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18. 10 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Commentary Peter Schupter Host of regular Tours to Israel and the yearly ‘Israel in Focus’ Brisbane seminar Banknotes, Boats and Blessings Nissan Jacobson (pictured above) was at best a secular Jew. A traveller from Latvia in the early 1800’s as a young man, he found his way to London in his early 20’s. As far as I can ascertain his reason for travelling to another country was opportunistic rather than any form of persecution. Although the archives at the Sydney Jewish Museum list him as a cigar maker, his occupation or should I say “hobby” was that of master counterfeiter. (These are the Names. John S Levy. Jewish Lives in Australia, 1788-1850.) In-fact he was transported to Australia in 1817 on the ‘Lady Castlereagh’, along with three other Jewish men, after being found guilty in the Old Bailey of being in possession of a forged English Bank Note. He received 14 years for his trouble and after landing in Sydney, was then shipped off to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) almost immediately. He was handed over to the care of one Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey where he was to serve out his “time” as the Humphry’s servant. It wasn’t long before he found his way back in court in Hobart in December 1823 for the charge of ‘Insolence toward his mistress’ times five. Clearly not a man who did not like being ordered around. He was eventually found not guilty and a ‘Certificate of Freedom’ was issued in April 1831. (The Van Diemen’s Land Annual, 1837.) Settling in the town of New Norfolk, about one-hour northwest of Hobart, he became a farmer. Finding it difficult to farm in the Derwent Valley, he eventually found his way to the town of Sorell, about 30 minutes east of Hobart he settled down and married a gentile woman with the name of Hannah Athorn where they then had seven children. One of particular note was Jacob, my great Grandfather. He was father to my Grandmother Miriam Lavender Jacobson, (Born: Hobart 1878) who inturn was the parent of my mother Muriel Robertson. (Born: Hobart 1924) Raised Christian, she became a stalwart of the faith in Hobart and was known and regarded well in the then large Christian Brethren community in Tasmania. She married Ilia Schuptar, a Ukrainian immigrant in 1955, in Hobart. She had four children, Maree, Christopher, Peter and Zonia. Never forgetting her Jewish roots my mother, of blessed memory, taught us children equally from the Torah and prophets as well as the life of Messiah Yeshua as told in the gospels and apostolic writings. I remember as a child and growing up seeing many pointers to our Jewish heritage on the walls and in the bookshelves of our home. These items included two priceless gold etched prints, belonging to my grandmother Miriam, of the High Priest in the Holy of Holies sprinkling the blood of the Lamb on the Mercy Seat (pictured above right) and the other of the Tent of Meeting in the desert with the cloud of smoke billowing from the Holy of Holies (pictured above right). Another precious item is a leather bound 170-year-old copy of ‘The Works of Joshephus’. It truly looks as though it has come off the movie set of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (pictured below). Along with other personal items pointing to our Jewish heritage, these now reside in my home in Brisbane. My Jewish journey was always a constant companion during my early life growing up as mentioned before thanks to my mother. But it wasn’t until my very first visit to Israel in 2008 that I started to really see the importance of my Jewish heritage and upbringing. When I arrived in Israel in 2008, I immediately felt as though I was at home. Although totally foreign everything around me felt natural, in order (B’seder) in Hebrew. I was alive and everything in me was buzzing! This was a truly amazing eye opener for me and something I will never forget, my feet touching the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport. In the ensuing 12 years since my first Aliyah (going up) to Israel and Jerusalem many strange and appointed times have occurred. Really too many to mention, but here’s a few: • Being approached randomly by a Rabbi in Hong Kong desperately trying to complete the 10 required for a Minyan (representation of the community of Israel) for Sukkot. • Sharing Sukkot with the Israeli Ambassador to H ong Kong on a roof top in Kowloon, • My Bar Mitzvah, also at Synagogue in H ong Kong, • Meeting by chance Coo kie Schwaeber -Issan, the then principal of Makor Hatikvah Messianic School. • Given the “keys ” to the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem and being told “nothing is off limits except for the Ark” by the Chief Rabbi, • Meeting P astor Ofer Amitai in Jerusalem • Meeting author and Rabbi R. Moshe K empinski in Jerusalem • Having the opportunity to live and study Hebrew in Jerusalem for 4 months The list really does go on. The point being if you had told me in 2008 before my first visit to Israel I would do and see all these things in 12 short years I would have laughed. But my name is not Isaac (Genesis 21:6). If God has called you to visit Israel and you go with an open mind and more importantly an open heart, and you are prepared to “follow Him with all your heart and mind” (Matthew 22:37) then believe me the blessings will over flow, so much you won’t be able to contain them. And just like my great, great grandfather Nissan Jacobson, an unexpected journeyman to Australia over 200 years ago, who started a line of inspirational women like Hannah, Miriam and Muriel your first visit to Israel could start a line of events that you won’t want to stop. _______________________________________ Peter Schuptar is Brisbane based. He and his wife Sandra lead small and large groups to Israel on a yearly basis and hold an annual Israel in Focus seminar in Brisbane. For more information email israelsrestoration@gmail.com or call 0412911383. When I arrived in Israel in 2008, I immediately felt as though I was at home. photo caption goes here.

4. 16 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 News 4 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 From San Remo to The Hague How the Global Community is Breaching its ‘Sacred Trust’ Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel The international community is breaching the ‘sacred trust’ promised to the Jewish people 100 years ago. In April 2020 it will be 100 years since the Allied Powers made one of the most important decisions in modern history. On 25 April 1920, in the city of San Remo on the Italian riviera, the leaders of Britain, France, Italy, Japan and the USA met to decide on what to do with the territories of the Ottoman/Turkish Empire that they had just defeated. Under the influence of US President Woodrow Wilson, they decided to allow the peoples of the Middle East to govern themselves. This was to be the end of colonialism and the beginning of the principle of ‘the right of peoples to self-determination’, that since WWII has become an accepted principle of international law. In order to assist the peoples of the Middle East to self- government, the Allied Powers created a system of ‘Mandates’. Three Mandates were decided at that meeting: Mesopotamia (later Iraq), Syria and Lebanon, and Palestine. The Mandates were subsequently adopted by the League of Nations – the international community at the time – which referred to Mandates as a ‘sacred trust of civilisation’. The Purpose of the Mandate for Palestine The core purpose of the Mandate for Palestine was that Britain would help the Jewish people re-establish their homeland in ‘Palestine’ – which comprised the whole territory west of the Jordan River (i.e. all of current-day Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza), and also some territory east of the river (in current-day Jordan). To that end, Article 6 of the Mandate mandated Britain to allow Jews to ‘closely settle’ the land of Palestine. It did not take long before Britain, and most other nations reneged on the promises made at San Remo. Proposal after proposal was made to divide Palestine, and force the Jews into small pockets of land. Against all odds, and only after the virtual destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust, and in the face of massive efforts of the Arab world to annihilate it, the Jews finally succeeded in establishing their own nation when the State of Israel was created in May 1948. Ever since the Jewish people have been fighting both on the battlefield and in the UN institutions for the right to be recognised as a full member of the international community. To this day, the international community continues to treat Israel as a second-class citizen and believes it has the right to decide where Jews should live. War Crimes The latest development is the announcement in The Hague by the Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Court (ICC), Ms Bensouda, on 20 December 2019 that she intends to open an investigation that will undoubtedly lead to prosecution of Israeli political and defence force leaders for alleged war crimes in the ‘State of Palestine’. In her view, Israel’s ‘settlements policies’, whereby Israel has enabled Israeli’s to live in so-called ‘East Jerusalem’ (i.e. the Old City and surrounds) and the ‘West Bank’ (i.e. Judea and Samaria) is a war crime, because it amounts to a forbidden ‘transfer’ of its own population into an ‘occupied territory’. In other words, it has now apparently become a crime for Israel to allow Jews to settle in the very parts of the country that were in 1920 intended to beco me the Jewish homeland. This case is just one of several being conducted in the international institutions concerning the status of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. All are the result of Resolution 67/19 of the UN General Assembly in 2012 to grant Palestine the status of ‘UN non-member Observer state status’. On the basis of that resolution ‘Palestine’ has acceded to dozens of international treaties, and magically become a ‘state’ with a President, a Foreign Minister, embassies around the world, etc. Because Israel is not a party to the ICC’s Statute, the Prosecutor can only prosecute if the crimes have been committed on the territory of a state that is a party to the Statute. So she has asked the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber to confirm her decision that the ‘State of Palestine’ is, in fact, a state and that she, therefore, has jurisdiction to proceed. According to the ICC Prosecutor, the mere fact that ‘Palestine’ signed up to the ICC’s Statute is enough to make it a ‘state’, and thus enough to give the ICC jurisdiction to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes. The matter is even more bizarre given Israel is not an ICC member. Israel supported the creation of the ICC in 2002 as an instrument to prevent impunity of war criminals for the most heinous war crimes. But it ended up not signing the Statute of Rome for the simple reason it believed the ICC would become politicised. The very thing Israel feared has now become a reality. The fact is the Palestinian Authority (PA) simply does not satisfy the normal criteria of statehood (e.g. the requirement to have an ‘effective government’), and an ICC prosecution would undermine the Oslo Accords, a multilateral binding treaty system to which not only Israel and the PLO are signatories, but was also witnessed by Russia, the USA, the EU, Jordan and Egypt. A False Narrative The ICC is just following the international community’s willing adoption of the narrative that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), with the backing of the Arab League members and many other States, has promoted since the late 1960s. This narrative regards the Palestinians as victims of Israeli aggression. It considers all Israeli civilian and military presence in the territories conquered by Israel in June 1967 as illegitimate, and an obstacle to the realisation of the right to self- determination of the truly indigenous people – the Palestinians. It essentially ignores the fact that the Mandate was intended to create a safe Jewish homeland in Palestine, and disregards the historical and legal significance of events prior to June 1967. In other words, the international community is deliberately turning its back on what it decided in 1920. In so doing, it is giving in to those Arabs (including the Palestinian Arab leadership) who want nothing less than 100% control of the Middle East (and beyond), and have consistently rejected the Mandate and launched numerous wars to eliminate the Jewish homeland. In November 1947 they rejected the UN proposal for the creation of Jewish and Arab states in Palestine, electing instead to try to eliminate the Jewish homeland. When the British Mandate came to an end, and the State of Israel was created on 14 May 1948, the Arabs again chose to try to destroy it by force. In June 1967 Israel took control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and Golan Heights only because it fought a successful defensive war against five Arab armies that were intent on (yet again) destroying the Jewish State. In October 1973 they tried again. After that, they abandoned warfare and adopted lawfare. What Should We Do? The clock cannot be turned back to prior to 1948 in accordance with the anti-Israel chant ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free’. The Palestinians’ claim to self-determination today must be seen in the context of the prior existence of the State of Israel that itself was the result of the granting of independence to non-self- governing territories following the collapse of the Ottoman/Turkish Empire in WWI. It is time for the international community to realise that what is happening is nothing less than a fundamental breach of the ‘sacred trust’ promised to the Jewish people 100 years ago. A promise, based on respect for historical truths, to create a safe haven for the Jewish people to ensure they will never be annihilated. Andrew Tucker is Director of The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation, and co-author of the book Israel on Trial – How International law is being misused to delegitimise the State of Israel. Delegates to the San Remo conference in Italy, 25 April 1920. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. | Photo: Shutterstock It is time for the international community to realise that what is happening is nothing less than a fundamental breach of the ‘sacred trust’ promised to the Jewish people 100 years ago.

11. 3 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Remembering Auschwitz 75 Years On Kings Come to Zion: Next Stop, the Valley of Jehoshaphat “The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Also, the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet. And they shall call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 60:3,14) A veritable procession of kings, princes, presidents and prime ministers representing more than 45 nations came to Jerusalem on January 23, 2020. According to the theme chosen by the 5th World Holocaust Forum, under which they convened, they had come to “Remember the Holocaust [and] Fight Antisemitism”. Yes, they were here to honour the memory of those murdered in the Shoah (Holocaust) the worst-ever expression of Jew-hatred; to renew their pledge as Gentile nations to “Never Again” permit a genocidal war against the Jewish people. And they came to show their awareness of—and determination to act decisively against—the antisemitism that has increased to record levels in their lands worldwide. Those nations that had permitted, perpetuated and/or participated in the Holocaust expressed their remorse; the heaviness of the guilt they carried. All laid wreaths in memory of the Six Million. The correlation—between Antisemitism and the Holocaust—is, of course, incontestably clear. But the contemporary expression of what happened in the 1930s and ‘40s is not in the acts of antisemitism perpetrated in our time by individuals on British streets or in French supermarkets or Australian coffeeshops. The glaring modern manifestation of Nazi Germany is not the shooting up of synagogues, the beating up of rabbis or the forcing of Jewish schoolboys to kiss their classmate’s shoes. Repugnant and hateful as these actions are, and as forcefully condemned and prosecuted as they should be, they are not laying the groundwork for another Holocaust. That groundwork is being laid—has already been under construction for years—in Iran And yet, except for the United States, none of the nations present at Yad Vashem is prepared to call out and confront the most evident counterpart of Nazi Germany on the planet today. The comparisons between Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Germany and Ali Khamenei’s Islamic Republic of Iran couldn’t be clearer. Both fed on and were fueled by ideologies of hatred. Before he possessed the capability of killing Europe’s six million Jews, Hitler publicised his plan to exterminate them. While Iran is still in pursuit of the means to kill Israel’s nearly seven million Jews, Khamenei publicises his plan to annihilate them. The Nazis brainwashed the Germans into believing themselves a super race, and poisoned their minds against the Jews by depicting them as sub-human. The Ayatollahs indoctrinate the Persians into believing themselves Allah’s chosen, and poisons their minds against the Jews by calling them—as per the Quran—sons of pigs and apes. Hitler seduced his people with promises of a 1000-year Reich that would be Judenrein. Khamenei seduces his people with promises of a Middle East that will be Judenrein. Germany designed and perfected the machinery of genocide—the ghettoes, delivery systems (trains), gas chambers and crematoria. Iran is developing and pursuing the machinery of genocide—the centrifuges, delivery systems and nuclear warheads. At Yad Vashem, Prime Minister Netanyahu appealed to the world leaders, “We have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti- Semitic regime on the planet, a regime that openly seeks to develop nuclear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state. Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state, defend our people, and defend the Jewish future,” he said. “There will not be another Holocaust”. Vice President Mike Pence added his voice: “[W]e must also stand strong against the leading state purveyor of anti-Semitism, against the one government in the world that denies the Holocaust as a matter of state policy and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The world must stand strong against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Talk about deaf ears. None as blind as those who insist they will not hear. Their very willingness to ignore what is undeniable is evidence of the deep- seated antisemitism they carry themselves. The joint Israeli-American appeal was panned by journalists and commentators in news studios from Germany to France to England to the United States. What a shame, they said, that Netanyahu and Pence had chosen to “politicise” the forum. They have a choice, the nations of the world, the Gentiles. They always have had. From the Pharaohs of Egypt, Phoenicia’s Hiram, Assyria’s Sennacherib, Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar and Persia’s Cyrus, through Alexander’s Greece and the Caesars’ Rome—they could choose either to live in harmony with the nation of Israel, or to abuse her. Most opted to abuse her. Then, when the Jews were in captivity (outside their land), nations among whom they found themselves—Portugal, Spain, England, France, Germany, and then, eastern European states, the Ukraine and Russia—could choose to care for, or curse them. Most elected to curse. Germany cursed most of all. Since Israel’s 1948 rebirth, nations have had that same choice, now still in regard to how they host the Jews living among them, and very much in how they relate to the Jews back in their land in what is today the State of Israel. Ultimately, the LORD is determined to utterly do away with every nation that does not serve the people He calls the Apple of His Eye. (Isaiah 60:12). He warns that He will seek to destroy every nation that comes against Jerusalem— (Zechariah 12:9) ________________________________________________________ Stan Goodenough is an Evangelical Christian (Gentile), a journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide. During the 30 years that Jerusalem has been his home, he has witnessed the unparalleled wonder of Israel’s ongoing restoration, and the growing global hostility and threat against her. www.jerusalemwatchman.org Licenced Israeli Tour Guide, Stan Goodenough (far right) giving orientation of the model in the entrance of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Mueseum to Australian tour group (Vision Christian Tours). The Hall of Names - Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, Israel). This is the Jewish people’s memorial to the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Stan Goodenough Journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide Their [Holocaust Deniers] very willingness to ignore what is undeniable is evidence of the deep- seated antisemitism

