of Israel, imposing a reputation on the only Jewish state in the world that many people have now come to hate.  It's not based on facts, but it continues to be spread. As a result, amid a full-blown war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to respond to the most extensive twenty-first-century pogrom since the Holocaust, Israel is still seen as the perpetrator.

How could Hamas accuse Israel of occupation when there are no Jews in the Gaza Strip? Hamas governs the Strip and has since 2005, after Israel unilaterally disengaged from the area. After the legislative elections of 2006, Hamas became the ruling party and has been ever since, with no new election in 17 years. The Gaza Strip is 100% Palestinian-ruled and not under “occupation”.

Incidentally, the whole land of Eretz Yisrael is Jewish land and has been for about 4,000 years. For those who care to learn history and learn from it, a timeline of the history of the Land of Israel can be beneficial. Here are just a few of the many markers on this critical timeline. Palestine is never mentioned in any of these Bible passages or anywhere in the Bible, for that matter. Jewish presence in the land has been uninterrupted for about 4,000 years:

1900 BC: God chose Abraham as the Father of the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3; 15).
1900 BC: Abraham's son, Isaac, is given the land as an inheritance and takes the lead over Israel (Genesis 26:2-4).
1850 BC: Isaac's son Jacob is given the land as an inheritance and rules over Israel (Genesis 28:12-13; 35:12).
1400 BC: Moses leads the people out of Egypt and back to Israel (Exodus 3:17; 14).
1010 BC: King David unites the 12 tribes into one nation (2 Samuel 5:1).
970 BC: King Solomon, the son of King David, built the first Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6).
930 BC: Israel is divided into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 11:31-35).
722 BC: The Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel (1 Chronicles 5:26).
605 BC: The Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 24-25).
586 BC: Solomon's Temple is destroyed by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:8-9).
539 BC: Persians conquer the Babylonians and take control of Israel (Daniel 2).
538 BC: The Jews return to Israel from the Babylonian captivity (Psalm 126:1-6; Ezra 1:1-2).
520 BC: Solomon's Temple is rebuilt. (Ezra 1:1-6:22).
323 BC: The Ptolemies (Egypt) and Syria (Seleucids) fight over Israel (Daniel 11).
167 BC: The Hasmoneans recapture Israel (Daniel 11).
70 BC: The Romans conquer Israel (Luke 21:20, 24).
20 BC: King Herod (re)builds the Temple (Luke 2:46-47).
6 BC: Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus), the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world, was born in Bethlehem, Judea (Micah 5:2; Luke 2).
70 AD: Romans destroy the temple (Matt. 23:37-39).

So, the Land has always been a Jewish land if one is to believe the Bible. Yet, for some who do not believe in God or do not hold the Bible as inspired and without error (in the original manuscripts), we must include the modern-day confirmations of 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, the 1920 San Remo Conference, and the United Nations November 17, 1947 vote of Israel as the modern Jewish state, leading to the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

This all goes to prove that biblically, politically, and historically, the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. There were always Jewish people in the Land. While their presence went thick and thin through the centuries, there was NEVER a time in Israel when Jews were not present. Even now, the Jewish people gave away Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is Jewish land occupied by "Palestinians" if you really want to know. Since the Oslo Accords, Israel has worked hard at the idea of "Land for Peace"; yet, here we are, in October 2023, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that it will never work. October 7, 2023, will be remembered as the bloodiest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust. No matter our belief about "occupation," Hamas has the blood of innocents on their hands.

As much as the Palestinian narrative has wanted us to believe it was, this was never about the land. This has always been about the complete annihilation of the Jewish people and the complete eradication of the State of Israel from the world map. If it ever was about land, why is self-ruling 100% Palestinian Gaza complaining about occupation? If it was truly about land, shouldn't the inhabitants of Gaza be grateful for their area, as little as it may be? If it was about land, shouldn't the Gaza residents show an example and grow their region with the funds sent by the global community? Finally, if it was about land, why did Yasir Arafat turn down Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, when he was offered 100% of Gaza and 95% of Judea and Samaria?

That is because the land grab is an excuse for complete genocide. We just saw what Hamas is capable of. They committed a modern-day pogrom against Jewish people, and they would do it again if given a chance. They must not be given that chance. To be clear, the definition of a pogrom is: "an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group." This was exactly what took place on October 7, 2023.

