Christian Coalition

Days after UNSC Resolution 2334 condemned Israeli settlements in the “occupied Palestinian territory” of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation under international law” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat issued a strong rebuke: The mayor and his planning-committee director announced the committee’s intent to approve building 618 previously planned housing units in East Jerusalem—a first step toward an additional 5,600 units in the city. “I’m not ever going to stop building. No construction will be stopped by me as mayor,” he said. While the Obama administration harmed its ally by strengthening its enemies, if President Trump holds to his promises perhaps things will change going forward but there is already talk of backpedaling.

Barkat is “politically correct” in the most positive sense of the phrase. He is also legally and historically correct. In property disputes over land ownership, lawyers search property records for deeds, liens and related issues in order to identify the real legal owner(s). They also use mandatory “discovery” to demand that the opposing party provide all relevant documents, inspections and depositions that pertain to the dispute. In the courtroom, the presiding judge determines whether the proceedings and evidence of both sides are represented in a fair and balanced way.

The U.S. abstention of Resolution 2334 and John Kerry’s specious rhetoric laying out his two-state agenda were mockeries of the these basic processes and premises of justice. As further evidence of’ the resolution’s shaky legal grounds, it conflicts with tenets of international law in the Palestine Mandate, UNSC Resolution 242, the Oslo Accords and Camp David Summit.

The Bible clearly defines ancient boundary lines and one of the oldest title deeds in the world is recorded in the Tanach, where King David purchased the future site of the Jewish Temple from Araunah the Jebusite for 600 gold shekels. David’s son, King Solomon built the First Temple on that site. There’s ample additional biblical, archeological, religious and historical evidence of Israel’s abiding connection to Jerusalem that pre-dates Palestinian claims. The Jews governed Israel for a thousand years, and lived there continuously for the past 3,300 years. According to Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher Nadav Shragai, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital during that time, never a capital of any Arab or Islamic entity.

Despite Israel and the Jewish people’s deep and abiding historical, cultural and religious connection to Jerusalem, the Palestinians, who began to define themselves as a people only about 100 years ago, insist they will never sign a peace deal that does not include Israel’s surrender of East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount. (Under international law, this area is disputed, not “occupied.”) Meanwhile, the Palestinians continue to deny Israel’s right to exist and incite violence and terrorism against her. As Dr. Joel Fishman wrote, “It is simply not possible to build [a state] on a foundation of myth and ignorance.”

Mayor Barkat and many others rightly discerned the previous administration in Washington D.C. as being anti-Israel long before Resolution 2334 reared its ugly head. Over the past eight years the U.S. has pressured Israel to halt “illegal” Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem. In recent years Barkat slammed the Obama Administration for criticizing Israel’s plans to expand the suburb of Ma'aleh Adumim—an effort to provide affordable housing in the over-crowded capitol. "I don't know of any city in the world whose regulator is the U.S. president," the mayor remarked. Efrat Mayor and pro-settler leader Oded Revivi added, “Israeli building policies are set in Jerusalem, not New York.”  Based on the latest news reports, it now appears that the Trump Administration are starting to sideways waffle on the topic of settlements.  Let’s hope these news reports are mistaken as they so often have been.

What country doesn’t have the right to its unified capital, and to develop and build it?  I pray the Trump Administration will focus its efforts at the United Nations against terror and stand strong on Israel’s side against any and all attempts to delegitimize the only democracy in the Middle East. 

Although Barack Hussein Obama’s tenure as President of the United States has ended and John Kerry is no longer the U.S. Secretary of State, Israel’s woes on the world’s stage are not over. However, under the new Trump administration, Israel will hopefully once again find they have a true and loyal friend in the United States.