8. 20 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Holocaust 8 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Holocaust Remembrance Day Perry Trotter n Founder | Holocaust and Antisemitism Foundation NZ Father had been very religious - but not after the war. “Six million Jews had prayed for all they were worth”, he said. “We’ve been the chosen people long enough. Choose someone else”. These are the words of one of the many survivors we have photographed and interviewed over the last twelve years. They give a glimpse of what I believe underlies many of the challenges and controversies currently surrounding Holocaust memory. In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly, in resolution 60/7, designated 27 January as an international memorial day for the victims of the Holocaust. The day chosen was the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Since that time, in many capitals of the world, significant events, many of them lavish, have been held to mark the day. Politicians and dignitaries gather, often pledging their commitment to stand against anti-Semitism. And yet the statistics on anti-Semitism continue to ris e in most of those nations. And it is not only the Jewish people themselves who face hostility. The memory of the Holocaust itself is increasingly under attack, both from within and without. In Eastern Europe, a trend has emerged in which history is being rewritten so as to exonerate past national leaders or even whole nations. And in the West Holocaust memory is being universalised and instrumentalised: the industrialised murder of Jews in the 1940s has been harnessed for anything from disability rights to gay rights in the 2010s. In a recent article, Prof. Monika Schwarz-Friesel wrote, “Comprehending this unique character of Jew-hatred as a cultural category sui generis rather than as one form of prejudice among others is a precondition to challenging it successfully.” It is that uniqueness that is obscured when the Holocaust is diluted in service of other causes. What philosophers might call particularity, Christians and religious Jews more often call chosenness. And it is that chosenness and all it entails that I believe underlies, in large measure, anti-Semitism and the mounting challenges to Holocaust memory. Europe’s attempt to purge itself of the Jews and of all they represent hangs like a shroud over the conscience of the continent. And the mi shandling of the memory of that event will do nothing to lift its darkness. Whether it is the Eastern European tendency to distort or the Western tendency to seek absolution in memorialising and moralising, or the trend within some sectors of the Jewish community to universalise, the uniqueness of the event will persist. UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day events will no doubt continue, but the custodians of Holocaust memory must guard its integrity with increasing vigilance. As years pass and survivor numbers diminish, the importance of remembering the Holocaust will only increase. Our Holocaust and Antisemitism Foundation Aotearoa New Zealand will do all it can to keep the memory alive through our exhibitions and events. The Jewish people, and all they represent, will continue to challenge us all - in life, in death, and even in memory. Perry Trotter is founder of Holocaust and Antisemitism Foundation, Aotearoa New Zealand (formerly Shadows of Shoah), and creator of the exhibition ‘Auschwitz. Now.’ www.shadowsofshoah.com Auschwitz I: The Main Gate. From the exhibition ‘Auschwitz. Now.’ | Photo: Perry Trotter 700 people attended the Holocaust commemoration organised by C4I Netherlands, including 60 pupils from a local primary school. Each of them put a small stone of remembrance next to the Hanukkiah. Holocaust Commemorations Around the World Netherlands Left: 160 participants and speakers at the Holocaust Memorial event in Berlin, organised by the Initiative 27. Januar, a partner of C4I Germany. Right: Holocaust-Survivor Franz Michalski and his wife Petra, who became his ‘spokesperson’ after a stroke. Germany New Zealand Left: Dr David Cumin, Israel Institute of NZ, Joel van Ameringen, NZ Jewish Council, Yacov (James) van Ameringen, Holocaust survivor 98, Hon Alfred Ngaro, Member of Parliament, Perry Trotter, Founder, Holocaust and Antisemitism NZ. Right: Dr David Cumin Italy Prof. Edda Fogarollo (C4I Italy) gave an historical introduction to the documentary film The Invisible that was screened. Holocaust by Bullets Between 1941 and 1944, an estimated 1,7000,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This was called ‘holocaust by bullets’. In Ukraine, there were many small Jewish towns called ‘stettls’. In these towns the Jews –mostly mothers, children, babies, elderly and sick people– were commanded to come to a place at the edge of town where they were shot by special German commandos, often assisted by local Ukrainian police. The bodies of the victims were buried in pits and ditches, and in order to save bullets, babies and children were buried alive. Despite accounts by the rare survivors, this part of Holocaust history in Eastern Europe is still virtually unknown. There are about 2,000 Jewish mass graves all over Ukraine, and even today unknown mass graves are being discovered. Christians for Israel Ukraine places Holocaust Memorials at Jewish mass graves where there is no memorial or reminder. Since 2010 Christians for Israel has placed 30 Holocaust Memorials. So people can remember the past. Lest we forget.

21. 21 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Holocaust 9 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 The train track at Auschwitz Birkenau. | Photo: Flash90 Was Auschwitz Really Liberated? #inyomin +acoCs n $IieG 3aCCi oG TIe NetIerlands A bishop called upon his congregation to start a pogrom in the Jewish Ghetto. His followers were allowed to steal, to hurt, to kill. But, being a religious man, he gave the Jews an escape. There would be a contest between a priest and a volunteer of the Jewish community. If the Jew won the contest, the pogrom would not take place. How did he propose that the contest would take place? There would be a long table. On one side would be placed the priest, and on the other side, the Jew. On both sides would be galleries for the public. Standing behind both the priest and the Jew would be a soldier with a sword. The Jew and the priest were to question each other on any subject they chose. If either one of them answered “I don’t know”, this would be the signal for the soldier to chop off that person’s head. As you might have guessed, there were not many volunteers amongst the Jews to enter this contest. But finally, on the last possible day, a schlimazel, a poor and perhaps slightly foolish fellow told the community that he was prepared to enter the contest. As nobody else was prepared to join this dangerous operation, they agreed to send him as their candidate. After throwing the dice, the Jew was allowed to ask the first question to the priest. “What does ‘ani lo jodea’ mean?” he asked. The priest, who spoke Hebrew very well, answered with the correct translation: “I don’t know!” The soldier, not knowing Hebrew at all, just heard “I don’t know” and immediately chopped off the priest’s head. The Jewish community danced for days from happiness. But after a few days, they realised that something illogical had occurred. How was it possible that this simpleton had such a brilliant idea? He, of course, knew that the priest would know Hebrew and at the same time he, of course, knew that the soldier didn’t. They called him over and asked him where he got this great idea from. His answer was: “I once read a book. And in that book was written ‘ani lo jodea’. I didn’t know the meaning. So, I went to my rabbi and asked him: rabbi what does ‘ani lo jodea’ mean? My rabbi answered: “I don’t know”. Well, if my rabbi doesn’t know I was sure the priest also wouldn’t know.” Why did I start with a joke? Because anti-Semitism is not only a physical attack but also a mental war. Anti- Semitism tries to hurt, to damage, physically and mentally. Yes, the gas chambers of Auschwitz killed my family, but before the killing there was the mortification. Human beings were reduced to mere numbers. It is of huge importance to keep strong, refuse to give in to any kind of threat, physical and spiritual. I refuse to change my Jewish-looking hat, or my kippa , for a baseball cap. When Netanyahu called upon French Jewry to leave France and to make Aliyah to Israel, a journalist suddenly pushed his microphone in front of me. “Rabbi, do you agree with Netanyahu that Jews should leave Europe?” My answer was a strong ‘yes’ and a strong ‘no’. Yes, it is true that my parents, survivors of the Holocaust, did not have a place to go. And I, if needed, could, thank God, go to Israel. But the question of if and when I will or won’t go, will be decided by me, myself, and not by fear of terror. But what exactly is the subject I am asked to talk about, the subject of this speech? Am I requested to give my thoughts on how to deal with anti-Semitism? Am I supposed to give my opinion about the discussion of whether there is new anti-Semitism? Or if anti-Semitism never disappeared but was just invisible? Do I have to give a proposal of how to fight anti-Semitism? Do I have to give a wake-up call to those Jews who believe that anti-Semitism is only in the minds of the Jews and really i sn’t so bad? Or do I have to warn my fellow Jews that they shouldn’t see an anti-Semite behind each and every tree and consider each Gentile as an enemy? In my country, the Netherlands, the highest percentage of Jews in civilised Western Europe were killed. Yes, in my country it was, thank God, only a small percentage of the Dutch who collaborated with the Nazi’s, but, be aware, it was also a very small percentage that was prepared to fight them. The majority saw it happen and let it happen: 102,000 out of 140,000 Dutch Jews were killed. Many of those who managed to survive still suffer, or have suffered till their last day on earth. I was brought up with ‘before the war’ and ‘after the war’. I had to learn how to play the violin because my Uncle Joseph, who was a partisan and executed in prison, also played the violin. When I was a little boy, both my parents used to tell me: “Don’t worry, this will never happen again”. When I was about 14 years old, my father advised me to always make sure I had 8000 guilders in the house, just in case. Shortly before my father passed away, he told me very clearly: “Dear son. Don’t fool yourself! Be aware: it could happen again!” Most Dutch Jews, being integrated into Dutch society, believed that it could happen in Poland, in Germany, but not in Holland, “because we are Dutch”. But it did happen. It is true, the Dutch Government today is not anti- Semitic. We can’t compare it with the Nazi regime at all. But, like a senior German politician once told me: “We will give the Jews all the required protection, but we can’t predict who will be the next Government. Don’t forget: Hitler was chosen democratically”. Today my house is surrounded by police cameras. I am thankful to the Police, who are making sure that nothing will happen to me, they are just great. Both our Jewish schools are surrounded with a huge fence, like in a prison for top criminals, and soldiers are making sure, during lessons, that my children are able to attend the school without danger. My parents were the wrong race. They weren’t Arians. My problem is that I am Jewish and therefore a Zionist. And Zionism, Judaism and Israel are all the same. The refugees are the problem today, the Muslims! But then again, during the years 1940-1945 in Holland, there was no Islam at all. It’s good that Jewish events and buildings receive extra security, and I am grateful that the Dutch Government cares about my safety. I realise that my children and grandchildren have never attended school without police protection, which is absolutely impressive. But, at the same time, it is ridiculous and in fact, unacceptable that this is needed 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz. Therefore I am puzzled: was (or is) Auschwitz really liberated? This article is the transcript of a speech given in Krakow on 20th January 2020 on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps.

1. 13 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 7 Menorah Unveiled in Sderot 3 Historic Third Election Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL February 2020 Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 8 Holocaust Remembrance Day 9 Was Auschwitz Liberated US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen at the White House in Washington DC, following Trump’s unveiling of the US Peace Plan. 28 January 2020. | Photo: Flash90 Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Plan Unveiled Tuesday, 28 January 2020 was one of the most extraordinary days in Israel's history. Attorney-General Mandelblit filed an official indictment against Prime Minister Netanyahu on counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust - an hour after Netanyahu withdrew his application to the Knesset for immunity when it became clear that he could muster no majority. This is the first time in Israel's history that a sitting Prime Minister has been officially charged with crimes. On the same day, in Washington, American president Donald Trump announced the political aspects of his long- awaited ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan. ‘A realistic two-state solution’ is how he described it. The Trump team, led by the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has worked for three years on the plan, which is unlike any peace plan proposed in relation to the conflict since the Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s. It reflects the broad principles for peace set out in the UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz were invited to the presentation of the plan in Washington, as was Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli leaders accepted, but the PLO l eader declined, calling Trump ‘a dog and the son of a dog’. The presentation was also attended by leaders from Oman, Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates. The plan contains two parts: a Political Framework and an Economic Framework. The Economic Framework had previously been unveiled in June 2019. Israeli PM Netanyahu has embraced the plan, as has Gantz’s Blue and White party. There is some opposition within right-wing parties to the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state of any sort. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright. “I don’t have long to live”, Fatah representatives quoted Abbas as saying to the Jerusalem Post. “I don’t want to go down as a traitor. It’s either dying like martyrs or flying the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem”. The Palestinian leadership under Abbas has made clear it will not accept anything less than the terms demanded by them consistently and many of which are reflected in UN resolutions such as Security council resolution 2334: full sovereignty over all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967 except for mutually agreed adaptations; removal of Israeli settlements; full Palestinian sovereignty over all of Jerusalem; and return of Palestinian refugees. The plan conflicts with the mainstream interpretation of international law that underpins the UN and EU-sponsored approach to the conflict, supporting the PLO demands: Israel must end the occupation of the ‘Palestinian’ territories; all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have been established illegally; the Palestinians have a right to statehood, and all of East Jerusalem is to become the capit al of a Palestinian state. The plan is thus likely to receive much international criticism. The US, on the other hand, considers that Israel has valid legal and historical claims to the territories captured in 1967, that it is not obliged to withdraw from all these territories, that Israeli settlements are not necessarily illegal, and that the Palestinian refugees do not have a right of return. A small number of states, such as Australia, support the US view on many of these issues. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au

