ICEJ NEW ZEALAND
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. JOB 19:25 INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM January-February 2013 Shâ€™vat-Adar 5773
PO Box 100474, North Shore, North Shore City 0745 Telephone: 09 837 5384 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Find us online: www.icej.org
NZ REGISTERED CHARITY CC41177
Haifa home happenings ICEJ AID staff
There is something about being and doing. When living faith permeates us, it shapes who we are, how we “be”, how we view the world and what we do for others.
Life’s joys and sorrows Visits to the home by ICEJ staff means sharing joys and worries, joining in happy times or sadly, observing how ill health takes its toll. Yordan came to the Home a few months ago and said, “Here I receive wonderful loving care. Everyone gives me what I ask for and the food is delicious. The other residents are very friendly.” It was so good that this lonely man felt like this because he has now passed away at age seventy six. He had one brother only and his extended family had all perished in the Holocaust. Other residents have serious health issues. Long term resident 90 year old Miriam is much loved. She would usually be found sitting in the special outside corner that memorialized her parents who died in a ghetto, but now mainly keeps to her room due to her failing health. Her mind remains clear though and she enjoys visitors. In a recent interview by a reporter, she again reiterated how God has been with her all the way till today - this from a lady who went through so many ordeals. The ICEJ visitors met Leah on her way to visit Miriam. Their Polish backgrounds have drawn the two ladies together to become good friends. Leah had difficulties settling into a new environment when she first arrived but is very happy now and with much joy, showed off the new room into which she recently moved. Leah is a lady of elegance, always taking great care of her appearance. It is always a joy to visit Shula and this time to offer encouragement. Walking is becoming more and more painful and she finds the necessary knee replacement solution, daunting. Celebrations and Commemorations: As part of the rhythm of life in the Home, group birthday celebrations continue to be a monthly event to look forward to. Everyone comes and it is usually a full house, with songs, cake and presents and a small entertainment program. A recent one was no exception. A gathering of a different sort took place on the 27th of January.
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Faith and works
Cover image: xxxx
Residents, staff, many other survivors and distinguished guests marked International Holocaust Day. January 27th is the date in 1945, when the largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops. This day of remembrance was inaugurated in 2005 by the United Nations General Assembly on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the end of the Holocaust. But that wasn’t all that day! The date coincided with Tu B’shvat, the ‘birthday’ of the trees, a day when Israelis love to get out and plant trees. The residents of the Haifa Home were no exception! Helped by their uniformed visitors, they participated in this wonderful symbolic act of new life, doubly significant on that day and in that area. The new trees and shrubs were planted along one of the sides of the Home’s museum, a developing project that will stand as testimony to the horror that each resident witnessed. Vision and Provision We have so often seen God’s Hand on this project. In the way opportunities have opened up to enlarge the project and in the provision of funds to take advantage of those opportunities. Right now we are in the process of purchasing two apartments in close proximity to the Home which became available at very reasonable prices. Finding funding is not without its challenges but the goal of giving more survivors a home is always the inspiration. We hope you will continue to be part of the ongoing vision and help us make these latest extensions a reality. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Jesma O’Hara reflects on this theme in the facing page in a new year message encouraging us to be reflections of God’s character, agents of a doing, sending, acting God contributing to His restorative purposes. The lessons of Purim also echo this theme. Esther was called “for such a time as this” to act at great personal risk. Her faith and her love for her people were not enough. She had to act with faith and courage as the Lord directed her through her Uncle Mordechai – to speak up, to speak truth - and save lives... Jurgen Buhler reminds us in the current WFJ edition to have a global perspective, to be aware of global shifts occurring in our world and to be agents of change undergirded by faith, hope and love for those around us – to be peacemakers. The story on these pages of “an unlikely friendship” illustrates the power of truth, love, mercy and grace in bringing about reconciliation. Graeme Carle exhorts us to grapple afresh with the lessons of the book of Revelation in understanding history, Israel’s significance and future perspectives. And Perry Trotter’s “Shadows of Shoah” presentation speaks powerfully against anti-Semitism. encouraging us to do likewise. Since our Redeemer lives, in light of His mercy and His amazing grace, may we continually be “living sacrifices” selflessly empowered by the Holy Spirit and transformed by the renewing of our minds to better discern the will of God, obey and act (Romans 12). ICEJ continues to prayerfully discern the will of God in exercising its mandate. It seeks to continually foster Christian Jewish relations, to be bridge builders expressing the love of God to all people in the region in practical ways, facilitate aliyah, to educate and to celebrate God’s faithfulness. We are all invited afresh to corporately and actively continue supporting this work. Blessings for 2013 Derek McDowell, Director ICEJ-NZ Cover image: memorial corner rest area at the home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa.