Obama and Kerry worked hard in their final hours of power to make Israel’s battle at the United Nations and elsewhere an even tougher challenge for the Jewish state. The biased United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution passed on December 23rd was quietly in the works for a long time.  Among many other anti-Israel provisions, the document condemns Israeli settlements as “illegal and dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution.” It also states that Israel does not own the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, any part of the West Bank and not a square inch of East Jerusalem. Furthermore, the resolution called on states that do business with Israel “to distinguish between the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967” which paves the way for renewed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel. The United States broke with precedent by failing to veto the resolution which it has historically done whenever a proposed resolution was determined to be unfairly slanted against Israel. Obama’s failure to exercise his veto gave Israel’s enemies hope that the Paris conference would have relevance and it did but, surprisingly, it was in favor of Israel. All were taken by surprise when Britain broke ranks with Europe by refusing to join the 70 other nations in attendance at the Paris conference which signed a statement preserving the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Australia also refused to sign.       

The French-sponsored talks on the two-state solution were designed to send a message to now President Donald Trump that only a two-state solution will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … just in case Team Trump should get the idea to pursue a different approach.  Clearly globalist anti-Israel strategists were hard at work pushing their agendas.  While some feared, others were hopeful, that the Paris conference would produce a document to be brought to the Security Council for an immediate vote; a document that would establish parameters for future talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  

But that’s not all the anti-Israel strategists had been planning. Sweden and its virulently anti-Israel Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, bribed their way to a two-year nonpermanent seat on the Security Council perfectly timed to happen prior to Obama leaving office. This is no coincidence.

For months, Sweden worked assiduously behind the scenes, inviting U.N. ambassadors from poor and developing African countries to Stockholm. Sweden wooed the ambassadors with luxury to the tune of 27 million SEK (nearly $3 million), while wheeling, dealing and lobbying for their U.N. votes. The money was siphoned from its public budget for aid to poor and undeveloped countries.  According to Swedish press reports, Sweden also sent representatives to Africa to speak with Ethiopia’s prime minister, who promised to support Sweden’s candidacy for the Security Council seat in return for Sweden’s vote for him as director general of UNESCO this year.

“It was a cover operation for what this is really about, namely to buy votes,” a source told a Swedish human rights publication.The real aim and scope of the operation was kept secret, and the different steps of the campaign were not recorded.”

Sweden supports limiting the use of the veto by permanent Security Council members—such as the United States—“in situations where mass atrocity crimes have been, or risk being committed.”  

The French Connection 

Considering France’s record of anti-Semitism and its BDS-tainted labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements, it should be no surprise that in December, France sent a security delegation to the United States for counterterrorism training by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). If you blinked, I understand. The Department of Homeland Security Community Engagement Office in Tampa, and the Obama State Department arranged for CAIR’s Florida chapter to train the French police and counter-terrorism personnel.

The program blatantly conflicts with the FBI policy of noncooperation with CAIR (except for criminal investigations) due to evidence linking its executives to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the thrust of the Tampa training was to discourage counterterror activities within Muslim communities, which CAIR claims undermine Muslims’ civil liberties.

Barbarians at the Gates

You may wonder why democratic France, whose citizens have suffered a string of devastating terror attacks by Muslim extremists in the past two years, would seek security and counter-terrorism training from a Muslim group with proven terrorist ties. Why not call on Israel, which stood in solidarity with France after the attacks, and which offers counter-terrorism expertise?  France and the EU face barbarians not only at the gates, but also in the palais, marketplace, sports arena and workplace. By embracing or failing to acknowledge groups with terrorist ties and suspect agendas, the EU could be courting disaster. There’s more to this than naiveté.

CAIR officials enjoyed close relations with the Obama Administration, and DHS/State Department coordination with CAIR is not new. According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, DHS has funneled anti-terrorism funds allocated by Congress to the group, including a 2015 DHS sub-grant. That same year, the State Department discussed with CAIR officials “the need … to challenge [alleged] aggressive Israeli actions targeting the Al Aqsa mosque compound, one of the holiest sites in Islam.” Reports also have surfaced of DHS training procedures that would single out U.S. Jews and Christians as “domestic terrorists” in the event of martial law.