13. 5 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Biblical Commentary God created us to be His earthly family, but we joined the rebellion against God. We (mankind) listened to the voice of Satan and disobeyed God’s specific instructions and we became unholy, so He expelled us from His presence (Genesis 3). Rebellious angelic beings came and mixed their genetic material with mankind, so He wiped the hybrids out in a flood. But He kept one righteous family (also implying they were genetically pure humans) alive, along with each family of the animals (Genesis 6-8). Then mankind decided to not scatter and fill the whole earth as God commanded, but instead consolidate to build a tower, a system, to by-pass God and get back to the heavenly realm by their own efforts. So God Himself came down and confused the language and scattered them over the earth (Genesis 11). Moses tells us in Deuteronomy 32:8, that at that time, God divided the nations according to the sons of god (the heavenly council). This is a study in itself. To learn more on this please read ‘Unseen Realm’ by Dr. Michael Heiser. God chose one nation for Himself (Abraham and his descendants) from ‘the backside of the desert’, that He would instruct, guide, discipline, and ultimately, through this nation, He would bring salvation to the whole of mankind. After the people who were descended from Abraham became a nation in Egypt, God took them back to the desert to teach them how to be in relationship with Him. This is where He showed Moses the pattern of the Tabernacle, and how to use it, in order to cover their sin and once again be in intimate fellowship with God. First, we see that the Tabernacle was to be built facing the East (Exodus 27:13-16). This is the direction the pagans face to worship their gods; the direction of the rising sun. God told Moses to instruct the people to bring Him their gifts (Leviticus 17:3-6). This meant that as they approached the Tabernacle where God’s presence dwelt, they had to turn their backs on the East, thus turning their backs on the foreign gods. They had to choose whom to serve ( Joshua 24:15 ). We must make this same choice today. Next, in order to cover their sin (rebellion), they had to bring a pure, acceptable sacrifice. The dynamics behind this are; The soul that sins must die (Ezekiel 18:20). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The life of a living creature is in the blood, so when you sacrifice it and spill it’s blood, you are taking it’s life (Leviticus 17:11). The remission of sins is a life for a life deal. Life exchange; the innocent dies instead of the guilty, and the guilty receives the life of the innocent so they may continue to live. Before the Messiah fulfilled this requirement, the people had to bring another pure acceptable animal and complete the sacrifice every time they sinned. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22) “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). The Bible is also clear that it’s not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (Hebrews 9:9-10 and Hebrews 10:4). All throughout Hebrews, and other books in the New Testament, we see that Yeshua was that perfect sacrifice who willingly gave up His life and took all our sins on Himself, that we might have His life in exchange. “It’s no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Now we are not just covered but we are IN the beloved; “Yet we know that a man is not justified [and placed in right standing with God] by works of the Law, but [only] through faith in [God’s beloved Son,] Christ Jesus. And even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law. By observing the Law no one will ever be justified [declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty]” (Galatians 2:16 ) and... “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6). This reminds me of what happened on a sheep farm I used to visit when I was young. When a lamb died, the mother had lots of milk but wouldn’t accept another lamb that was not hers. The farmer would take an orphan lamb, or one of a set of twins, and tie the skin of the dead lamb over the living lamb. The mother would smell her ‘own lamb’ and accept it and let it drink. We are clothed in Christ, in His righteousness, and so we are acceptable to The Father. While on the cross, Yeshua called out “Hushlam” , which literally means ‘paid in full’/’completed’. We know it in English as ‘it is finished’. No temporary covering. He paid for our sins in full. Once, and for all time. Until the Messiah came and completed our redemption, the people had to be represented before God by the priesthood. God chose Aaron, the brother of Moses, and his sons and their sons, and so on, to be priests to be consecrated (set apart) to minister before God on behalf of the people. The High Priest was also to represent God before the people. No direct access but through a ‘go between’. Now we have direct access to the Father in the Messiah (Hebrews 4:14-16), and not only that, we have His Holy Spirit dwelling in us to do His will (Philippians 2:13), to change us into His likeness (Romans 8:29), and change our stony rebellious hearts, prone to disobedience and wanting our own way, to hearts of flesh; soft and open to God, willing to love and obey Him (Ezekiel 11:19-20). Choose life, that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19). ________________________________________________________ Alison Marshall is a New Zealand born believer in Jesus and has been a Tour Guide for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness since 1999 at Timna Park in Israel. www.berean-to-berean.com The Dynamics of Approaching God — An Overview of the Tabernacle - Part 2 Alison Marshall Tour Guide for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at Timna Park in Israel Before the Messiah... the people had to bring another pure acceptable animal... every time they sinned.

22. 22 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel Today 10 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Analysis: Israel’s Security Situation Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent | Israel The assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis the commander of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia and the deputy commander of the al-Hashd al-Sha’abi organisation of predominantly Shiite militias in Iraq, caused a significant change in the war that Israel is fighting against Iran. At the end of 2019, Aviv Kohavi, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), indicated during a security conference in Herzliya, that Israel wasn’t satisfied with the fact that it was fighting Iran’s imperialistic drive in the Middle East alone. But, on 3 January, came the American drone attack that killed Soleimani, a national hero in Iran, and al-Muhandis who had more than 40 years of experience in asymmetric warfare against foreign actors in Iraq. The assassination changed the whole strategic situation in the war against Iran and its numerous proxies and Israel’s case for the better. Until 3 January, Israel carried out more than 1,0 00 air strikes against Iran-related targets in Syria while the Israeli air force (IAF), in 2019, widened its attacks against the Iranian axis to Iraq where Soleimani was arming the al-Hashd al-Shaabi militias with ballistic missiles that could reach Israel. At the same time, the Quds commander was interfering in Iraqi politics and tried to establish a new, pro-Iranian government that would force the US army out of Iraq; a plan that would also have repercussions for Israel since the US military in Iraq was cooperating with Israel in the field of intelligence. Soleimani, however, overplayed his hand when he ordered attacks on US targets in Iraq which eventually resulted in the death of an American engineer in Iraqi Kurdistan and the wounding of four US soldiers. The Iranian general also engineered violent attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad. This together with a reported plan to attack additional US embassies in the Middle East, caused US President Donald Trump to okay the assassination of Soleimani and his Iraqi sidekick al- Muhandis. The Iranian response came in the form of a missile attack on two US bases in Iraq that only lightly wounded nine American soldiers. This was followed by new mysterious airstrikes on pro-Iranian militias in the area of the border town of al-Bukamal on the Syrian Iraqi border. Arab media reported that this time the airstrikes were contributed to by the US-led coalition that used to fight Islamic State and not the IAF. The airstrikes marked the first time the US army directly confronted the Iranian axis, and they could be a game- changer in the war against Iran. In one month’s time, Iran lost the high ground it had in its imperialistic drive to take over the Middle East. It lost Soleimani, the shrewd architect of the Shiite Crescent project, a man whom Israel regarded as its biggest foe and who was actively preparing for war against the Jewish state by forming a coalition of proxy forces that included Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in both Syria and Iraq, the Ansar Allah or Houthi militia in Yemen, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza. These militias and terror organisations received massive amounts of weapons and money from Soleimani as well as militarray as became apparent by reports about the chaos in the Hashd al-Sha’abi organisation in Iraq. Another indication that the pro-Iranian axis is suffering from a leadership vacuum is the fact that Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is trying to raise his profile by making comments indicating that he would like to take over Soleimani’sary training in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Iran reportedly also delivered long-range missiles to Ansar Allah in Yemen that were supposed to be used against southern Israel and the Gulf of Eilat, a very important waterway for Israel. With Soleimani and al-Muhandis gone, the pro-Iranian axis seems to be in dis role. The Hezbollah leader lacks the skills of Soleimani, however, and is not able to travel around freely in the Middle East since Israel is looking to assassinate him. To conclude, Israel isn’t alone anymore in the fight against the Iranian axis now that the US has entered the fray. The axis doesn’t have a leader like Soleimani anymore and the regime in Iran has been weakened not only by Soleimani’s death but also, by the popular uprising that followed the tragic shoot-down of a Ukrainian civilian plane in Iran. Rachel Rachel was the beloved wife of Jacob. Her name means ewe. It is an expression of all the history and life-setting of the family (Genesis 29). Father Laban gives to his daughters names that are connected directly to his business: sheep and cow (Leah). Those names may express his hope for prosperity and a great offspring. Laban’s ancestors had arrived in Paddan- Aram as nomadic shepherds, where they settled in Haran (Genesis 11:31) – maybe for good, or maybe just temporarily. In any case, sheep-farming remained their source of income. Abram went further as shepherd-prince to arrive in the Promised Land. From there, his grandson Jacob returned to the f amily to find a wife. He finds her at a well, the meeting place for the region. There the shepherds come together with their flocks and there, too, comes a shepherdess with her flock. The shepherdess is not only Jacob’s cousin, but she is also ‘beautiful of form and face’ (Genesis 29:17). The groom in the Song of Songs sings of his bride: “Your teeth are like a flock of ewes which have come up from their washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost her young” (6:6). Seeing Rachel inspires Jacob to great deeds. He rolls aside the large stone that cov ers the well and then waters the sheep of Laban, which are under Rachel’s guard. For Rachel, Jacob will serve Laban, fourteen years in total. And after that, he will serve Laban for another six years for his flock. During all that time, Laban’s ewes and she-goats have not miscarried (Genesis 31:38). Bitter is it then that Rachel herself remains childless, and dies when giving birth to her second son. She is buried ‘on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)’ (Genesis 35:19), a place that will always be kept in remembrance: “A voice is hear d in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children” (Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:16-18). Finally, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a “sheep that is silent before its shearers”, a Rachel! (Isaiah 53:7) Did he think of the matriarch? That is probably a bit far- fetched. Yet, apart from the preceding verses, this is the only Bible reference where that word is used. Might it perhaps be a poetic reference to the origins of Israel, be it by association? Biblical Names By Kees de Vreugd Netanyahu: Israel will Defend Itself In the largest diplomatic event in Israel’s history, leaders of over 40 nations met in Jerusalem late January to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in January 1945. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world that Israel will no longer rely on others for its survival: “Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,” Netanyahu said. “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: that we cannot take threats to annihilate us lightly; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we greatly appreciate the help of our friends, to defend ourselves by ourselves,” Netanyahu said. He continued: “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: to take, always to take seriously the threats of those who seek our destruction; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we deeply, deeply appreciate the great support of our friends, to always have the power to defend ourselves by ourselves. We have learned that Israel must always remain the master of its fate.” While th e world learned the lesson about evil, it did not necessarily learn the lesson about pre-emption, he argued. “There are some signs of hope – and this extraordinary gathering is one of them. Today, the dangers of racism, hateful ideologies, and anti-Semitism are better understood. Many recognise a simple truth: that what starts with the hatred of the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews,” he said. But, he added, “I am concerned. I am concerned that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet – a regime that openly seeks to develop nu clear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state.” Calling the ayatollahs’ regime the “tyrants of Tehran,” Netanyahu said Israel “salutes President Trump and Vice President Pence for confronting the Tyrants of Tehran that subjugate their own people and threaten the peace and security of the entire world. They threaten the peace and security of everyone in the Middle East and everyone beyond. I call on all governments to join the vital effort of confronting Iran.” And he vowed: “I wish to assure again our people and all our friends, Israel will do whatever it must do to de fend our state, defend our people and defend the Jewish future.” Israeli PM and Israeli President with world leaders during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on 23 January, 2020. | Photo: Flash90