Called by a doing, sending God Jesma O’Hara As we begin the new year, we do so with an awareness that our world needs desperately to see the reality of God as never before, and that reality should be reflected through the lives of God’s people everywhere. The Bible is a chronicle or history of God’s great plan of redemption, His plan to restore shalom [healing, wholeness with nothing broken or missing; a world where everything is working as He intended], to His creation. It is an action packed blockbuster which tells the story of God’s redemptive acts. It begins with God’s creation of the universe where everything is good, and ends with His creation of the New Jerusalem, where everything is restored to His original purpose and plan. It depicts a God who is busy the whole time fulfilling His purposes and vision for His creation, including humankind. Even God’s names speak about what He does, flowing out of His character attributes . • Elohim [translated God] – Creator, King, Law Giver. • Yahweh [translated LORD] – Giver of Grace, I AM. • El Shaddai [translated God Almighty] – Protector, Provider, Guardian. He describes Himself throughout scripture as a shepherd, a doctor, a banner, a potter – all activities or job descriptions. Whenever the bible speaks of God’s righteousness [tzedakah], it always relates to God’s saving, redemptive actions in the world. To redeem means to buy back, to repair and restore something that has been torn or broken. When the prophet Malachi speaks of the coming of the Sun of Righteousness [the Messiah], he says that he will have healing [marpe – repairing something torn or broken] in his wings. OUR GOD IS A DOING, ACTING, SENDING GOD WHO HAS MADE US IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS, AS REFLECTIONS OF HIS CHARACTER AND KINGDOM WAY OF DOING THINGS. Joseph and Simeon were described as righteous men [Hebrew tzaddikim, singular tzaddik], which speaks of much
more than having correct theology, but of living, acting and speaking as reflections of God’s character. My husband John and I meet many wonderful people, tzaddikim, as we travel throughout the world and we have learnt over and over again, that it is what people DO, how they live their lives, that sets them apart as disciples and tzaddiks. There are many believers in the world but God is looking for disciples, who will reflect His character and Kingdom world view. During his visit to the synagogue in Nazareth in Luke 4, Jesus read from Isaiah 61, to give the people a picture of what he had come to do. He read, “The Spirit of the LORD God [Yahweh Elohim], is upon me, because the LORD [Yahweh] has anointed me to announce good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives, to let out into light those bound in the dark...” In many ways it was a continuation of Isaiah 58, where God describes the sort of fast He wants His people to engage in...”Here is the sort of fast I want – releasing those unjustly bound, untying the thongs of the yoke, letting the oppressed go free, breaking every yoke, sharing your food with the hungry, taking the homeless poor into your house, clothing the naked when you see them, fulfilling you duty to your kinsmen..” These passages speak of God’s concern for human wholeness [shalom]. In “The Shaping of Things to Come, “ Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch write of our need to recover a Messianic spirituality as lived by Jesus. They write, “Our spirituality must move from a primarily passive/ receptive mode to an actional mode. The church must rediscover the ability and inclination to find God in the place of action so that others might find Him there as well. Action is a sacrament of grace.” Tim Costello, Australian head of World Vision, in “Another Way to Love,” writes, “...evil is real and we need both a change of heart to address the evil within and social changes to address the evil without. Sin is the reign of evil in the world and salvation is the overcoming of evil. Sin is expressed in hunger, injustice, sickness and spiritual alienation, in short, all that cripples the image of
Jesma with an African child
God. Salvation is experienced in food, justice, health and abundance that heals this crippled image. The good news is that we are called by God to partner with Him to set things right. This includes our own relationship with our Maker and the thrill of discovering the meaning of who we are.” Sadly, today, most unbelievers view of the church is defined by what they perceive us not to believe in – abortion and gay marriage! They see us in negative terms and if we are honest, no one is rushing to join us! Imagine if we were defined by what we DO, a people on the move offering God’s grace, forgiveness and shalom to broken, disillusioned fearful humanity, even as we have received it ourselves. As we begin this new year, a year in which most of the world still doesn’t know God’s saving grace; a world in which millions of people made in God’s image are lonely, starving, enslaved and living in poverty, let us commit to be a DOING PEOPLE, ACTING OUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD – SENT AND AT THE DISPOSAL OF OUR AMAZING, DOING, SENDING GOD. Together with her husband John, Jesma O’Hara has served on the board of ICEJ Australia for the past 18 years. Jesma is Chairperson of Australian Friends of ORR SHALOM CHILDREN’S HOMES in Israel and chairperson of Nambour Christian College, an interdenominational Christian College with over 1200 students. She and John serve on the Board of Neighbour’s Aid Community Stores, an organization they established in 2002 to help needy children in Israel and HIV+ children and AIDS orphans in Thailand, Malawi and Kenya. Jesma travels widely throughout Australia, The Asia/Pacific region and Africa, teaching in Churches and Bible Colleges. Jesma has recently started an e-teaching web site at http://www. jesmaohara.com.au/ - free to subscribe.