 For America and Israel to maintain free, democratic societies, threats to derail our democracies and way of life must be exposed and confronted. As Donald Trump begins his service as President of the United States, it would be prudent for those who value freedom and democracy to encourage him as well as the U.S. Congress to set fresh foreign policy initiatives that support America’s ally Israel and investigate DHS and State Department ties to Muslim extremists.  While it appears the United States is off to a good start with an Israel-friendly administration in Washington D.C., there are many holes in this dike and the more eyes watching the better.

 


A popular mountain peak frequented by tourists in Israel is Mount Bental in the Golan Heights. From the top of this mountain, one can see into Lebanon to the northwest and into Syria to the east bringing home just how small Israel is and how close are her enemies: Hezbollah in South Lebanon, ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria, not to mention the Syrian Assad regime.

Looking down into Syria, one can see a modern highway built in the general vicinity of one of the ancient roads leading into Damascus. The conversion of Saul in Acts 9 took place on just such a road, so this is a great place to review that story and act upon its lesson. Saul was an enemy of the believers in Jesus and had the authority of the High Priest in Jerusalem to capture  and bring them bound to Jerusalem.

The believers in Damascus were terrified and must have prayed much for Saul, because the next part of the story is nothing short of a miracle. Jesus appears to Saul before he even reaches the city and causes him to lose his sight. Ananias is then told to find Saul, lay hands on him, and pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit. Saul spends the rest of his life as: “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).

Praying for Our Enemy

The lesson from this story is to pray for everyone – even one’s enemies who are bent on doing harm. Today, there is a great spiritual battle brewing over the region, and the same forces that want to destroy Israel and Christian communities are killing each other in the quest for control. Mount Bental is the perfect place from which to intercede for all the people caught up in this turmoil.

The Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, was predominantly Christian before the Islamic forces invaded in the 7th century. A thousand years ago, there were more Christians in the Middle East than in Europe. Even a century ago, more than 20% of the region’s population was Christian.

Today, estimates put the Christian population in the region at less than 5% and likely to become extinct. The second largest Christian community in the Middle East, after the Copts of Egypt, is the Syriac/Assyrian Christians from Iraq, Syria and surrounding areas. They are now displaced, many are refugees, and will never regain their community’s size and strength.

Hearts should break over the human toll and suffering this conflict has and could still potentially cause. All the peoples of the Middle East—Jew, Christian, and Muslim—are, in one way or another, victims of the spiritual stronghold over the region that causes hatred, violence, and death.

There needs to be much prayer for the protection of Israel and the Christians, but also for the gospel to go forth throughout the region in even greater ways than it already is. Indications are that the region is more open to the gospel than ever before. Throughout the Muslim world, Jesus is appearing to people in dreams and visions, and they are turning to Him. What began as a small trickle in the early 80s has mushroomed to now millions of Muslims who have turned to Christ.

God Chose Israel for Blessing

God loves all the peoples of the Middle East as they are part of the world He loved and sent His son to die for (John 3:16). This is just as true for the Arabs, or Muslims, as it is for anyone else.

God’s choice of Israel was not to bless the Jewish people to the exclusion of others, but that through them He would “bless all the families of the earth” (Genesis 12:3). In fact, it is because of God’s love for the world that He brought into existence the nation of Israel through whom He would bring about His redemptive plan.

Millions of people are caught in the crossfire of the forces of evil that hate God, His plan, and His people. Let’s pray for them. A “Damascus Road” revelation of the Prince of Peace is their only hope.

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org and her articles can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog

For information on the ICEJ’s tours to Israel go to www.icejusa.org/tours


Settlements are not the major obstacle to peace. 

While settlements can be a source of conflict, they are not the major obstacle to peace. From 1948-1967 no Israeli settlements existed, yet the Palestinian leadership and the Arab World still sought Israel's annihilation.