15. 7 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Political and Biblical Commentary Mandy Worby Isreal Tour Host and Radio Announcer for Vision Christian Media God has a Foreign Policy Too It would be hard to believe there’s a person on planet earth who hasn’t heard of President Donald Trump. Ok, so there might be some primitive tribes somewhere in the most remote regions of the world who’ve never heard of President Donald Trump, but for the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world, there would be precious few people under the age of 3, who’ve never heard of President Donald Trump. He’s also one of the most polarising people on planet earth and it would be true to say that you either intensely love him or hate him with equal intensity, rarely do you meet someone somewhere in the middle. What I’m about to suggest is likely going to garner strong agreement or vehement opposition, because it’s in the context of President Trump, but I want to stress that I’m neither endorsing or decrying him. I’m simply putting voice to something that appears to be more and more obvious to me as time goes on. At the time of writing, the US Senate is hearing arguments both for against the impeaching and removal of President Trump, and the result is as yet unknown to me. It’s most likely, if the majority of political pundits are correct, that President Trump will be acquitted, but only time will tell. I want to read to you several things that President Trump has done with regard to the nation of Israel. When he was running for the Presidency, he said that Jerusalem was the historical capital of Israel and promised to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He kept his promise. In 1995, the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which gave the US government the legal right to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and provided financial allocation to move the embassy there, however, every successive US government from then on, be it the Republican Party (conservative centre right) or the Democrat Party (progressive left), simply refused to enact that US law. That is until President Trump took office. Six years after King David took to the throne, Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital. Psalm 48:1,8 tell us that the ‘city of our God’ will be established forever. In fact, there are so many references to Jerusalem in the Bible that I’m going to leave a link at the end for you to follow up on yourself. * My point is this, God has chosen Jerusalem to be His city and it’s the central focus for the people of Israel because it’s where God had His Temple built, and the Temple is important because it was central to God’s interconnection with His people. It’s also the place where the next Temple will be built. But what about the rest of Israel? Well, the Golan Heights area was originally supposed to be part of the land allotment for the Jewish State when the region was being sectioned up after WWI, but at the last minute the Golan Heights region was taken away and given to Syria. Unfortunately, the Syrians used the heights of the Golan to fire rockets into Israeli farms around the shores of the Sea of Galilee, something the UN did nothing to curb. In the Six Day War, a war of aggression against Israel, Israel miraculously took that land in battle against the Syrian invaders and under international law, that means the land belongs to Israel. The world rejected Israel’s hold on that land, but President Trump understands that Israel’s security depends on them holding that region and has officially accepted it as part of sovereign Israel. See the link below. ** President Trump has also legitimised Israel’s right to build settlements in Judea and Samaria, the area the rest of the world calls ‘The West Bank’. That name by the way, was given to it by Jordan when they illegally occupied it after Israel’s War of Independence in 1949, an occupation that was condemned by the entire world with the exceptions of England and Pakistan. So Jordan illegally occupied and renamed Judea and Samaria, the area known historically and archaeologically as the Biblical Heartland of the Jewish people. Have you noticed that no matter what President Trump does, it all seems to turn to gold? I read just the other day a list of achievements that he’s been able to bring about in the first three years of his four year first term. Here are some of them: • Acknowledge J erusalem as Israel’s capital • Moved the US embassy to Jerusal em • Slowed to a trickl e the influx of illegal immigrants • Has built—so far— approx 100 miles (161km) of the border wall between the US and Mexico • Rebuilt in ver y real terms the US military • Fixed in ver y large part the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs • Appointed 2 Supr eme Court Justices and 170 other federal judges around the country so far • Has seen over 2 million peopl e come off food stamps • Passed laws all owing all parents to choose which schools to send their children too • Has seen multip le records set for the US economy • Lowered taxes to r ecord numbers • Ushered in the l owest unemployment numbers for African Americans • Ushered in the l owest unemployment numbers for Asian Americans • Ushered in the l owest unemployment numbers for Latin Americans • Ushered in the l owest unemployment numbers for women • Cancelled the appalling Iran deal • Major corporations that left the US ha ve now returned • There are mor e jobs available than people to work them, causing pay rates to increase greatly • Is in the process of fixing the Affor dable Care Act (Obama Care) that saw health insurance skyrocket without the coverage that was needed • Passed the ‘Right to Try’ bill for those with terminal illness • Destroyed comp letely the infrastructure of the ISIS caliphate • Killed the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr Al-bagdadi • Killed the second in charge of ISIS • Killed the Iranian terrorist Qassam Soleimani, the world’s deadliest terrorist • Secured a 1st step trade deal with China • Met face to face with Kim Jong U n of North Korea • Made the other NATO nati ons pay their portion of NATO obligations • Ceased funding terrorist nati ons and terrorist groups in the U.N. • Pulled funding (in part) from the UN because of it’ s bigotry and mismanagement • Is the first US President EVER to speak at a Mar ch for Life rally to stand with the lives of the unborn! There are so many other wonderful things he’s done that I can’t list them all. I’ve included a link for you to check out yourself. **** Why am I saying all this? I want to read to you God’s foreign policy. Genesis 12:1-3, ‘Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to a land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation and I will bless you; and make your name great and you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”’ All the governments of the earth have official foreign policies, and make no mistake, God has one too. God has stated very clearly, that Abram’s descendants— the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were to be given a portion of land, with the city of Jerusalem at it’s heart and to be their capital, a place where God established His own name, and that the nations of the earth who blessed Abraham’s descendants, the Jewish nation of Israel, would themselves be blessed, and the nations who would dare to curse them, would themselves be cursed. President Donald Trump, regardless of whether you love him or despise him, has blessed the nation of Israel not only with his words but with his deeds and the result —I believe—is blessing on his policies and decisions which is resulting in blessing on the US economy, foreign policy, trade deals and policy agreements with other nations. The US is—in all areas—absolutely booming at the moment in spite of the attacks and attempts to undermine everything President Trump has done and continues to do. No other president has every experienced the kind of hatred and opposition that President Trump has and in spite of it all, he’s succeeding in spectacular fashion. It is my personal opinion that when a man or nation—knowingly or unknowingly— stands on the side of God’s foreign policy, God’s blessings will be seen in amazing ways. * www.letusreason.org/Biblexp194.htm ** www.cfr.org/backgrounder/golan-heights-whats- stake-trumps-recognition *** www.breakingisraelnews.com/140190/trump- confirms-jewish-settlement-judea-samaria-legal- under-international-law **** www.magapill.com __________________________________ Mandy Worby is an experienced Israel Tour leader and also the popular radio host of ‘ Night Vision’ featured on Australia’s national Vision Christian Radio network Monday to Friday 7-12pm . Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com A coin has been struck in Trumps honour which depicts his face next to King Cyrus, As Trump mirrors the actions of Cyrus who declared to the Jewish people in exhile for 70 years that the Lord charged King Cyrus to build the Lord a house in Jerusalem. (pinterest)

12. 4 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Opinion Piece Australia has had an unprecedented season of prolonged and intense bushfires, described by many as Armageddon, causing devastation of human life, homes and livelihoods, forests and agriculture, wildlife, stock, crops and infrastructure. I have just returned from the Adelaide Hills where one life and 86 houses were lost. Seeing houses and livelihoods reduced to ash and rubble by the random wiles of winds and spot fires, while another a few metres away is untouched, is sobering. The tireless and sacrificial work of volunteers, firefighters and emergency workers which saved thousands more lives and homes from the same fate must also be applauded. While it has been heartbreaking to see huge parts of our country devoured by walls of flame it is encouraging to see the generous response of the nation to this crisis. While the leftists scream for climate change action, the right blame the lack of forest clearing allowing a spark to ignite a massive inferno. No doubt there is some truth on both sides but as Christians we are to seek answers from God’s Word, search out the spiritual reasons behind the obvious, learn His ways, then teach them to the nation (Matt 24:19). Our first response must be compassion on those who have suffered such devastating loss and bring comfort and practical help in their sorrow. Jesus healed all who came to Him never accusing them of being responsible for their predicament. When the disciples asked if the blind man had sinned or his parents in John 9:1-3 to cause his blindness, Jesus replied ‘Neither’, but God had a greater plan. Likewise, when 18 people died when the tower of Siloam fell, he did not blame the victims but did call his disciples to repentance to secure their eternal destiny (Luke 13:1-5). God’s heart desires to bring people to Himself for eternity and embrace us as individuals and as nations in His loving arms. Both Jews and Christians are called to be a light in the darkness. Are there lessons and principles we can learn from the Scriptures that can heal our land? There is no doubt that God is good and He wants us to live under His blessing and not under the curse. For this reason He gave us His teachings. If we keep His commandments, we will have abundant life (Deut 27-28). Walking in God’s ways as individuals and as a nation gives us an umbrella of protection under His wings (Ps 91), but if we choose to turn our back on God and walk away from obeying His commandments, we are no longer under His shelter, but open to the fiery darts of the enemy. There are several things that defile, pollute and bring a curse on the land, resulting in drought and destruction. Idolatry “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.” Deut 11:16-17 Everything we put ahead of God is idolatry and breaks the first commandment Jesus gave us to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength (Lk 10:27). Where we spend our time, money and effort display where our hearts are. In addition, our land and even our churches have embraced ‘multiculturalism’ including foreign gods and accepted the lie that all gods are equal. Jesus said He was the [only] way and only He died for our sins and rose from the dead to intercede for us. There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). The false teaching of relativism is an affront to the One who has paid such a high price for us. We must repent and lift the name of Jesus high above our nation. Immorality - Sexual Sin “But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me,” declares the LORD... “you have polluted a land with your harlotry and with your wickedness. “Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no spring rain. Yet you had a harlot’s forehead; You refused to be ashamed.” Jer 3:1-3 The level of pornography in our nation is appalling. Porn sites are some of the most visited websites in Australia, even ahead of news and supermarket sites. Because of the lust of the eyes and the flesh (I Jn 2:16), fornication and adultery are considered almost normal. Relationships, marriages and families are breaking apart everywhere, resulting in broken hearts and lives. Selfishness has led to sex at all costs and homosexuality being also accepted and legalised as equal to marriage, despite it being an abomination in God’s eyes (Lev 18:22). We need a revolution of purity in our nation. Shedding Innocent Blood “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood.” Ps 106:37-38 As a nation, many states have now passed laws allowing abortion up to full term and a couple have legalised euthanasia. By legalising the killing of the innocent in the womb we have opened a portal of death to come into our nation. Our land today is polluted with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent babies who have been sacrificed on the altar in order to cover up the product of sexual sin or inconvenience. God hears the blood that cries out. Broken Covenants “The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.” Isaiah 24:5-6 When we transgress God’s covenants there are consequences. The church also has a responsibility to teach His laws and His ways to the nation and not be content with ‘every man doing what is right in his own eyes’ as happened in the book of Judges. The Lord warns us in Deuteronomy 28:22- 24 that the curse will consume us if we do not obey His laws. We have to choose this day who we will serve (Josh 24:15). Rebellion “Seek in her [Jerusalem’s] open squares...If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her. But they refused to take correction...They have refused to repent... They have lied about the LORD and said, ‘... Misfortune will not come on us...“Because you have spoken this word, Behold, I am making My words in your mouth fire and this people wood, and it will consume them... ‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart... ‘They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain in its season...” Jer 5:1,3, 12, 14, 23-24 God will not be mocked. Our choices have consequences for good or for evil. When an individual or a nation turns its back on God, He will graciously depart. We have pushed Him out of our schools, our law courts and our parliament. We cannot then blame Him when the consequences begin to play out in our nation. It is not God’s judgement, we only have ourselves to blame. The individuals affected are the victims not the cause of national offence. God is not an evil judge waiting to inflict punishment on the innocent, but on a national level, if we turn away from God, Satan has free reign to bring devastation. Honouring God’s People and Land “And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.” Zech 14:17 Another cause of a land not receiving rain is their stance towards Israel. If we do not honour God’s people, we risk having drought on our land. The church as a whole is so saturated with replacement theology, believing that God has finished with Israel and replaced her with the church, and has largely pushed Israel out of its thinking. This also needs repentance and a shift in mindset and action. For a country to be blessed, it needs to not curse (or ‘lightly esteem’) God’s people Israel. “I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse.” Gen 12:3 God’s Promise The good news is that God is gracious and when we repent and cry out to Him, He will answer. The responsibility is on the shoulders of His people to repent and pray on behalf of those who do not know Him, so He can heal our land. “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and will heal their land.” I Chron 7:13-14 God is calling His people to Himself and we need to hear His voice in the storms, fires and floods. Living in obedience in the shadow of the Lord’s wings provides us with protection (Ps 91) but we need to heed His warning that rejecting Him brings a curse over our land, as Satan will come to steal, kill and destroy. Drought and devastation are evidence of the devil’s handiwork. When tragedies occur, people are more open to think of their eternal destiny. Being a Christian does not guarantee that we may not be caught up in such an event so we need to make sure our future is secure in Jesus now and take the opportunities God opens up to share the good news of John 3:16 with others. God wants to pour out His love, compassion, forgiveness and blessing as we turn to Him and seek His face, repent and pray. While Scripture is clear that rejection of God’s ways has bad consequences, and that we will all face our Maker one day to account for our lives, it is equally clear that victims of tragedy should not be blamed for their circumstances. We can all take great comfort in God’s promise Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ________________________________________________________ Jill Curry is author of ‘The Anzac Call.’ Jill Curry Jewish & Israel Prayer Focus Cooordinator Healing for a Burnt and Broken Land J Curry - Near Cudlee Creek, Adelaide Hills Jan 2020

24. 24 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Theology 12 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia This article is the final instalment in a series of contributions based on the book ‘Walking In The Dust Of Rabbi Jesus: How The Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life’ by Lois Tverberg. www.ourrabbijesus.com Jesus said to the religious leaders, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” (John 5:39) The only Scriptures they had at that time were the Old Covenant Scriptures, so when we study the entire Bible (the whole counsel of God) we should be looking at it and placing Jesus at the centre of it so that it reveals Him. We are to learn it and live it, for practical application from the examples set in it from those who lived during the Old Covenant time frame. So when we 21st century disciples of Jesus, read the Bible, are we reading it with a view to imitate our Saviour or simply to obtain knowledge or interesting information? This is a challenge to all of us because we’re so ingrained with a Greek mindset, it pervades all Western society and it’s all we know. It’s particularly challenging for me because I love to study, I love learning new things but having a lot of knowledge or information rattling around in my brain isn’t enough. The real challenge for Jesus’s disciples today is to read His Word and set ourselves to practical living and expression of His teaching so that we look and sound just like Him. Our Rabbi has personally chosen us to be His disciples and that is a privilege beyond our comprehension. Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” He chose us so that we would learn from Him, imitate Him, talk like Him, serve like Him, love like Him, and represent Him before the eyes of the watching world. After His resurrection Jesus said to this to His disciples. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) They were to go and make disciples throughout all the nations, disciples who would be committed to imitating the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; they were to teach those disciples to observe (attend to carefully, to guard, to keep, to undergo something) all that Jesus had originally taught them and while they were producing and making disciples throughout the world - those who would obey and imitate Jesus - He Himself would be with them throughout all of human history, walking with them throughout that process. Paul imitated Jesus; Paul was a deeply committed and faithful disciple who never flinched from the call on his life to preach the Gospel to the Gentile world. Paul never stopped preaching the Gospel to his Jewish countrymen; he always went to the synagogues first to preach the Gospel and debate with his fellow Jews, despite the danger it posed to himself, and then he told his own disciples within the churches to imitate him. He was like a father to them, he wasn’t merely a teacher or tutor to them, he loved them like a father and looked upon them as his children in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 4:16) Jesus said we’re to imitate Him; Paul imitated Jesus and then told his own disciples to imitate him: that’s the pattern. So let’s imitate Paul, who imitated Jesus. Let’s study His words, His life, His service and His love and walk in the dust of our Rabbi by becoming just like Him. Walking in the Dust of Our Rabbi - Part 3b Sheep on a mountain paradise | Photo: unsplash Tu Bishvat: New Year of the Trees Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church ‘Tu Bishvat’ – these perhaps somewhat puzzling words indicate a date on the Jewish calendar. Tu (composed of the Hebrew letters tet and vav) is 15, and Shevat is the name of the 11th month (while ‘bi’ is the preposition ‘in’). So it is the 15th of Shevat. This day is celebrated as the New Year of the Trees. On that day each year, it is a custom to eat fruits of trees such as nuts, raisins, and other products that symbolise the fertility of the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8). In modern times, the Jewish National Fund has declared this a day on which new trees are to be planted in Israel. In other words, Tu Bishvat celebrates the connection with the land of Israel. This year, Tu Bishvat begins on the evening of Sunday, 9 February, and ends on the nightfall of Monday, 10 February. That may raise some questions: a New Year in the eleventh month, and an eleventh month in what we consider the beginning of the year – how so? The Talmud identifies four New Year days: (1) the new year for kings and festivals on the 1st of Nisan (the month of Pesach, assigned in the Bible as the beginning of months, Exodus 12:2 ); (2) the new year for the tithe of beasts on the 1st of Elul (August-September); (3) the new year for years, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years on the 1st of Tishri (which is commonly known as Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year); and (4) the new year of the trees, on the 15th of Shevat. Tu Bishvat as such is not mentioned in the Bible. But probably, this date was set to determine the tithe of fruits of trees (Leviticus 27:30), and orlah (Leviticus 19:23-25): harvesting the fruit of the first three years is forbidden, while the fruit of the fourth year is set aside as a praise offering to God. From the fifth year on, harvesting the fruit is allowed (the parable of the fig tree, Luke 13:6-9 ). Olive tree | Photo: unsplash