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An Unlikely Friendship Rob Yule In May 2011, in the course of our grand retirement tour, my wife Christene and I stayed with Israeli friends in Modi’in, a new city the size of Palmerston North midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
visit to Christchurch in 1986. It made me appreciate afresh the value of prayer – what God can do to change people’s hearts, grow unlikely friendships, and bring reconciliation across entrenched divisions.
On our friends’ bookshelf of mainly Hebrew books we spotted one in English, Son of Hamas. It tells the remarkable story of how the son of one of the founders of the radical Islamic terrorist organisation Hamas became a peacemaker and follower of Jesus.
As the son of a Hamas founder, Yousef knew many of the group’s political and military leaders. He was privy to their discussions and sometimes present when critical decisions were made. When Israel arrested him in 1996, Gonen was the Shin Bet agent who set about recruiting him.
Fed up with the chaos and violence of the second Palestinian uprising or intifada, Mosab Hassan Yousef was secretly nurtured and recruited by Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service. The book tells how he began informing them of impending terrorist actions and suicide bombings. In so doing he saved the lives of hundreds of Israelis, both Jews and Arabs.
The book reveals a rarely disclosed aspect of intelligence work: how an agency woos informers. Yousef’s handler Loai uses empathy and persuasion. He speaks to Yousef in perfect Arabic, shows familiarity with his life in the West Bank, gives him money for college and clothes, and cultivates him for a long time before asking for anything in return. All along, Loai supports Yousef’s desire to make a contribution to peace. ‘What the Israelis were teaching me was more logical and more real than anything I had ever heard from my own people,’ Yousef writes. ‘Nearly every time we met, another stone in the foundation of my world view crumbled.’
Flicking through it, Yousef’s story looked exciting but implausible – the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster. But the tale of Yousef and his handler is a true story – a rare Israeli-Palestinian narrative in which secrets are revealed, trust is established, and foes become friends. In the book Yousef recounts how he was recruited to work for Shabak (as Shin Bet is popularly known in Israel), how his own views about violence changed and his interest in Jesus developed, and how he came to see Israel differently through the humanity of his interactions with his Israeli handler. But as we thumbed the book, what blew us away was a handwritten dedication in the flyleaf by the author to our Jewish host: ‘To my friend and brother Gonen, here is our amazing journey together, it is finally written in a book. I was afraid to leave this world before I write it. I am very happy that I could make it happen. Without your support and friendship my life and my story would be in danger!