As a result of the resounding Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel gained the “West Bank,” “Gaza,” ”Golan Heights” and “East Jerusalem.” Less than a week after the war ended, the Israeli unity government under PM Levi Eshkol affirmed – and then told the Americans -- that Israel would return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in return for signed peace treaties. Separate negotiations would then be conducted regarding the future of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the refugee issue. While Egypt accepted the Sinai offer, Syria rejected the Golan Heights offer. Negotiations over the West Bank and Gaza failed.

 

Settlements do not jeopardize future “Land for Peace” deals.

In the meantime, some Israelis took up residence in areas around Jerusalem that were across the 1967 armistice lines. These Israeli developments, known as “Settlements,” only take up around 2% of West Bank land. Over time, US Administrations recognized that Israel would retain some of these towns in any peace agreement.

Israel has uprooted other settlements such as those in the Gaza Strip. In 2005 Israel evacuated all the Jewish families living in Gaza—a total population of 8,000. However, instead of making peace, Hamas—a terrorist organization—took over the Gaza Strip and responded by firing thousands of rockets at Israeli cities in the ensuing years.

 

The Israeli government is not building new Settlements.

For years, the only legal construction allowed by the Israeli government has been within existing communities to accommodate the natural growth of resident families. Illegal outposts, which do not conform to Israel’s policies, do exist. Some critics fault the Israeli government for not dealing with them more forcefully, but the government works to resolve the issue peacefully or by court order.

 

Israeli Settlements may not be illegal at all.

[i]

Many legal scholars question whether Settlements are illegal at all. Eugene V. Rostow, one of the authors of UN Security Council Resolution 242—written after the 1967 war to create a framework for peace negotiations—stated, "The Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors." Moreover, Rostow contended that "The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the existing Palestinian population to live there."

Others contend that the Geneva Convention, passed after WWII, makes the Settlements illegal. The December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 Vote—passed due to the US government’s abstention—declared them illegal and opened the door to future international actions against Israel. 

 

Palestinians are building illegally around Jerusalem.

[ii]

All of the governments and international bodies that criticize Israel for building what many claim to be legal communities are silent about the construction of new Palestinian developments surrounding Jerusalem. According to a detailed article by Bassam Tawil of the Gatestone Institute, the questionable construction is primarily in Zone-C, which under the Oslo Peace Accords should be territory controlled by Israel. According to Tawil, Palestinians estimate that in the past few years they have built more than 15,000 illegal housing units in areas surrounding Jerusalem as part of a plan to encircle the city. These are not single family homes, but massive apartment complexes without proper licenses, not built to code, and some without proper sewage. The article claims that many of the "contractors" are land-thieves and thugs who are building without permission on private Palestinian-owned land or on lands whose owners are living abroad.

 

The major obstacle to peace is Palestinian leadership.

The Palestinian leadership's refusal to give up the conflict, recognize Israel as a Jewish State, and renounce the "right of return" for most Palestinian refugees, is the real obstacle to peace. The so-called "right of return" would allow millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees to flood Israel. No Israeli leader would ever accept the "right of return," since it would mean the end of the world’s only Jewish state. Yet, the Palestinian leadership has never told its own people that they must forfeit this claim in order to achieve peace.

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org and her articles can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog and www.israelanswers.com/blog  

 

In trademark tyrannical fashion, lame-duck President Barack Obama betrayed our historic ally Israel Dec. 23 by instructing the U.S. delegation to abstain on U.N. Security Council’s Resolution 2334—a blatantly one-sided, anti-Israel move. His maneuver ignored the will of the American electorate, the bi-partisan consensus in Congress, and America’s historic record of support for Israel at the United Nations. He also ignored Israeli positions across the political spectrum, and is seen as using the occasion as a personal vendetta against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he did not get along. Arab sources and intelligence even informed Israel that members of the Obama administration secretly colluded with Security Council members to draft and promote the anti-Israel resolution. Unsurprisingly, Obama has placated Israel’s enemies, most of whom prefer terrorism as a means of persuasion, and who would rather see Israel wiped off the map than as a partner at the negotiating table.