10. 2 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Commentary Ron Ross Author and Middle East correspondent and commentator San Remo 1920, A Zionist Magna Carta The Bible says: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.’”   (Genesis 15:18) Yasser Arafat declared, “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war that will last for generations.” He found Israel, stubborn, resilient and determined. Like many before him and those after, Arafat rode the wave of rage. Wipe Israel off the map has been the constant chant. During a Christian sponsored event in Jerusalem, Dr. Jacques Gauthier, an international legal scholar spoke. Gauthier said it was in San Remo that the claims presented on the behalf of the Jewish people on February 27, 1919, during the Paris peace conference—the rights of the Jewish people to reconstitute a Jewish national home in what was then called Palestine—were approved. “The rights granted in San Remo were incorporated in the treaty of Sevre in 1920 and the Mandate for Palestine approved by the League of Nations in 1922,” he said. “These rights included the recognition of the historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem and the right to reconstitute in that City their ancient capital.” These historic agreements earned in blood and treasure are often ignored by politicians, world leaders and journalists alike. (Some church leaders too!) One hundred years ago the collapse of the Ottoman Empire created complex legal ramifications throughout the Middle East. 1920 is vitally important. On April 25,1920 the San Remo Conference was held in San Remo, Italy. It was an international gathering of Prime Ministers and leaders. The senior dignitaries were Britain (David Lloyd George), France (Alexander Millerand), Italy (Francesco Nitti) and Japan (Ambassador K. Matsui). America attended as an observer. This was a momentous event where challenging aspects of the fallen Ottoman Empire were divided into three mandates— Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Most of the land was handed to the Arabs with the creation of new mandates for Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and later Jordan. Specifically for Israel San Remo adopted an Allied Powers agreement in favour of the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People. The Balfour Declaration as the basic guideline for the future development of the region was adopted. Attorney Howard Grief wrote: “The San Remo Resolution converted the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 from a mere statement of British policy expressing sympathy with the goal of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state into a binding act of international law that required fulfilment by Britain of this object in active cooperation with the Jewish people.” (Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel and Palestine under International Law, Howard Grief, acpr.org.il ). Britain’s Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon described the San Remo conclusions as ‘the Magna Carta of the Zionists.’ Those decisions were confirmed unanimously on July 24, 1922, by all fifty-one members of the League of Nations. “The ‘Mandate for Palestine’, an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in International law.” (‘Mandate for Palestine’ - The Legal Aspects of Jewish Rights, Eli E. Hertz, mythsandfacts.org ) The name ‘Palestine’ was created by the Romans around 135 CE adapted from the Philistines. It was chosen to emphasise the eradication of the Jewish people after the Revolts against Rome. ‘Philistia’ became ‘Palistina’ or ‘Palestine’. It was never an independent state and not distinct from other Arabs. In fact local Arabs were looked upon as part of Greater Syria (Suriyya al-Kubra) Under the British Mandate anyone born in Israel was a Palestinian whether they were Jew, Arab or Christian. With the birth of the State of Israel, their true identity was acknowledged. Joshua Teitelbaum (JCPA) wrote: “The Jews have been brought back into history through the establishment of the State of Israel.” He charged those who deny the legal right of Israel as ‘a new kind of antisemitism.’ The San Remo decision was a dramatic turning point.  It sparked Jewish celebrations around the world. And no UN resolution since has legally changed the agreements for the land granted to the Jewish people at San Remo nearly 100 years ago. God promised Israel to the Jewish people (Genesis 15:18). The Book of Joshua continues today. April 25 is a very significant date for Australians. We observe Anzac Day, April 25. It is very interesting that the Anzac history relates to 1917. On 2 November, 1917 Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration which declared: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” The territory known as ‘Palestine’ was still part of the Ottoman Empire in 2017. In 2018 Britain liberated ‘Palestine’ from Turkish rule. The San Remo Conference followed at the Villa Devachan, San Remo, Italy, 18-26 April, 1920. Present were the Principal Allied Powers of World War 1—Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. The USA attended as an ‘Associated Power’, an ally of France and Great Britain. The fundamental goal at San Remo was to effectively decide the future of the Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Dr Chaim Weizman, president of the newly formed Zionist Organisation said: “Recognition of our rights in Palestine is embodied in the treaty with Turkey, and has become part of international law. This is the most momentous political event in the whole history of our movement, and it is, perhaps, no exaggeration to say in the whole history of our people since the Exile. For this great declaration of deliverance we have to thank the Allied and Associated Powers.” Dr Weizman became the first President of the State of Israel. Historians record salient points from San Remo. 1. For the first time in modern history , Palestine became a legal entity. Before San Remo it has just been a geographical area. 2. The Balfour Declaration achi eved legal status in San Remo by being incorporated into the agreement. 3. ‘Jewish peop le’ were designated as the exclusive beneficiaries of a sacred trust in the Palestine Mandate, the first step on the road leading to the national sovereignty of the Jewish people. 4. Certainly it kindl ed new hope for the scattered Jewish people to believe for their long dreamed of homecoming Arab objections in this era mirrored the militancy of today. The dominant Arab clans in Jerusalem were the el-Husseinis and the Nashashibis. They battled each other for supremacy. Haj Amin el- Husseini was the first to organise suicide groups the ‘fedayeen’ (‘one who sacrifices himself ’). They began terrorising Jews in 1919. The first large Arab riots in Jerusalem targeted Passover, April 1920. _______________________________________ Ron Ross worked as a newsman in Jerusalem, broadcasting Middle East reports internationally. He is the Middle East correspondent for Vision Christian Radio and a popular speaker. www.ronross.org | ronandyvonne@mac.com San Remo Conference, 1920. Agence Meurisse, BNF /Gallica.fr

16. 8 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 News: Christian Friends of Israeli Communities Meira Weber Assistant Director of CFOIC Heartland An Attitude of Gratitude – Heartfelt Thanks from Har Gilo The last thing we were expecting to show up on the doorstep of the CFOIC Heartland Israel Office that day was the rain-soaked and windswept Chief of Security from Har Gilo. He blew in like the storm raging outside, bursting into the office with a huge, exhilarated grin and carrying the biggest bouquet of flowers I’d ever seen. “Sondra Baras?” he asked, taking in the conference table around which I, Sondra, Shmuel, and a visitor from a nearby community were arranged. We had been in the midst of a meeting; Sondra had been explaining the work of CFOIC Heartland to our visitor, describing the communities and our wonderful donors, but the visitor hadn’t yet fully grasped the impact of these donations on the residents of Judea and Samaria. Sondra rose from the table to meet our wet stranger. “I’m Sondra,” she said. The stranger laughed and held out the flowers. “These are for you, from all the people in Har Gilo!” he said. “I’m the Chief of Security there, and you can’t even understand what a difference those cameras have made. You gave us back our lives!” Our Israeli visitor sat up straighter in his chair, his notes abandoned on the table. “Can you tell me more?” “Of course!” said the Chief of Security. “We were so vulnerable before. Do you remember Ori Ansbacher? She was killed in a terrible attack at the edge of Jerusalem, just across the valley from Har Gilo. The terrorist was able to reach her because of a surveillance blind spot near Har Gilo. We knew that if we had cameras monitoring the area, we would have seen the terrorist approaching and could have prevented the attack. Not to mention the terrorists who, because of that same blind spot, actually infiltrated the community before being caught by a random passerby. We came to CFOIC, and they opened their hearts to us—and now the area is secure. Nothing like that will ever happen again. We’re safe, and lives have been saved!” A rush of excited conversation pulsed through the office as our visitor questioned the Har Gilo Chief of Security, but just as suddenly as he’d come, he needed to go— “It’s a long drive back” —and we all said our goodbyes. The door shut behind him and we sat in the suddenly quiet office, a bit shell-shocked but exhilarated by the encounter. A slow smile spread across the face of our visitor. Almost to himself, he murmured, “Now I understand.” Here is a thank-you letter written by the people of Har Gilo to you, their angels, their wonderful Christian friends: Dear Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, On behalf of all the residents in Har Gilo, I would like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude for your incredibly generous donations towards improving security in our community. Over the years, our community has suffered from many incidents on both sides of the perimeter at the hands of our hostile neighbors. Cars have been shot at on the road, severely injuring the Har Gilo residents inside; attackers have cut through our wire fence and infiltrated the community, and on one occasion they managed to steal a motorcycle before the rapid response team caught them. Safety has always been our top concern, and you have made that dream of safety a reality. Because of you, and because of the surveillance cameras you have donated, we will be able to sleep soundly at night knowing that our children and families are safe from the enemies just outside our community. We, the residents of Har Gilo, feel strengthened and encouraged knowing that we have true friends like you across the ocean. We think of you as Righteous Gentiles among the nations, and God has truly blessed us by connecting us to you. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you! May God bless you richly! Lea Peleg Har Gilo If you’d like to support projects like these in partnership with CFOIC please use our form on the back page. ________________________________________________________ Meira Weber , with her deep love of Israel and a rich background in video production, creative writing, and social media management, she has brought a fresh new voice to CFOIC Heartland as the Assistant Director. She now lives in Karnei Shomron with her husband, and fills her free time with writing and filmmaking. You can say hello to Meira at meira@cfoic.com We knew that if we had cameras monitoring the area, we would have seen the terrorist... Looking from Har Gilo into the valley Ori Ansbacher’s murderer used to enter Jerusalem

5. 17 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Opinion 5 Short News Joël Voordewind and n Gert-Jan Segers The Christian Union (CU) is a political party in The Netherlands and is currently one of the members of the Dutch coalition government. The CU party leaders recently visited Israel to meet with Israelis and Palestinians. “Because of abiding anti-Semitism, our first loyalty is with Israel”, say Joël Voordewind and Gert-Jan Segers. We are friends of Israel. For some of our colleagues in the Dutch Parliament, that is a reason to challenge us. Former Dutch Prime Minister van Agt says our friendship with Israel conflicts not only with our own commitment to human rights but also with international law. Any reference to the tragedy of 75 years ago, when six million Jews were beaten, starved, shot and gassed, seems to be a sensitive topic for some people. Although we are still able to speak with the last remaining survivors of this European orgy of anti- Semitic violence, some people believe it is no longer relevant to refer to the Holocaust when discussing the legitimacy of the State of Israel. But the Holocaust was not the only example of anti-Semitism. We might just as well refer to the recent murder of Jews in New York and France, the recent attack on a synagogue in Brussels, or the bullying of a Jewish family in the Dutch town of Hippolytushoef. And what about the fact that schools and synagogues in Holland need to have 24/7 police protection? Or that virtually all Jews have been driven out of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, with the exception of Israel - where, by the way, one and a half million Arabs live in freedom. We live in a world where anti-Semitism may, for a time, seem to disappear, but sooner or later it always comes back. It is an ineradicable, irrational evil. The only apparent reason we can see for anti- Semitism is the unique relationship between God and the Jewish people. No other minority group has suffered such oppression as the Jewish people. No matter how civilised, assimilated, or peaceful he r members were, they were always threatened with death and destruction. Yet no other people have so managed to retain its unique identity for so long, in the face of storms of hate and oppression. Believe it or not, anti-Semitism is in our eyes so incomprehensible that - in a negative, perverse way – it proves the existence of God. It is so irrational that it must be Satanic. But even if you don’t share that belief, Israel and the Jewish people deserve our support. Israel’s Right to Self-Defence With the holocaust behind us, we have arrived at a time in history when, after two thousand years, the Jewish people have a homeland again, and have returned to the place where their history began. In a world in which anti-Semitism seems eradicable, the state of Israel is, for every last Jew in the world, the last remaining hope for a safe haven. In this world that is so unsafe for Jews, we want to be friends of Israel, the safe homeland for the Jewish people. Wherever the borders will end up, they need to be secure. If there is one people that deserves to be able to defend itself, it is the Jewish people. Even after political peace agreements are signed, such as those with Egypt and Jordan, millions of people in Israel’s neighbouring countries do not accept Israel’s right to exist. Words of hate that constantly flow from the mouths of Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are no mere threats, but ha ve countless times been put into action. Just this past week, rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas. If there is one country that deserves our support, it is Israel. Being a Friend of Israel Does Not Mean Hating Palestinians Friendship does not mean we cannot criticise Israel. In fact, true friends can point out faults or missed opportunities. Our friendship with Israel does not automatically imply hate of Palestinians. We support a just resolution of the territorial conflict, and for many years we have supported many reconciliation projects that bring Jews and Arabs closer together. During our recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, we talked with Israelis – Jews and Arabs – as well as Christian and Muslim Palestinians. Unfortunately, a number of Palestinian politicians cancelled their meeting with us at the last minute. That will not deter us from seeking much-needed dialogue. In the public debate about this conflict, there is a one-sidedness that is suspicious. Morocco occupies Western Sahara, and China occupies Tibet, but the world says nothing about these occupations. People who remain silent about these occupations, but continually accuse Israel of war crimes because of its occupation, and criticise our friendship with Israel, have other motives than the pursuit of human rights. Gert-Jan Segers is the leader of the Christian Union, and Joël Voordewind is Foreign Affairs spokesman. Why We Are Friends of Israel February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Christian Union party leaders Gert-Jan Segers and Joel Voordewind in Israel. | Photo: Eppo Bruins Fiddler Going Strong The iconic Broadway play, Fiddler on the Roof, is still going strong. Since its premiere in 1964, it has been daily performed somewhere in the world. Fiddler was the first musical on the US stage to not have a lead American character and Fiddler held the record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost ten years. Set in 1905 in czarist Russia, where most Russian Jews were forced to live under the weight of anti- Semitic restrictions, the musical tells the story about the allure of tradition and the pull of assimilation in the shtetl (town) of Anatevka. Tevye, a poor dairy farmer, lives in this town with his wife and five unmarried daughters until a pogrom drives them out. | Photo: Flash90 Training in Israel Palestinian nurses from Gaza, Judea and Samaria received a four-day medical refresher course at Sheba Hospital, using a high-tech manikin. For ten years now, the hospital has been providing several refresher courses for Palestinian doctors and nurses. A nurse from Bethlehem said, “This was my first training in Israel, and it was very useful. I hope it isn’t the last.” 192,000 Holocaust Survivors Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day new statistics were revealed by the Finance Ministry. These statistics show that 192,000 survivors of the Holocaust live in Israel. Last year 14,800 survivors who lived in Israel passed away. | Photo: Newsweek Israeli Zoo Sends Aid for animals in Australia The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is collecting donations to help the Animal Rescue Collective purchase veterinary supplies for animals affected by wildfires in Victoria, Australia. Supplies will include burn creams, milk replacers, hydration concentrates, wound sprays, syringes, disinfectant, feeding bottles and more. It has been estimated that 480 million animals have been affected by the fires in New South Wales alone. No one knows exactly how many have been injured or killed. Lectures | Excursions | Seminars | High-Level Meetings Are Israeli Settlements Illegal? www.thinc.info/summer-school-2020/ Join international law experts in Israel to find out! Summer School on International Law and the Israeli-Palestine Conflict 21 June - 3 July 2020 th i nc. THE HAGUE INITIATIVE for INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION Nitai Eliash