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Mosab Hassan Yousef (right) is hugged by Gonen ben Itzhak, after his deportation hearing in San Diego, 30 June 2010 (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
‘I thank you and am grateful for you. ‘Your friend and brother, ‘Mosab Hassan, “the green prince.” ’ ‘The Green Prince’ was Yousef’s code name, ‘green’ being the colour of the Hamas flag, ‘prince’ a reference to his being the son of one of the founding leaders of Hamas. It turns out that our host, Gonen, studying for a New York law degree, used to work for Shin Bet. He is the ‘Captain Loai’ referred to throughout the book – Mosab Yousef’s Israeli handler. Their months of secretly working together had turned into a deep friendship, a friendship crossing the most intransigent divide between people anywhere on earth today. One cannot imagine more dissimilar family backgrounds. Mosab Yousef was the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, the most respected leader of Hamas, the radical West Bank Islamic Jihadist group. Gonen’s father was the Israeli general in charge of the West Bank during the brutal suppression of the first Palestinian intifada. I got goose bumps. I have prayed for this Jewish family once or twice a week since we met and befriended them during their
Though Son of Hamas is an account of undercover work, it also illuminates the complicated relationship of a father and son. Mosab repeatedly professes admiration for his father, Hassan Yousef, and maintains that his work for Shabak helped keep his father off Israel’s targeted-assassination list (though not out of jail). Mosab is contemptuous of the way his father rationalises suicide attacks, but heartbroken when he disowns him. Gonen recognises what courage it took for Mosab to reject the endemic violence of Palestinian society. ‘Mosab’s destiny was to become a Hamas member, maybe a suicide bomber,’ he told Newsweek (16 May 2010), ‘and only his strong personality, only the way he understood the humanity he got from his parents, is what changed things…. For Mosab to be raised in this kind of environment, doing continued on page 5
...an unlikely friendship
(continued from page 4)
the right thing with those ideas, I think it’s a huge message to his people that there is a different way.’ But Gonen, too, has showed great courage in breaking Shin Bet protocol and publicly standing by Mosab when the United States, perversely, wanted to deport him as a terrorist threat. He travelled at his own expense to San Diego to testify at Mosab’s deportation hearing – called off by the Department of Homeland Security on the very morning it was due to take place. Writing in the Washington Post (30 June 2010) on the eve of the aborted hearing, Mosab and Gonen describe their improbable friendship: ‘In the nine years we worked together, the two of us, once sworn enemies, embraced mutual recognition and rejected the mind-set of revenge.’ ‘All the efforts of Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization failed to achieve the goals of the intifada. All the efforts of the IDF failed to stop the hate that fuelled the intifada.’ ‘As we worked together to prevent the deaths of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians, the two of us became friends. We believe that friendships like ours are key to eliminating hate and promoting the liberty that both our peoples so desperately desire.’
What is Mosab’s situation today? He has been granted asylum in the United States, and is seeking American citizenship. He would be killed if he returned to the West Bank. Both Al Qaeda and Hamas want him dead, as do some Muslims in the United States. But Mosab remains uncowed. He plans to make a television documentary of his astonishing life story, and a film about the prophet Mohammed – to tell the world the truth about the founder of the world’s most violent religion. On 18 June 2012, with Gonen’s assistance, he visited the Israeli Knesset to speak for peace and democracy. This story challenges us to pray for more miracles of improbable friendship and reconciliation – that God, through Christ, may create one new humanity out of these two estranged peoples, Jew and Arab, so there can be genuine peace in the Middle East today (Ephesians 2:14-16). Footnote Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices is published by Tyndale House Publishers. The 2011 ‘Afterword’ identifies Gonen ben Itzhak as Mosab Hassan Yousef’s Israeli friend and former Shin Bet handler, which is why Rob Yule can identify him in this article.
A retired Presbyterian minister and former Presbyterian Moderator, Rob was a founding board member of both the ICEJ (NZ Branch) and Prayer for Israel (NZ).