Obama’s machinations deliberately undermined his successor President-elect Donald Trump’s clearly voiced intent to help Israel and the Palestinians work toward a negotiated, peaceful solution.

The resolution is fraught with factual and legal inaccuracies. It frequently references the “pre-1967 borders”, which were actually 1949 armistice lines never recognized as international borders by any nation, including the Arabs. Since the West Bank never belonged to a state since the Ottoman Empire, the term “occupied Palestinian territory” is a fiction. The resolution also conflicts with previous U.N. resolutions that call for negotiated settlement between the parties, not a third party, and which establish every nation’s rights to secure, defensible borders. Finally, the Mandate of Palestine that established Israel permits Jewish settlement throughout the territory of the Mandate, which includes the West Bank.

Unfortunately, no future president can undo the Security Council resolution, and it has left little maneuvering room to discuss a final negotiated settlement. Thus the resolution has damaged the prospects for peace. Needless to say, this has been consistent with other Obama foreign policy failures.

While Israel is not bound by the resolution—Netanyahu has already rejected it—American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow wrote: “The resolution—which references pre-1967 borders several times—would cripple Israel’s sovereignty, weaken its borders, leave it susceptible to false criminal charges at the International Criminal Court, and strengthen the pernicious and ill-conceived Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to delegitimize Israel.”

But now for the good news: The backlash against this shameful resolution has already begun. Netanyahu’s office announced that Israel was “looking forward to working with President-elect Trump and with our friends in Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, to undo the damage of this absurd resolution.”

The U.S. Congress has also stepped up to the plate. Sen. Lindsey Graham, with support from other congressional leaders, has threatened to punish the resolution’s sponsors and the United Nations with U.S. aid cuts. "This vote will create a backlash in Congress against the UN," Graham said. “The organization is increasingly viewed as anti-Semitic and seems to have lost all sense of proportionality. I will do everything in my power, working with the new administration and Congress, to leave no doubt about where America stands when it comes to the peace process and where we stand with the only true democracy in the Middle East."

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the "unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel."

Of course, President-elect Donald Trump—not Obama—will soon determine how the United States will vote in the United Nations. Trump, who tried unsuccessfully to intervene on Israel’s behalf before the resolution was passed, tweeted: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th,”

If Trump supports slashing U.S. aid to the United Nations, the nations that sponsored the resolution, and the Palestinian Authority, it will be interesting to see how the voting goes, according to the nonprofit Americans for a Safe Israel.

By abstaining, the Obama administration slapped an important card on the table in its game plan against Israel. Israel still has a "Trump" card to play. It may be time to use it.

 

 

The story of Hanukkah is often told with an emphasis on the evil ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, who was bent on the Hellenization of the Jewish people. Had he succeeded it would have meant the demise of the Jewish faith and thereby, the Jewish people. God’s plan to bring salvation to the world through their Messiah would have died with them.

In his attempt to force the Jews into compliance, Antiochus IV slaughtered 40,000 inhabitants of Jerusalem; murdered the High Priest; and prohibited sacrifices, the service of the Temple, and the observance of the Sabbath and feast days. The Temple was dedicated to Zeus, and then desecrated with the slaughter of a pig on the sacrificial altar.

The Maccabean family, from the priestly line of Aaron, led a revolt and miraculously experienced victory after victory over the mighty Greek forces until, at last, the Temple could be purified and its services restored. Hanukkah is known as the Feast of Dedication because it commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the Temple to the God of Israel. Its symbol is the Temple Menorah which allegedly burned miraculously for eight days on just a small amount of oil.

Ancient Means of Control

This story, however, is about more than an evil ruler. He was imposing the ruling culture and ideologies of the empire upon the Jews, including paganism and an immoral pagan society; as well as the Greek language; culture; and ruling philosophies of reason, humanism and pursuit of knowledge. This is how kings subdued and controlled the people in their kingdoms.