9. Dear faithful readers, partners and friends (chavorim), Welcome to this first edition for 2020 and Happy New Year to you all. My wife Mandy and I have been enjoying a much need and overdue extended annual holiday at home without traveling around or following hectic itineraries. However, like all good things that must end, that time has quickly passed and we are both back in the office Monday February 3. During our break we couldn’t help but be concerned over the massive devastation of the bushfires and we shared in the grief and loss of homes and lives, including hundreds of thousands of our precious wildlife. It caused much heated debate as to whether ‘Climate Change’, arsonists or poor management of our forests and bushland were to blame. Then we saw pockets of good rains causing some local flash flooding and it reminded me of the poem ‘My Country’, which is widely known in Australia, especially its second stanza, which begins: “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.” Jill Curry has written a reflective article ( page 4 ) on how we can better understand and deal with these times of loss and tragedy as did Jesus and the disciples in the Gospels. The other big breaking news, as per the front page of this edition, is of course the ‘Deal of the Century’ being touted by President Donald Trump; his Peace to Prosperity Vision. Whilst I’m sure there is a lot of compromise required for both sides it was initially received with great interest, especially because both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz, both flew to Washington to attend the presentation of the new peace plan. (Both Israel leaders attended because Israel is heading back to the voting booths for a 3rd time and it’s uncertain who will be Israel’s next leader) It was also very interesting that this new peace initiative was positively supported by Arab leaders from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Unsurprisingly, the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, refused to attend or even receive a telephone call from President Trump, rather calling him a dog, and the son of a dog. (Charming) Later, he confirmed his out of hand rejection of any peace deal saying, “One thousand ‘No’s’!” Forty years ago, former Israeli politician and diplomat Abba Eban, famously said, “the Palestinians never seem to miss an opportunity to miss the opportunity,” when discussing peace talks, and New York Times writer Bret Stephens recently said, “Every time Palestinians say ‘No’, they lose.” So we are still very much living the ‘times of the signs’ that Jesus and the Prophets told us about, with wars and rumors of wars, calamity and earthquakes, promises of peace when there is no peace, and there will be no peace until the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, comes to establish His kingdom. We are all called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to set watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem until that day comes. Later this month on the 25-27, some of our representatives including well known advocate and Christian World View host Judy Russel, along with our public relations officer Jacquie Bakker from Sydney, and Matthew Thorn our national youth leader for Isreality, will be attending the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast in Canberra, hosted by Senator Eric Abetz and attended by a number of pro-Israel MPs and Christian leaders. Please contact JPB co-ordinator Jane O’Neill if your keen to attend. Email janeoneill@iinet.net.au for details. Unfortunately Mandy and I wont be able to attend this year as we are leading another very full and interesting Bible Lands tour to Israel, Jordan and Greece with 30 excited Aussies. Tours and Speaking Events Galore Experienced teacher and tour leader Keith Buxton is leading a special low cost budget tour for our Melanesian and Pacific Island friends this August, but this tour is also open to you and anyone wanting to walk in the footsteps of the Patriarchs, Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles. Please see the promotion of this unique study tour sponsored by Christians for Israel Oceania and organised by out wonderful agents, Olive Tree Travel on page 12. This is a budget tour, but the itinerary and sights you’ll experience are still of a high standard and something not to be missed. Please call ASAP, even if just to express your interest. Be sure to read the article by new contributor Peter Schuptar on page 10 , about his journey of faith as a descendant of the first Jewish settlers in Australia. Peter and his wife Sharon are also leading their ‘Walk the Word’ tour starting September 17. Contact Peter today for details on 0412 911 383. Joy Heylen is also hosting a tour in association with Christian Friends of Israeli Communities , and Sondra Baras will be doing another speaking tour this month of February, and we’re looking forward to the return of popular tour guide and speaker, the Jerusalem Watchman, Stan Goodenough in September. See details on page 6. More changes up ahead for Christians for Israel Australia Last edition I hinted that our time of sharing office space with UCB Australia’s Vision Christian Media was coming to an end because they were relocating to new premises. During our recent AGM, our Committee of Management discussed that this will require us to find a new suitable venue to establish our office and distribution centre. We have been very blessed to have had the use of Vision’s secure facilities for the past 6-7 years free of charge, with close access to their radio and media facilities and daily pick up and deliveries down stairs by Australia Post and other couriers. At the time of writing we have not yet found a suitable place, but ask you join us in prayer to find a new home to continue this important ministry. Vision Christian Media have indicated they will be moving around early May, so we don’t have a lot of time but we are confident that the Lord will lead us to a good, suitable and affordable new home. We will now need to consider the costs of many of the facilities we have enjoyed, including electricity, air- conditioning, staff amenities for toilets and kitchens, a board room, internet and storage facilities for all our records, and media resources. Looking back to count our blessings as we also look forward to new chapter Again I wish to acknowledge our great team of volunteers, those who serve on our Board of Management and who come in every week to clear the mail and process the orders and donations. Last year we printed and distributed 62,500 newspapers at an average cost of just under $2 each delivered, through the paper we raised approx $238,000 for humanitarian projects in Israel and to help bring the Jews home. In addition to this, another $124,000 was received as general donations to cover the cost of the office, printing and postage of the newspapers and our unique teaching resources However this year we will need to trust the Lord that the needs for a new office and associated costs will also be met according to His amazingly generous people. As we begin this new decade and year of vision for 2020, lets continue to keep our eyes firmly on the Lord who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, understanding that He watches over Israel, He neither slumbers nor sleeps, and we know that without faith it is impossible to please our great God. Thank you for your continued prayers and love, your heart for Israel, and as the Lord leads and enables your continued generosity and practical partnership with me and the Christians for Israel Australia team. Blessings in Messiah, _____________________________________ Ian Worby National Leader & Regional Director for Christians for Israel Australia & Oceania. February 2020 Report From Our National Leader Comforts Informs Inspires Ian Worby C4I Australia National Leader and Regional Director for Oceania ...we will need to trust the Lord that the needs for a new office and associated costs will also be met Ian & Mandy Worby, Judean Hills, Israel. Christians for Israel, Australia team in Vision Board room during visit in July 2019 by Executive Direct C4I International Rev Cornelis Kant.

19. 11 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Featured Resources and Gifts Filled with gorgeous portraits of the land where the many of the Biblical stories took place, this unique calendar shows Australians a sampling of Israel’s beauty, while also highlighting major feasts found in the Old Testament that Jews still celebrate today. Christian audiences will discover a new-found appreciation for the Old Testament and its connection to Jesus and His role as their Messiah. Jewish audiences will also discover the Christians perspective of the Old Testament’s connection to their religious convictions found in the New Testament and how it shapes their understanding of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. NOTE: Please don’t send your money or orders to C4I–please use Vision Store’s details below to order. Unique Features of this 12 Month Calendar includes: • All major Biblical/Jewish (Lord’s appointed times) and Israeli holidays mark ed and explained in a special reference chart in back of calendar. • Western and Hebrew Dates. • Australian National Holidays. • Sabbath (Shabbat) beginning and ending times. • Suggested Feast Day Scripture readings for both the Old and New Testaments in back of calendar. A unique calendar for Australians that showcases the beauty of Israel and celebrates the Biblical feasts and Holidays of the Jewish people. $18 The Holy Land of Israel 2020 Calendar SKU: 13030GFT Free Delivery orders over $50 vision.org.au/store | 1800 00 50 11 ORDER ONLINE TODAY! There’s even more great gifts and topical resources on Israel from Vision Christian Store ! See their full range online: vision.org.au/store NEW! Sign up a friend to ‘Israel & Christians Today’ Newspaper and receive the ‘ Israel 70 Years ’ Commemorative Magazine FREE * ! Your Full Name: ____________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ P ostcode: __________ Friends Full Name: _________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ P ostcode: __________ Number of Newspapers Bi-monthly: c 1 c 2 c 5 c Other: __________________ *1 Magazine per person. limited offer. while stocks last. SEND DETAILS TO: Christians for Israel, Australia , PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD, 4127

14. 6 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Political and Biblical Commentary Stan Goodenough Journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide Join the Fight for the Land! “Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:3) “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zechariah 8:23) In a significant ‘sign of the times’, Jews are welcoming Gentiles to stand with them in the battle for the Land of Israel. It is the fiercest fight on earth; in an eternal sense, the most far-reaching of all wars. Those who do not see this either don’t know what the Bible foretells, or choose to not believe it. On January 16, the Israeli organisation, “Women in Green”, sent out the following invitation: “We are excited and happy to invite you, friends and partners, to join the Sovereignty Movement.” Launched in 2011, the Sovereignty Movement has grown an extensive following, and dramatically lengthened its reach. Knesset Members and government ministers are in its ranks, and it has shifted the formerly unthinkable notion of bringing Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley under Israeli sovereignty to the center of political discourse. Since 2017, the Sovereignty Movement has come to understand that, with Donald Trump in the White House, “an historic political window” exists to restore Jewish dominion decisively to these parts of Israel’s Land. On November 18, 2019, Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, issued a startling statement: “The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements,” he said. “We will no longer recognise Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law.” Based on this—and on the other major steps already taken by President Trump (recognising Jerusalem and placing the US Embassy there; acknowledging the Golan Heights as sovereignly Israel’s; withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement)—the Sovereignty Movement believes: “The Trump administration will accept an Israeli proclamation of Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, and will recognise it, if the Israeli government will just demand it.” In the coming weeks and months Sovereignty representatives plan to show Israeli and international statesmen that this call enjoys broad public support. What an opportunity for Christians! Imagine if multitudes of us would add our names to the Jews’ names; would throw our weight behind them—messaging both Israel’s government, and our own. After decades of being infuriated, and often left feeling helpless, by the global ganging up on Israel, we can now take a Biblically-based stand with the Jewish people in a way that truly counts. It’s time to do this. It’s time for Christians to join with the Jews in their battle for the land. There’s more. Given the international community’s deeply rooted antisemitism—which in our time manifests everywhere also as anti- Israelism—we know that this world will never befriend the Jewish state. By God’s grace, through prayer and intercession, some of our nations might fleetingly do the right thing. The way America is today, and hopefully will do for the next four years. At bottom, though, this all has to do with a great deal more than just getting nations to gain a passing positive perception of Israel’s land rights. Israel is headed for a glorious future. This, final, leg of their journey commenced in 1882, when the Jews began to come home. Since then, they have seen the liberation of their land in WW1; the struggle to overcome British blockades to Jewish immigration as Hitler was coming to power; the Holocaust’s black abyss; the light of independence of their resurrected state; the return, in 1967, to the heart of their land and the heart of their capital—Jerusalem. But what’s really both moving and momentous, the main reason it is critical that we support the Jews as they move towards regaining full possession of their homeland—is the profound prophetic fact that what they are actually building is an Ark. The LORD has purposed that this land will be a safe haven for Jews in a world that is fast uniting against them. Efforts are underway to sink this Ark before it is built. Efforts like the insidious and ongoing illegal land grab with EU/ Qatari funding to create a Palestinian state—which is nothing less than a weapon designed to destroy Israel. But no weapon formed against Israel—neither an Iranian nuclear bomb nor an imposed two-state solution—will prosper. God is gathering the Jews to their home to be under His wings, with the promise to preserve them here. This Land is their ultimate guarantee of, “Never Again”. “‘Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger... I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely . ... Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this land, with all My heart and with all My soul.’” (Jeremiah 32:37,41 – emphasis added) “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’” (Jeremiah 31:10 – emphasis added) “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. ” (Ezekiel 36:24 – emphasis added) “‘I will bring back the captives of My people Israel... I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them ,’ says the Lord your God.” (Amos 9:14-15 – emphasis added) This is why we Gentiles will do what, among others, Zechariah (8:23) says we will do. Dear reader, when a Jew asks—will you join us, will you put your name with ours and come alongside to help us fight for our birthright, will you? Do we understand that broad support from Gentiles in the nations will boost the Jewish sovereignty movement, helping ensure it succeeds? Can we step up now, where we failed to in Gaza, when most Christians were (yet again) silent as Jews were uprooted to please the world? If your answer to these questions is “yes”, I encourage you to go to the following link and accept the invitation that is being extended to us. www.nirshamti.co.il/en/sovereignty/ I cannot overstate how much I believe it will please the Lord to see Gentiles responding to this invitation from His Jewish daughters to come alongside and join them in their labours. For Zion’s sake. ** The Legal Rights of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel: www.israelforever.org/interact/blog/legal_rights_ jewish_people_land_of_israel Full paper: www.acpr.org.il/english-nativ/02-issue/ grief-2.htm www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8oU68yZ4Ag ________________________________________________________ Stan Goodenough is an Evangelical Christian (Gentile), a journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide. During the 30 years that Jerusalem has been his home, he has witnessed the unparalleled wonder of Israel’s ongoing restoration, and the growing global hostility and threat against her. www.jerusalemwatchman.org Sat 5th of September Brisbane, Day Seminar, Venue TBA Peter Schuptar Email israelsrestoration@gmail.com Sun 6th to 8th of September Cairns, Venue TBA, Pastor Melissa Haigh, Email melissa@lionsgate.global Fri 11th to 12th September Perth, Day Seminar, Venue TBA, Willem & Cherilyn Moolman, Email cherilynmoolman@yahoo.com.au Mon 28th of September , Sydney, Day Seminar, NSW Parliament, Macquarie St, Judy Russell, Ph 0410403616 Email judy.russell@iinet.net.au Sat 3rd of Oct to 4th, Day Seminar and Sunday Service, Kingdom Church, Gold Coast, Venue TBA Ph Pastor Kyal Cumming, 0423338777 Thurs 8th of Oct , Nambour, 7.00 PM, Flametree Church, 27 Coes Creek Road. Ph 07 54411028 Stan’s Current Speaking Tour Schedule for 2020: To secure or host a meeting please contact Joy Heylen: joyhey50@gmail.com or 0439661996 The First Brigade of the ALH (Australian Light Horse) passing through Bethlehem on their way to Jeticho 1918. Photo courtesy of State Library of NSW.