Purim - God is there Purim falls on the 14th and 15th days of the Hebrew calendar month, Adar, this year 24 and 25 February. In the ongoing conflict between Israel and its archetypical enemy the Amalekites that began during the exodus, Haman, the king of Persia’s right hand man initiated what was to be the final push during the OT era to annihilate the Jews. The book of Esther institutes the annual festival of Purim, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people during the reign of Xerxes in Persia (today’s Iran) in the fifth century BCE. Had Haman succeeded, the Jewish people would have ceased to exist. The lineage leading to the birth of the Redeemer-Messiah would have been cut off. Israel’s role in God’s redemptive plan would have been thwarted. And yet in the book which records this deliverance, God is not mentioned. Did He not act? Did He care? Does He exist? Does the silence infer His irrelevance and the secularity of our human existence, characterized by coincidence, happenstance and luck? Such events are so important to the Lord otherwise His plans would not stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations, for and through the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance (Psalm 33:11-13). When the king could not sleep, he remembered Mordechai’s uncovering of a conspiracy to assassinate the king (Esther 6:1). The king deceived Haman to honor Mordechai the Jew and not Haman himself. The timing of the feast with Haman and the king to determine the fate of the Jews allowed Esther to file her petition and for Haman to be exposed: “If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation…” (Esther 7:3-4). Esther was called for such a time as this (Esther 4:12-16). Their deliverance was assured whether Esther acted or not – because God is sovereign and faithful to His purposes. Yet those purposes were accomplished because Esther exercised her human responsibility. That is our challenge – to be in concert with the heart of God and to act faithfully… ~ by Derek McDowell
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Israel: The Key to the Book of Revelation Graeme Carle Why is it so hard for us to understand the Book of Revelation today? We know Daniel wasn’t supposed to understand everything he recorded because some details were ‘sealed up’, concealed until the right time (Dan 12:4), but John’s Revelation was not sealed because it was the time for understanding (Rev 22:10). So why can’t we all understand Revelation today? Tragically, we threw away the key to understanding when, from the 2nd Century on, the Gentile church increasingly turned away from Israel. John’s 1st Century A.D. audience, being either Jewish believers or Gentiles taught by Jewish believers, would have easily understood his imagery: Revelation’s plagues echo the ten plagues of Israel’s exodus from Egypt; its seven trumpets, their battle for Jericho; its beasts originate from Daniel’s portrayal of the Gentile empires who ruled over Israel; its heavenly creatures were previously seen by Isaiah and Ezekiel, and its horsemen, scrolls and ever-filling lampstands by Zechariah. 1st Century Christians would have readily understood Revelation from Israel’s history and Scriptures. And not the faithful, believing Israel but all of Israel ‘according to the flesh’ (Rom 9:3): the Israel that Paul says had stumbled, transgressed and failed but not fallen (Rom 11:11-12); enemies of the gospel but still beloved for the sake of the fathers (Rom 11:28). The Israel who were partially hardened (Rom 11:25) but still not rejected (Rom 11:1), who will again be grafted into the olive tree when they finally do believe (Rom 11:23-25, 12 and 15). Of course, the central, essential, subject of Revelation is Jesus of Nazareth - His identity, purpose, kingdom and victorious return - but the book’s symbolism is all from Jewish events, rituals and prophets. It simply doesn’t make sense to set aside Israel. Look, for example, at Revelation, chapter 12. Some scholars confidently assert: It is not difficult to recognise the essence of the Christian story in vs 1-6 but of one thing we may be sure: no Christian would summarize the gospel of Christ in this manner, omitting 6 INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM NZ BRANCH
all reference to Christ’s life and death (emphasis added)1 Can we really be sure of that? What if John was not trying to ‘summarize the gospel’ but was instead explaining the mystery of the woman? After all, the first two verses are about the woman and her travail, vs. 6 her time in the wilderness, and the last five verses (vss. 13-17) about her being hated and persecuted by the devil. She’s the primary subject of half the chapter! So how can we unlock chapter 12? Firstly, by recognising that the woman’s three identifying features were interpreted by Jacob from Joseph’s dream (Gen 37:9-11), revealing her as Israel ‘according to the flesh’ from her creation as a nation. These three are then confirmed by her being given eagles’ wings (vs. 14, as in Exodus 19:4) and by Michael’s role in the heavenly realm (vs. 7, as in Dan 12:1). Secondly, after learning that the dragon’s seven heads are “seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come” (Rev 17:10), we 21st Century Gentiles need to catch up, not with Roman2 but Jewish history. Every 1st Century Jewish child would have known that over the previous 2,000 years, five great Gentile empires had ruled over Israel - their downfalls are still being celebrated today by Jewish children in their annual festivals of Passover, Purim and Hanukkah. The sixth “one” that “is”, in 95-96 A.D., was the Roman Empire. The seventh that was “not yet come”, we see in our day, along with the rebirth of the nation of Israel.3 Revelation 12 can only be understood in the light of Jewish History 101. We also see that this survival of Israel, despite ever-recurring Gentile antiSemitism and attempts at genocide over 4,000 years, is ‘a great sign in heaven’ (Rev 12:1), indeed one of the great mysteries of the ages. Thirdly, we need to understand the terrible consequences for Israel ‘according to the flesh’ for rejecting Jesus. In 70 A.D., God sent her away from her land, into what Ezekiel called ‘the wilderness of the Gentiles’ (Ezek 20:35) where she remained for almost 2,000 years. Fourthly, we need to recognise the extraordinary significance of May 14, 1948, when her exile ended and Israel
was reestablished as a nation. It’s this restoration that allows us to unpack several other great Jewish mysteries - the comings of Elijah and his metaphorical ‘time, times and half a time’, or ‘times of the Gentiles’.4 When we have proper understanding of this time period, we can then unlock Revelation 13:5 and see unveiled the last 2,000 years of the Christian era, with startling results. Not only can we now understand the forces shaping global history and causing the deaths of some 269 million in 20th Century genocides but we can also project the future of Israel and the Middle East.5 Footnote 1
New Bible Commentary, ed. Gordon J. Wenham, J. Alec Motyer, Donald A. Carson & R.T. France, Westmont, Illinois; IVP Academic, 1994, p. 1441 2 As usually taught, e.g. The New Oxford Annotated Bible thinks they are Roman emperors, despite there having been fifteen by John’s day. 3 See the author’s Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws (The Mystery of Israel’s Survival), Emmaus Road Publishing, 2012. 4 ibid. 5 See the author’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem (The Rise of the Antichrists), Emmaus Road Publishing, 2013.