In the ancient world, Jews often clashed with pagan rulers such as Antiochus Epiphanes, who demanded obedience to them and homage to their gods as a means of proving one’s loyalty. The Jewish people could not bow down to these pagan leaders, nor their gods, and were bound by the Mosaic Law to certain behaviors and observances that set them apart from other societies and brought upon them great persecution, exiles, and threats of extinction.

Modern Imposition of Ideologies

A new chapter in the Hanukkah story is being written today—godless world leaders are attempting to impose on all of us the ideologies of secularism, globalism, and moral relativism. Once these ideologies take hold, the masses can then be easily controlled, because they will have no loyalty to a religious creed, national identity, or moral code.

Israel, a Jewish nation-state, is antithetical to all three of these modern ideologies. Therefore, its Jewish national identity is accused of being racist by secular globalists. The very nation that gave to the world the Ten Commandments, on which Western civilization bases its legal code and definition of morality, is hated by those attempting to impose their ideology of moral relativism: the belief that there is no objective right or wrong, truth or falsehood, nor good or evil.

The seemingly contradictory part of this secular movement is that its proponents are not just tolerating but are assisting in the global dominance of Islam—a religion with a very strict legal and moral code that it seeks to impose on the world, especially upon the secularist “infidels!” There is only one explanation for this strange alliance and that is deep down, both movements share something in common: they are both anti-Christian and anti-Semitic at heart.

UNESCO Imposing Islamic Ideology

In this context, the recent attempt by the United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Committee (UNESCO) to deny the historical and biblical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and, indeed, all the land of Israel begins to make sense. The Arab voting block and their secular, globalist cohorts in the UN, ignore what is a written and historical record of ownership by the Jews.

Islam teaches that the Jewish and Christian Bibles are corrupted. Therefore, Muslims completely disregard biblical accounts proving Jewish ties to the land of Israel, including the city of Jerusalem, and most importantly, the Temple Mount.

This is in spite of the fact, the biblical record has been backed by one archaeological find after another proving not only the existence of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, but a 3,000 year history of Jews in the city of Jerusalem. Islamic groups bent on taking over Israel, therefore, prefer to destroy archaeological remains than allow them to prove a historical record that stands in their way.

This history, however, is not just found in the Bible, or in archaeological finds, but in historical Ottoman Empire decrees, and in many Muslim writings. The truth of the matter is, that to destroy all evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, they would also have to destroy Muslim artifacts such as the recently excavated central mosque in the village of Nuba near Hebron. Inside is a thousand-year-old Arabic inscription that calls the Dome of the Rock "Bait al-Maqdess," the Arabicized version of “Beit Hamikdash,” the Hebrew name for the Temple.

This is the new chapter in the Hanukkah story: leading world powers attempting to deny the Jewish people their Bible, history, faith, and holy sites. Because they won’t comply, they are demonized and threatened with extinction.

The Jewish Bible is Our Bible

Christians need to stand up on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people because their Bible and history of faith is also ours. If we do not speak up and stop these attempts to rewrite biblical and historical fact, we will one day wake up to the reality that Evangelical Christians are next on the list of undesirables.

The Hanukkah story is a reminder that when we stand up against the mighty powers of our day, we do so not in our own strength, but with God’s help. No matter how hard it may look, we can expect to take back lost territory and rededicate ourselves and our nations to the God of the Bible. He will give us the power to become a light—like a Hanukkah Menorah—shining forth into a dark world, bringing hope and truth to those with hearts to receive it.