26. 26 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Walk through the Land 14 Israeli Breakthrough in Laser Technology The Israeli Defense Ministry has had a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers for the interception of RAM (rocket, mortar, and artillery) threats, UAVs, and ATGMs. Head of the Directorate of Research and Development, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem stated: “We are entering a new age of energy warfare in the air, land and sea. The State of Israel is now among the leading countries in the field of high- energy laser systems.” | Photo: Jerusalem Post Biblical Marketplace Found in Jerusalem During excavations in Jerusalem, near the Temple Mount, archaeologists have found measuring instruments from the time of Jesus. Researchers conclude they’ve found the central marketplace of Jerusalem, which lies near the so- called ‘pilgrim road’. According to archaeologist Reich, in biblical times the office of the ‘Agoranomos’ (inspector for measurements) was also located near the marketplace. Physicists forecast El Niño by end of 2020 Farmers and fishermen should prepare for another El Niño — a disruptive weather phenomenon caused by changing ocean conditions — by the end of 2020, according to a prediction method developed by German and Israeli researchers. Their algorithm relies on a network analysis of air temperatures in the Pacific region. This algorithm correctly predicted the last two El Niño events (in 2014 and 2018) more than a year in advance. Has Jesus’ Childhood Home Been Found? The childhood home of Jesus may have been found underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth, Israel, according to archaeologist Ken Dark. He not only describes the remains of the home itself, but explores the evidence that suggests that this is the place where Jesus spent his formative years—or at least the place regarded in the Byzantine period as the childhood home of Jesus. | Photo: biblicalarchaeology.org Short News Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations Inc. We continue our ‘Walk through the Land’ series (Genesis 13:17) with our third article. Our goal is to increase understanding and appreciation of the Bible by understanding its geography. In our previous article, we began to explore the coastal plain. Though it is long, straight, and prominent, Israel’s coastline is not uniform. It can easily be divided into three regions: The Plain of Acre (north), Plain of Sharon (central), and Plain of Philistia (south). We began to learn about the latter plain in our last article. In this article, we focus on the five Biblical cities in Philistia: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath. Gaza, on the Mediterranean, is mentioned 19 times in Scripture. It was where the Israelite judge Samson met with a harlot and, in order to escape his enemies, took the gates of the city in an overn ight run and carried them 56km uphill to Hebron. In Gaza, Samson was taken into captivity and laughed at in derision by the Philistines (Judges 16:25). Yet, in the end, Samson was the one who had the last laugh. He prayed to the Lord, his strength returned, and he single-handedly pulled down the temple of Dagon (Judges 26-30). It was on the road to Gaza, which is desert, where the Ethiopian eunuch was led to Christ by Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:26). Ashkelon is also on the coast and is mentioned nine times in Scripture. Here, Samson came, slew 30 Philistines, and took their garments to pay for his uncovered riddle (Judges 14:19). According to Zephaniah, Ashkelon shall be a desolation and the children of Judah shall lie down there in the evening, meaning it will go from Philistine to Israelite control (Zephaniah 2:4,7). Herod the Great was born here. Ashdod, the third and last coastal city of the Philistines, is mentioned 21 times in Scr ipture. A remnant of the Anakims, which were no longer in the land of the children of Israel, could be found in Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). The ark of the covenant was taken to Ashdod, and soon after, the statue of their god, Dagon, fell face down on the earth before the ark (I Samuel 5:3). God’s hand was heavy against the men of Ashdod and they decided to move this sacred chest as far away as they could. Nehemiah caused the men of Israel to divorce their ‘foreign wives’ from Ashdod, who spoke the local language and did not serve the God of Israel (Nehemiah 13:23-24). Today modern Ashdod is Israel’s second seaport after Haifa. Gath, an inland city, mentioned 33 times in Scripture, was the home of the infamous giant Goliath, who was slain by the faithful young David (I Samuel 17). The ark of God came here after it was sent out of Ashdod, but they suffered the same heavy fate. David fled from Saul by taking refuge under the rule of Achish, king of Gath (I Samuel 21:10) and spent time there. Gath produced other ‘giants’ who also were slain by David (I Samuel 21:20, 22; I Chronicles 20:6, 8). David’s famous eulogy after hearing of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan said: Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph - II Samuel 1:20 Ekron is mentioned 22 times in the Bible. The ‘radioactive’ ark of the covenant was sent here, after causing havoc in other Philistine cities. Its arrival caused great angst to the Ekronites, who declared that the God of Israel would be slaying them as well. The children of Judah captured Ekron earlier in their sojourn in the promised land (Judges 1:18), but apparently did not keep it. Ekron served the false god Baalzebub, which drew the attention of injured king Ahaziah, son of Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Because of his foolish inquiry of Baalzebub as to whether he would recover from his illness, rather than ask and trust the God of Israel, he earned criticism from the prophet Elijah, who said he would not recover from his sickbed (II Kings 1:2,3,6,16). Like its sister Philistine cities, Ekron was appointed to divine judgement (Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5,7): For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up — Zephaniah 2:4 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed, and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited — Zechariah 9:5 Jaffa, known as ‘Joppa’ in Scripture, is mentioned three times in the Old Testament and ten times in the New Testament, all New Testament references being in the Book of Acts. It is the ancient port city of Israel, though not of the stature of the ports of Phoenicia to the north. The logs of the cedars of Lebanon were shipped to Jaffa so that they could be transported by land to Jerusalem for the building of the Jerusalem temple (II Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7). Jonah set sail from here to escape the presence of the Lord by sailing to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). It was here that Peter raised Dorcas back to life (Acts 9:41-42). While he stayed at Simon the Tanner’s sea-side house (Acts 9:43), he saw the vision of the sheets with unclean animals, symbolising God’s desire to send the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-16). This vision revolutionised his life, and by extension, changed the world. We will learn more about the coastal plain, including the Plain of Sharon, in our next article, published April 2020. Jaffa old city and seaport. | Photo: Shutterstock Plain of Philistia February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the city of Ashdod, Israel. | Photo: Shutterstock

25. 25 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Theology 12 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia This article is the final instalment in a series of contributions based on the book ‘Walking In The Dust Of Rabbi Jesus: How The Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life’ by Lois Tverberg. www.ourrabbijesus.com Jesus said to the religious leaders, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” (John 5:39) The only Scriptures they had at that time were the Old Covenant Scriptures, so when we study the entire Bible (the whole counsel of God) we should be looking at it and placing Jesus at the centre of it so that it reveals Him. We are to learn it and live it, for practical application from the examples set in it from those who lived during the Old Covenant time frame. So when we 21st century disciples of Jesus, read the Bible, are we reading it with a view to imitate our Saviour or simply to obtain knowledge or interesting information? This is a challenge to all of us because we’re so ingrained with a Greek mindset, it pervades all Western society and it’s all we know. It’s particularly challenging for me because I love to study, I love learning new things but having a lot of knowledge or information rattling around in my brain isn’t enough. The real challenge for Jesus’s disciples today is to read His Word and set ourselves to practical living and expression of His teaching so that we look and sound just like Him. Our Rabbi has personally chosen us to be His disciples and that is a privilege beyond our comprehension. Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” He chose us so that we would learn from Him, imitate Him, talk like Him, serve like Him, love like Him, and represent Him before the eyes of the watching world. After His resurrection Jesus said to this to His disciples. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) They were to go and make disciples throughout all the nations, disciples who would be committed to imitating the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; they were to teach those disciples to observe (attend to carefully, to guard, to keep, to undergo something) all that Jesus had originally taught them and while they were producing and making disciples throughout the world - those who would obey and imitate Jesus - He Himself would be with them throughout all of human history, walking with them throughout that process. Paul imitated Jesus; Paul was a deeply committed and faithful disciple who never flinched from the call on his life to preach the Gospel to the Gentile world. Paul never stopped preaching the Gospel to his Jewish countrymen; he always went to the synagogues first to preach the Gospel and debate with his fellow Jews, despite the danger it posed to himself, and then he told his own disciples within the churches to imitate him. He was like a father to them, he wasn’t merely a teacher or tutor to them, he loved them like a father and looked upon them as his children in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 4:16) Jesus said we’re to imitate Him; Paul imitated Jesus and then told his own disciples to imitate him: that’s the pattern. So let’s imitate Paul, who imitated Jesus. Let’s study His words, His life, His service and His love and walk in the dust of our Rabbi by becoming just like Him. Walking in the Dust of Our Rabbi - Part 3b Sheep on a mountain paradise | Photo: unsplash Tu Bishvat: New Year of the Trees Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church ‘Tu Bishvat’ – these perhaps somewhat puzzling words indicate a date on the Jewish calendar. Tu (composed of the Hebrew letters tet and vav) is 15, and Shevat is the name of the 11th month (while ‘bi’ is the preposition ‘in’). So it is the 15th of Shevat. This day is celebrated as the New Year of the Trees. On that day each year, it is a custom to eat fruits of trees such as nuts, raisins, and other products that symbolise the fertility of the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8). In modern times, the Jewish National Fund has declared this a day on which new trees are to be planted in Israel. In other words, Tu Bishvat celebrates the connection with the land of Israel. This year, Tu Bishvat begins on the evening of Sunday, 9 February, and ends on the nightfall of Monday, 10 February. That may raise some questions: a New Year in the eleventh month, and an eleventh month in what we consider the beginning of the year – how so? The Talmud identifies four New Year days: (1) the new year for kings and festivals on the 1st of Nisan (the month of Pesach, assigned in the Bible as the beginning of months, Exodus 12:2 ); (2) the new year for the tithe of beasts on the 1st of Elul (August-September); (3) the new year for years, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years on the 1st of Tishri (which is commonly known as Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year); and (4) the new year of the trees, on the 15th of Shevat. Tu Bishvat as such is not mentioned in the Bible. But probably, this date was set to determine the tithe of fruits of trees (Leviticus 27:30), and orlah (Leviticus 19:23-25): harvesting the fruit of the first three years is forbidden, while the fruit of the fourth year is set aside as a praise offering to God. From the fifth year on, harvesting the fruit is allowed (the parable of the fig tree, Luke 13:6-9 ). Olive tree | Photo: unsplash Israel & the Palestinians 13 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel’s Story in Maps Israel-Jordan Armistice Line, 1949-1967 Jerusalem Municipal Boundary after Six Day War Major Jewish neighbourhoods since the Six Day War Municipal Boundary under Jordanian occupation 1949-1967 Neve Yaakov Pisgat Zeev Ramot Ramat Eshkol French Hill Mt. Scopus Old City Jewish Quarter East Talpiot Har Homa Gilo Har Nof Sanhedria Beit Hakerem Mt. Herzl City Centre Yad Vashem Malcha Knesset Talbieh German Colony Talpiot Israel - A Safe Haven for Arab Christians Amit Barak n Author | Breaking Israel News hristians are disappearing =ast =rom the 'iddle ast. #srael is the only country in the 'iddle ast where the number o= hristians is increasing. Since 2000, over 77 per cent of Iraq’s 700,000 Christians have fled. In Syria, where there were, until recently, two million Christians, there are now fewer than a quarter of a million. In Egypt, the Christian Coptic community suffers from daily persecution and terror. Similarly, Christians under the Palestinian Authority also suffer from persecution. Most Christians in the Middle East who can escape persecution at the hands of Muslim extremists have fled. Those who remain face financial discrimination, physical threats, and the most heinous of crimes. Why? Because they adhere to a faith which the Muslim extremists will not tolerate. In the Middle East, there is only one country where Christians are not persecuted. That country is the State of Israel. Israeli Christians Not many people in the world know that being a Christian in Israel does not affect that person’s right to Israeli citizenship. Eighty per cent of the 175,000 Christians in Israel are Arabic-speaking, often called ‘Christian Arabs.’ They form two per cent of the population in Israel. Most Arab-speaking Christians in Israel belong to the Greek Catholic or the Greek Orthodox Church. Others are Maronites, Copts, Protestants, Baptists, Evangelicals and others. There are also Armenians living in Israel, many of whom also speak the Arabic language. Families are often of mixed ethnicity and religion, and there is a marriage between Christians of all denominations. Most Arab-speaking Christians self-identify more strongly as Arab rather than Israeli. Embedded within Muslim Arabs in Israel, they are a minority within a minority. As a result, they do not have a unified political leadership and have no significant politi cal influence. Even though Christians have risen to key positions in the Israeli public, such as judges in the supreme court, most of them do so in a personal and private manner as individuals. To change this, a number of Christian activists decided in 2012 to establish a forum that would encourage the Christian community to connect with the State of Israel and Israeli society. Father Gabriel Naddaf (left) of the Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth was one of the founders, who called on Christians in Israel to stand up and contribute to the defence of the state. “If Israel provides us with protection and security, we must be part of it”, they claimed. And Christians in Israel responded to the call. Before 2012, the average number of Christians who volunteered for IDF service was approximately 35 per year from 1,800 high-school graduates. Today, approximately 40 per cent of the Christian high school graduates declare practically that they are Israeli Christians, an integral part of Israeli society and the State of Israel. Revolution This is a real revolution of historic proportions. It also provokes many reactions, manifested in campaigns and conferences against recruitment (some funded by the European Union), boycotts, and threats against Christian families. Physical violence has been directed against activists, families of Christian soldiers, and other volunteers who encourage the historic move. The Christians who advocate for integration emphasise their pride in both their Christian and Israeli identity. For so long, they were told that they are Arabs, part of the Arab nation. They now reject this, acknowledging that their roots are in the Holy Land and Levant, planted many years before the appearance of Islam and the Arab tribes. They also point to Arab and Islamic persecution of Christians in the region as proof that they are not part of either. “Is this what brothers do?” they ask themselves. Jerusalem In Jerusalem, some 13,000 Arab-speaking Christians live among Muslims and under pressure from the Palestinian Authority. Many of the Jerusalemite Christians study in Bethlehem and even in the church schools they learn lies about Israel, Palestinian identity, and politics, preventing many of them from the opportunity to learn Hebrew. This dramatically reduces employment opportunities and restricts social mobility. The Christian activists mentioned above have established the ‘Jerusalemite Initiative’ in order to help integrate the younger generation of Arab Christians closer into Israeli society offering practical help to increase their ability to find work and be confident in their relationship within Jewish society. This is a big step and a significant challenge. Extremist Anti-Israel Minority Among Israeli Christians, there is a vocal minority that promotes anti-Israeli activities. Within this minority, the most prominent activists are the leaders of the Council of the Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth (funded by the State of Israel); Bishop Atallah Hanna of the Greek Orthodox Church, a terrorism supporter who called young Christians to join the Hamas and recently also met with Bashar al- Assad, and Father Naim Ateek, an Anglican priest founder of the ‘Sabeel’ organisation that promotes Palestinian Liberation Theology. Intimidation Some churches located in Jerusalem also have associated churches and monasteries in the Palestinian territories, Gaza, and Jordan and have various connections throughout the Middle East. Those churches are responsible for the safety of clergy and possessions in those countries and regions. Therefore, fear is only natural. Those churches are often persecuted by Palestinian Authority officials, who take action against Christians for propaganda purposes while succeeding in covering their own wrongdoings which they cause to the Christian population in the Palestinian Authority. The Christian population within the territories governed by the Palestinian Authority has plunged ever since Israel transferred control to the Palestinian Authority. In the 1970s, Christi ans in Judea and Samaria accounted for about five percent of the population. Currently, Christians represent only about one to two per cent of the population. In 1950, Christians in Bethlehem accounted for about eighty six per cent of the population, and it was distinctly a Christian town. Now, the number of Christians in the city represents only about ten per cent, trending negatively. The situation in Gaza is even worse. Out of thousands who lived in Gaza prior to 2005, only a few hundred Christians remain. They are being persecuted and live under constant threat, with severe re strictions on Christian holidays and rituals without any rights to practice their faith. While the Palestinian Authority persecutes Christians, violates their freedom of religion, worship and expression, and undermines their security, the situation is different in Israel. Israel is not just a safe haven for Christians; Israel is their true home, and I believe that even the radical elements among Christians would prefer to live under Israel. This is in fact the difference between the Jewish, democratic, free state of Israel – which accommodates, for better or w orse, slanderous accusations which distort the truth – and the Palestinian Authority, where, no matter how much money Europe invests, remains corrupt, terrorising anyone who is not in line with its views, particularly the Christian minority . Amit Barak is one of the initiators of the historical movement to integrate Arabic-speaking Christians into the IDF and the Israeli Society. Amit is an expert about Christian-Jewish relations in Israel and abroad. A priest meeting a soldier. | Photo: Flash90 Map 12 | Judea & Samaria n Half of Israel’s Water Sources Fifty per cent of Israel’s natural water resources come from the mountain aquifer (including all three of its basins). The rain trickles down from Judea and Samaria and flows into groundwater reservoirs under the coastal plain and along the coast itself. Whoever controls this area, controls water pollution or overuse of water resources. The water requirements of the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria has significantly increased in the past 40 years. They are now almost equal in demand per capita to that of Israelis, mainly due to Israeli improvements in the water infrastructure and the advancement of Arab society. The Arabs here have a far better quality of life than their neighbours in Jordan. ( Hadera Jenin Netanya Tulkarm Kfar Saba Kalkilya Nablus Ariel Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport Beit El Ramallah Jericho Ma’ale Adumim Jerusalem Beit Shemesh Bethlehem Efrat Hebron Kiryat Arba Map 13 | Jerusalem n Israel’s Eternal Capital Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for over 3,000 years. Since 1864 Jews have been the majority in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible, but not once in the Koran. In 1967, Israel widened Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries to include areas east, north and south of the former 1949 armistice lines which had been under Jordanian rule for 19 years. The State of Israel rebuilt the destroyed Jewish Quarter inside the walls of the Old City. The Government also built new neighbourhoods of Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, Gilo, Har Homa, Neve Yaakov, Pisgat Ze’ev, Armon Hanatziv and others in those sectors of the city. As of 2008, Jerusalem includes 510,000 Jews (317,000 in the west and 193,000 in the east) while 264,000 Arabs live in the eastern neighbourhoods of Jerusalem.