Graeme Carle, an itinerant bible teacher and writer has just released his new book Slouching Towards Bethlehem (The Rise of the Antichrists)
Who’s a coward?: Obama and Netanyahu Mona Charen The president’s faulty understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict is not benign. Who said this about a world leader: He’s a “political coward — an essentially unchallenged leader who nevertheless is unwilling to lead or spend political capital to advance the cause of compromise”? Was it perhaps John Boehner describing Barack Obama? No, though the shoe would certainly fit. It was Barack Obama describing Binyamin Netanyahu. This insight into Obama’s views comes from an interview with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. Let’s pause for second to consider the gall. Mr. Obama knows full well that the United States confronts an unavoidable debt crisis if our government does not reform entitlements. Rather than lead, Obama has peddled denial (“we don’t have a spending problem”), distortion (suggesting that Republicans who want spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling are “not paying America’s bills”), and demonization of the rich. What wouldn’t Netanyahu give for such manageable problems? The prime minister of Israel is confronted by deadly threats in all directions. Iran, whose leaders routinely threaten to destroy the Jewish state (the “moderate” Hashemi Rafsanjani noted that “one bomb” would destroy all of Israel and thus “it is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality”), is marching, seemingly inexorably with Obama’s reelection, toward a nuclear weapon. Syria is in flames, with the outcome uncertain. Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah. Iraq’s future stability is in doubt with the total withdrawal of U.S. forces. Egypt, whose three-decade peace treaty with Israel offered a certain tenuous security to the Jewish state, is now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. And while Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, described the Brotherhood in 2011 as “largely secular,” the true nature of the regime is dawning on even the most obtuse. There was Mohamed Morsi’s power grab in late November, when he attempted to grant himself sweeping authority. There
is the persecution (sometimes including crucifixion) of Christians at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. And there is the 2010 video that surfaced recently of Morsi himself describing Israelis as bloodsuckers, warmongers, and “the descendants of apes and pigs.” According to Goldberg, Obama has said repeatedly that “Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are.” With each new settlement announcement, Obama believes, “Netanyahu is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation.” Obama is revealing his ignorance and arrogance. The question of settlements has not prevented the Palestinians from negotiating in the past. The P.A. decided to make halting settlements a condition of negotiation after Obama himself insisted upon it. They could hardly do less. By big-footing it, Obama impeded the cause of negotiations. Israel has built most settlements in regions quite close to the 1967 borders that everyone believes would be incorporated into Israel anyway. As the Washington Post noted in an editorial implicitly critical of Obama, “80 percent of [Israeli settlers] could be included in Israel if the country annexed just more than 4 percent of the West Bank — less than the 5 percent proposed by President Bill Clinton 12 years ago.” Obama himself has predicted that there would be “land swaps” as part of any final agreement. Besides, why is it considered out of the question that some Jewish settlements would remain in a future Palestinian state? There are more than a million Israeli Arabs living throughout the Jewish state.