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org and her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog  For information on the ICEJ’s “Send a Bible to UNESCO” campaign go to https://us.icej.org/bibles-to-unesco

 

 


When is enough, enough? Israel is at the point of the spear—multiple spears from the enemies surrounding her. Since emerging from the Holocaust and becoming a nation in 1948, Israel has endured two intifadas, 16 wars or operations, terrorism on the streets, relentless rockets from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, BDS campaigns and anti-Semitic attacks, and recently, terrorism by arson—more than 550 fires in the past week, many of which were caused by arson. As if this weren’t enough, a nuclear-armed, hostile Iran is supplying Hamas with missiles, and the Palestinian Authority plans a Security Council resolution condemning settlement—causing apprehension as to President Obama’s intentions. Israel continues to face escalating international calls to divide her land, to the point where her security and very existence are threatened. When will Israel say, "Enough is enough?" And when will her friends and allies stand with her and insist on just and equitable treatment under international law?

While Israel knows her enemies, she also is battling an invisible opponent—lies. Lies masquerade as truth and spawn false or misleading impressions. Among the leftist media and some foreign governments, lies and mistaken assumptions fuel the lie that denies Israel’s right to exist as a nation with secure, defensible borders. Anti-Semitism is the primary lie—the root of a tree with many crooked branches.

Most anti-Semitic platforms have no basis in international law. They are accompanied by efforts to sweep Israel’s history and archeology under the rug—politicized attempts to delegitimize her claims to her land.

The Real Deal

In 1917, the League of Nations, as a body authorized to make legally binding decisions, recognized the historic link of the Jews to Palestine and under the Palestine Mandate (aka the British Mandate) passed a resolution approving Palestine (Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Jordan (later excised) as a national home for the Jewish people. It recognized no other people’s historical rights to Palestine.

 

The Web of Lies

1. Israel “occupies” the “Palestinian territories.”

  • The West Bank does not belong to any foreign power. 
  • The term “Palestinian Territories” has no legal or political standing. The territory was never under Palestinian rule or sovereignty; when it was under Jordanian control, Jordan expressed no intention to make it a Palestinian state.
  • No agreement, contract, treaty, or binding international resolution ever defined these territories as Palestinian.

 

2. The Green Line

Referring to the Green Line as a boundary is a fallacy. It’s a temporary armistice line that simply delineates where the fighting stopped after the War of Independence. The armistice that created it states: “The Armistice or Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without rights claims and positions of either party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question…”

The line held until 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights.

 

3. The Myth of the 1967 “Borders”
 

The 1967 “borders” have nothing to do with 1967 and are not borders. A border is a line between two sovereign states; and to some, the “pre-1967 borders” is the “Green Line” demarcation. The 1949 Armistice Agreement states that the demarcation line is not the final border, which can only be determined in peace negotiations between the parties.

 

4. The Settlements are “illegal.”

A prohibition on population transfers to territory occupied during war (1949 Fourth Geneva Convention) pertains to mass forced population transfers, not the use of public land. Until a dispute is resolved, using public land for settlement or agriculture is an acceptable international norm. Under the Oslo Accords, until the two parties settle the dispute, planning, zoning and construction are permitted. Israel has long-established historic and legal claims to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria.)

 

These are just a few examples of the politicized, anti-Semitic bias against Israel.

Truth is a primary shield against lies and misled assumptions. Make your voice heard. As friends of Israel, stay informed and stand for accurate reporting in the media. Write letters to editors, use social media to get the word out. Contact congressmen and other government representatives. Speak the truth and set the record straight. Visit Israel and invest in Israeli products. Finally, without fail, pray for Israel, her protection and her wellbeing.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord...” - Luke 2:8-11

 

 

I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2016 has been a very busy year for us at the Christian Coalition of America as we have engaged in, what President Reagan called, "the hard work of freedom."

We are reminded in this age of conflict and religious persecution that we are truly blessed to live in a land where we can still celebrate his birth and proclaim his name.

May God richly bless you and your family during this season of celebration and praise for the birth of our Savior.

And may God richly bless you throughout this coming year!