The ultimate enemy of Israel is Satan who is obsessed with destroying the Jews. We must understand that this is a spiritual battle before anything else. The Bible promises that when God resumes His program which hinges around the Jewish people, Israel and Jerusalem, there will be casualties, but He also promises to never, ever forsake Israel (Jeremiah 31:35-37).  Be it Satan, Hamas or any other antisemitic entity, Israel's enemies will be defeated. Although this is 2023 and the Holocaust is only 80 years in our rearview mirror, there are those who would have it all happen again.  The motto of "never again" seems forgotten and has been replaced by “gas the Jews!” This had nothing to do with the land, it was a pogrom.  The goal is the murder of all Jewish people, not just in Gaza but the whole world.  Let's face our new reality. It is open season on the Jewish people again!

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?

Terror in Israel: Lone Wolves are still Wolves!

In the last month, Israel has reported almost 800 acts of terror. Much speculation arose in the media around the globe as to the possibility of a third Intifada slowly taking place. Yet, as of now, if we compare the current events to those of the First Intifada of 1987-1991 and of the Second Intifada of 2000-2005, we are not seeing an out-of-control uprising of a large number of Palestinians. It is simply too early to tell. There is little doubt that it could pick-up more momentum and become a third Intifada, but for right now it appears to be a random series of acts of terror by Palestinians acting as "lone wolves".

Frankly, the recent attacks on Israeli citizens–as isolated and sporadic as they have been–are still posing a great danger to everyday life in the land. They represent individual jihad more than a third Intifada, but at the end of the day, the same people are targeted, the same people are victimized and the same agenda is promoted. Terror is terror is terror! Many unnecessary fatalities have been reported.

• Unpredictable Terror:
One of the grave dangers posed by this on-going terrorism in Israel is the fact that each act of terror is very unpredictable and very different form other murderous acts. Here are just a few:
• October 20: The stoning of a car forced an Israeli citizen to exit his vehicle and led him to be killed by a moving truck.
• October 18: A Palestinian grabbed the rifle off an IDF soldier, killed him and wounded eleven more people.
• October 16: A Palestinian disguised as a journalist stabs an IDF soldier
• October 13: A stabbing and shooting on a bus in Southern Jerusalem led to the killing of 4 people and wounding 15 more.
• October 1: Shooting to death of a young couple under the eyes of their wounded young children.

These acts are all different which makes them nearly impossible to predict or thwart. This unpredictability is possibly the greatest threat to Israel right now. Israel has become a world leader and expert on how to detect explosive devices ahead of their detonations. But how do you detect a knife made out of a school ruler? How do you predict the stoning of a car on the road? How do you avoid a car running into a group of people waiting at a bus stop? It is simple...You don't!

• Cheap Terror:
Martyrdom has long been part of the Palestinian culture. Young Palestinians are indoctrinated at a very early age against Jewish people. They are told and taught about "killing Jews." Death is part of the fabric of many Muslim countries in the Middle East, especially when it is connected to Israel. The promise of a "heavenly harem" of 72 virgins along with financial incentives to the families of homicide bombers have been common practice in Palestinian circles.

Not every Palestinian is keen on losing their life to "the cause", but just about anyone would be willing to randomly hurt Israelis as they have done recently. This demands a very small investment of willing "Palestinian Martyrs" and thus is a cheap method of terror that becomes very attractive to many. We can expect a lot more of these acts in the upcoming weeks.

• Financed Terror:
It was good to hear that the US decided to cut its financial aid to Abbas by $80 million (why they still sent the remaining $290 million defies logic). Financial help to a terrorist group is basically terrorism. Why would we look at any other terror states such as Iran funding Hamas, Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda and see them as terror partners but ignore the United States involvement in terrorism?
Not one dollar of the $290 million that the United States sent Abbas in 2015 was ever justified, unless of course we bought Abbas' lies about Palestinians being the victims of the Israeli occupation. The fact that the US retained $80 million in funding shows that something is wrong, but it is akin to trying to get somebody to stop smoking by pulling a few cigarettes out of their pack and letting them smoke the rest. It simply won't work!

This current wave of spontaneous terror attacks on Israeli citizens and soldiers is not an intifada per se, at least not an "old school" intifada. Yet it might end-up being more damaging than the previous two intifadas. If creativity prevails, we will see more attacks in ways that nobody could predict. This has become a logistical nightmare for Israel. No wonder the mayor of Jerusalem recently announced to its Jewish residents that if they had a valid carry license, they should never leave home without a firearm.

The wolves attacking Israel might not come in packs and might be far from being well organized and structured, but they remain wolves with a ferocious appetite for Jewish lives. It is not about Jerusalem, it is not about the Temple Mount and it is not about the disputed territories. It is simply about the complete eradication of Israel and all Jews.

I still rest in the fact that God continues to be a Zionist and continues to protect Israel from complete destruction as we can read in Psalm 121:1-4
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LordWho made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.