Has Mr. Obama not considered that Israel has dismantled settlements in the Sinai and Gaza? The Gaza withdrawal brought not peace but unrelenting missile fire. The jury is out on the Sinai withdrawal. Like his colleagues on the left, and like his nominee for defense secretary, Obama believes that Israel’s vulnerability is her own fault. He utterly misconceives the entire conflict, which is not about “two states for two peoples” (which Israel has repeatedly endorsed and sacrificed for) but about the stubborn Palestinian rejection of Israel’s existence. Evidence for this is so abundant — from official P.A. maps that show no Israel, to Palestinian TV programs that laud terrorists as heroes, to a recent poll showing that 56 percent of Palestinians oppose a two-state solution — that ignorance cannot be explained as benign. Just in the past week, Mahmoud Abbas decided not to accept hundreds of thousands of Syrian Palestinian refugees into the land he controls because Israel asked that they sign a waiver renouncing a “right of return” to the Jewish state. He was explicit: “It’s better they die in Syria than give up their right of return.” That’s what Israel must contend with. Perhaps worst of all is the tacit hostility of Israel’s formerly most steadfast friend. Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2013 Creators Syndicate, Inc. This article appreared in http://www. nationalreview.com on 18 January.
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Shadows of Shoah opened by NZ PM Shadows of Shoah, a unique Holocaust exhibition created by NZ photographer and composer Perry Trotter, was officially opened by the NZ Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key, at an event associated with United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January). The event was presented by Auckland Council, Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and UNESCO on 25 January at the Raye Freedman Arts Centre in Epsom, Auckland. Perry Trotter provided the following report. The event was attended by MP’s, Consulate, the Israeli Ambassador, and other dignitaries. Speakers included PM John Key, David Robinson, Honorary Consul for Israel, and Dr Edna Tait, National Commission for UNESCO. Holocaust survivors featured in Shadows of Shoah also spoke: Alexander Lowy, (Sydney), Robert Narev MNZM, (Auckland), and Moshe Orgad, (Hamilton). Shadows of Shoah is an artistic work, communicating the gravity and significance of the Holocaust in a unique way. Using black and white photography and original music, selected episodes from survivors’ experiences are presented in a brief, compelling format. To reach a generation for whom the Holocaust holds little relevance or significance, Shadows of Shoah strives to produce powerful and evocative art while carefully maintaining historical accuracy. As creator of the exhibition, I hope that the work will serve to honour the survivors, memorialize those who perished, and stand against the rising tide
PM John Key, Inge Woolf (Holocaust survivor and Director of Holocaust Centre of NZ), Robert Narev MNZM (Holocaust survivor and Shadows of Shoah Chairman) and Perry Trotter (Shadows of Shoah Founder)
of anti-Semitism. I am deeply concerned at the rise in anti-Semitism. Even within the church we are seeing the rise of a strong anti-Israel movement - it is slick, well resourced and highly motivated. For years I have described myself as an evangelical Christian. With the surge in anti-Zionism within ostensibly evangelical institutions throughout the world, I wonder if it is time to find a new term with which to describe myself. Even for the casual observer, the parallels between the current period and the 1930’s are striking. We are again seeing the gradual demonization and isolation of Jewish people. With the establishment of the state of Israel the game has changed for the antisemite. He now has the opportunity to sanitize, repackage and rebrand the hatred of the 1930’s. Anti-Zionism is generally
considered acceptable and it of course now has the support of ostensibly Christian scholars, numerous secular commentators and academics, and the left wing media. In the West, anti-Semitism, once a far-right phenomenon, now has a greater presence on the left. Groups as disparate as the liberal left wing media and radical Islam somehow find themselves cobelligerents in the anti-Israel cause. Just as in 1930’s, propaganda, outright lies, bad theology, and the usually passive, but increasingly active, cooperation of professing Christians, combine to isolate the Jewish state. The Shadows of Shoah Exhibition consists of a large circular enclosure, multiple projectors, LCD monitors, audio and control equipment. It is now available for bookings by museums, galleries, cultural centres, universities and other venues. Already there is strong interest in staging the exhibition in Europe. Examples of the work can be viewed online: www. shadowsofshoah.com Perry Trotter is the founder of the Shadows of Shoah exhibition and can be contacted on 09 431 4566 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information see www.shadowsofshoah.com
8 INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN EMBASSY JERUSALEM NZ BRANCH