Sincerely,

Roberta Combs
President & CEO
Christian Coalition of America

The United Nations Educational, Science, and Cultural Committee (UNESCO) recently attempted to deny the historical and biblical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and, indeed, all the land of Israel, by referring to the Temple Mount and other Jewish holy sites only by their Muslim names. In response to this blatant denial of scripture, many Christians mailed Bibles to the agency’s headquarters in France.

Title Deed to the Temple Mount

The Bibles sent to UNESCO had many scriptures highlighted such as where King David purchased the threshing floor of Arauna in Jerusalem and placed the tabernacle there; then King Solomon built the First Temple there; Cyrus, the King of Persia, authorized and paid for the rebuilding of that Temple; and where Jesus was dedicated in the Temple, frequented there throughout His life, and was passionate for it, calling it “My father’s house” and a “house of prayer for all people.”

In 2 Samuel 24:18-25, King David wisely purchased the threshing floor of Arauna, and did not accept it as a gift. That property has become the most hotly contested piece of real estate on the planet. The Lord knew what David could not have fathomed, that 3,000 years later the world would come against his descendants’ right to own that piece of property and would deny  David had bought it, or that a Temple had even stood there for a thousand years! Therefore, the purchase is recorded in scripture so generations of believers would know the truth.

Only God could have foreseen how the United Nations would oppose Jerusalem being a part of the Jewish State in 1947; how Jordan would occupy half of the city, including the Temple Mount, until 1967; and how all of the nations would, therefore, refuse to place their embassies there and recognize it as the capital of Israel—even the United States!

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem

The US Congress approved the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 that declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and called for the US Embassy to be moved there. As a political compromise, a provision was included that allowed the President of the United States to delay moving the Embassy due to national security considerations. Every six months, that waiver has been signed by each president since 1995.

President-Elect Donald Trump has said he will move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He affirmed this when he was the only presidential candidate to accept the ICEJ’s Five Guiding Principles for Israel, which included moving the American Embassy. Based on this, as well as his campaign’s Israel policy released right before the election, he is expected to be a friend to Israel and the Jewish people as President.

The question is whether he will keep his campaign promise and move the US Embassy to Jerusalem? This is a serious decision because a move could ignite a major reaction. But, there are a few reasons why now may be the time to move the US Embassy to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem:

First, if anyone can get away with it, Donald Trump can. No one expects him to operate within the confines of political correctness, nor be swayed by threats and negative reactions like establishment politicians would have been. Therefore, reactions to such a move may be subdued.

Second, the larger Muslim world is in complete disarray with much bigger problems on their hands such as a nuclear Shi’ite Iran, and the threat of ISIS taking over their countries.

Third, the countries closest to Israel, posing the greatest threat, are consumed with either civil war, economic crisis, or a crippling refugee burden. The Palestinian cause is, therefore, much lower down on their priority list these days.

Either Way the Christian Embassy is there!

In light of such ongoing controversy surrounding Jerusalem, the establishment of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem in 1980 was a God-inspired initiative just for these times. While the nations line up, either for or against His people, there is an embassy representing millions of Christians who are trumpeting the truth of the Bible, standing in support of His people, Israel, and their capital city, Jerusalem. Only God!

 

Susan M. Michael is US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem www.icejusa.org and her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog. For informationon the ICEJ’s “Send a Bible to UNESCO” campaign go to https://us.icej.org/bibles-to-unesco

 

 

Dear Friend,

Fourteen years after the first settlers dedicated America to God on the sands of Cape Henry, Virginia on April 29, 1607, the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts celebrated America’s first Thanksgiving in 1621. They wanted to express their thankfulness and their appreciation to their Creator.

Most Americans see Thanksgiving Day as an expression of their faith and of their gratefulness to God for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon them and upon the United States of America.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, Psalms 100:4 tells us that we need to: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”  Let us remember this passage as we gather together with family and friends surrounded by an abundance of riches and blessings which God has given to us.

The Staff and I want to thank you for your support and we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

Roberta Combs, President and CEO
Christian Coalition of America