17. 9 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 CFOIC Speaking Event + Israel Tour in 2020 Sondra Oster Baras A resident of Samaria, a former attorney and student of the Bible, will share inspiring Biblical teachings while updating audiences on the unique challenges facing those brave and idealistic pioneers who have settled in the Heartland of Biblical Israel. A Meeting You Won’t Want to Miss! If you are not in Australia, but know someone who is, please forward this on to them. And please keep Sondra in your prayers while she travels. Monday 10th February 12 Noon. NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St., Sydney NSW. Hosted by: Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC. $20 (cash please) including afternoon tea. RSVP by February 4 to Judy Russell: 0410 403 616 or judy.russell@iinet.net.au Monday 10th February 7:30 PM Home of Chris and Robyn Butt, Private Residence (call for address), Gordon 2027 NSW. Contact: 0422 044 865 Tuesday 11th February 7 PM. Home of Pastor Marshall and Yvonne Muller, Private Residence (call for address), Hattonvale 4341 QLD. Contact: 0418 745 631 Wednesday 12th February 7 PM. Heart Church Roma, 52 Chrystal St, Roma 4455 QLD. Contact Anne Bousfield: 0427 007 910 Thursday 13th February 7 PM. Ormiston Christian Faith Church, 8-12 Thorn St, Ormiston 4160 QLD. Contact Anne Window: 0481 146 556 Friday 14th February 1:30 PM. Home of Stewart and Lois Barry, Private Residence (call for address), Lysterfield 3156 VIC. Contact Lois Barry: 0409 770 765 Sunday 16th February 10 AM and 2 PM South West Family Church, 516 Murray St, Colac 3250 VIC. Contact: Pastor Chris Smith – 0419 351 255 17th and 18th (TBA) Wednesday 19th of February 7.30 PM Hope Christian Church, 3/29 Business Park Drive, Notting Hill, VIC 3168. Contact: Senior Pastor Ian Foley 0421 311 044 or ianfoley@hopemelbourne.com A free will love offering will be received to help the ongoing work of CFOIC Heartland in Israel. Sondra Oster Baras Will be in Australia February 10-19 2020! CFOIC Heartland will be hosting another amazing tour of Israel 16-29th October 2020, led by Joy Heylen, CFOIC Heartland’s wonderful volunteer representative. The tour will include all of the must-see sights in Israel in the Galilee and Jerusalem, so perfect for first-timers. But it will also include visits and experiences that no other tour includes—quality time with the people of Judea and Samaria, important Biblical sites such as Hebron and Shiloh, the City of David, Beersheva, Sde Boker, Zichron Yaakov and so much more. The tour includes 14 full days in Israel with options to arrive early or stay beyond the tour, whatever works best for you! This is the tour you have been waiting for. Or to quote the participants in the 2019 tour— “Every tour should do what we did. It was amazing!” Don’t miss your chance for a life changing tour of Biblical Israel! LAND ONLY PRICE: $5,600 AUD Journey through the Land and meet Abraham’s descendants living in Biblical Israel today! Meet the people who are settling the Land of Israel. Listen to stories of faith and courage. For further information contact Joy today: joyhey50@gmail.com or 0439661996 The context and juxtaposition with the major international Holocaust remembrance event is a concern: Governor General attends Holocaust commemoration in Israel, but visits Holocaust denier who pays murderers of Jews! His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) is regarded as a highly honourable and distinguished Australian, but we have significant reservations about this visit. The Governor General is in Israel representing Australia for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies which this year coincides with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He (pictured) visited [23 Jan] a leading Holocaust denier and terrorist chief, Mahmoud Abbas, dictator of the Palestinian Authority, who pays for those who murder Jews as a matter of officially sanctioned policy, often referred to as the “Pay to Slay” programme. In 2018 Australia cut $10 million of direct funding to the PA because of the payments to terrorists. The PA incorporates in its propaganda some ideological elements of Nazism including demonising of Jews and promulgating wild conspiracy theories. Indeed, Abbas’ book “The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” (Billsan Publising House, Ramallah, 2011), is replete with outrageous antisemitic, Holocaust denial and conspiracy content. AJA has also demonstrated, supported by leading legal expert on terror and former DPP for Victoria, Jeremy Rapke QC, that the PA meets the criteria as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act. Dr David Adler, AJA President said; “We see the GG as a person of integrity, but we say he has been badly advised on this occasion. It is distressing for our GG to meet the leader of an organisation which incites and rewards terrorists to murder Jews in Israel and to do so on a visit with the primary purpose of Holocaust commemoration. Not a good look.” 24 January 2020 _______________________________________ Dr David Adler is a medical graduate of the University of NSW, where he also received the medical faculty prize for general proficiency and leadership. Australia’s Governor General visits Palestinian Authority President. Dr David Adler President of The Australian Jewish Association

2. 14 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Editorial 2 Colophon Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel Mission Our mission is to bring Biblical understanding in the Church and among the nations concerning God’s purposes for Israel and to promote comfort of Israel through prayer and action. Editorial Team Andrew Tucker International Editor-in-Chief atucker@c4israel.org Cathy Coldicutt Managing Editor newspaper@c4israel.org Marloes van Westing International Communications Manager international@c4israel.org Ian Worby, Bryce Turner, Rita Quartel, James Patrick, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev. Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Q ueensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 402 277 930, info@c4israel.com.au www.c4israel.com.au Christians for Israel - New Zealand Bryce Turner, National Executive Director PO Box 12 006, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand 1642 Tel: +64 9 525 7564, info@c4israel.org.nz www.c4israel.org.nz Christians for Israel - United Kingdom PO Box 789, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B73 5FX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 121 647 3710, ukinfo@c4israel.org Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 fredvanwesting@c4israel.org www.c4israel.us DISCLAIMER - Articles printed in Israel & Christians Today expr ess the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or that of the Board of Christians for Israel. The printing of articles or advertising in Israel & Christians Today does not necessarily imply either endorsement or agreement. ©Christians for Israel International Reproduction, or storage in a retrieval system or in any other form, is prohibited without permission. Please contact the Managing Editor should you wish to syndicate or r epublish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l New elections will be held in Israel on 2 March. Pray that the Israeli people are well informed in the run-up to the elections. Also, pray that a government can be formed after this third round of elections and that Israel does not have to go to the polls again. l “I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22. Pray for Jewish Israelis who do not believe in God. Pray that they may come to faith and thank and pray for the work of organisations such as Am Yisrael Echad and the Savyon Center that connects secular Jews with their Jewish roots and their God. l Pray for security in Israeli villages in Judea and Samaria. Pray that terrorist attacks will be prevented. Israel & the Nations l “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17). After the liquidation of the most important army general of Iran by the US Army, tensions in the Middle East have risen again. Pray for the protection of Israel. l Pray for protection for Jews living outside Israel. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe and America, anti-Semitism is on the rise. Pray also for those who want to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel), pray that they have the right means to do so. l Pray for Christians in the Middle East and particularly for Christians living under the rule of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. Pray for their protection and pray that they will be a blessing to those around them. Christians for Israel l “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). In 2020 Christians for Israel celebrates its 40th anniversary. This is a point of thankfulness. Pray that the coming year will be another fruitful year and that many people around the world will hear about God’s eternal love for Israel. l Pray for the representatives of Christians for Israel who are ‘ambassadors’ for Israel around the world. l Pray that churches worldwide will stand up against anti-Semitism. And that Israel will play an important role in the prayers of Christians. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explains that the God of the Old Testament is a forward- looking, active God, who intervenes in history. This understanding of God was lost by the early church fathers, who focused on God the eternal, unchangeable being remote from worldly events. As a result, many in the church today, influenced by Greek thinking, have lost our understanding that God is on the move, that He has a plan and that He calls us to participate in the fulfilment of His purposes with the world. We are no longer looking for the coming of God’s future because we think He has already fulfilled all things. There is nothing left for God to do. I think this loss of a prophetic, expectant mindset has been one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian church, which was created not to replace the Jewish mindset, but to enter into it even more fully. One of the results is that for many Christians, the prophetic scriptures have become closed books. The book of Revelation - instead of drawing us closer into an understanding of God’s most intimate secret - is barely read any more. We have also lost something concerning our understanding of free will. As Sacks so eloquently explains, it is precisely because God is forward-looking that we can exercise our free will. God invites us to decide whether we will use our freedom to participate in His future or pursue our own (often well-meaning) goals. Another result is that many Christians no longer understand the Jewish mindset, which is constantly looking forward, seeking creative and innovative ways to participate in the fulfilment of God’s purposes, working towards the coming of Messiah to usher in God’s kingdom. It also means we do not understand the nation of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. When Moses heard the mission he was to be sent on, he said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” That was when God replied, cryptically, Ehyeh asher ehyeh (Exodus 3:14). Sacks says: “This was translated into Greek as ego eimi ho on, and into Latin as ego sum qui sum, meaning ‘I am who I am’, or ‘I am He who is’. The early and medieval Christian theologians all understood the phrase to be speaking about ontology, the metaphysical nature of God’s existence as the ground of all being. It meant that He was ‘Being-itself, timeless, immutable, incorporeal, understood as the subsisting act of all existing’. Augustine defines God as that which does not change and cannot change. Aquinas, continuing the same tradition, reads the Exodus formula as saying that God is ‘true being, that is, being that is eternal, immutable, simple, self-sufficient, and the cause and principal of every creature’. But this is the God of Aristotle and the philosophers, not the God of Abraham and the Prophets. Ehyeh asher ehyeh means none of these things. It means ‘I will be what, where, or how I will be’. The essential element of the phrase is the dimension omitted by all the early Christian translations, namely the future tense. God is defining Himself as the Lord of history who is about to intervene in an unprecedented way, to liberate a group of slaves from the mightiest empire of the ancient world and lead them on a journey towards liberty... Whenever I visit Israel, I find myself awestruck by the way this ancient people in its history-saturated land is one of the most future-oriented nations on earth, constantly searching for new advances in medical, informational, and nano- technology. Israel writes its story in the future tense. And the future is the sphere of human freedom because I cannot change yesterday, but I can change tomorrow by what I do today. Therefore, because Judaism is a religion of the future it is a religion of human freedom, and because Israel is a future-oriented nation, it remains, in the Middle East, an oasis of freedom in a desert of oppression. Tragically, most of Israel’s enemies are fixated on the past, and as long as they remain so, their people will never find freedom and Israel will never find peace.” Food for thought. The God of the Future | Photo: Shutterstock

27. 27 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Walk through the Land 14 Israeli Breakthrough in Laser Technology The Israeli Defense Ministry has had a technological breakthrough in the development of lasers for the interception of RAM (rocket, mortar, and artillery) threats, UAVs, and ATGMs. Head of the Directorate of Research and Development, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem stated: “We are entering a new age of energy warfare in the air, land and sea. The State of Israel is now among the leading countries in the field of high- energy laser systems.” | Photo: Jerusalem Post Biblical Marketplace Found in Jerusalem During excavations in Jerusalem, near the Temple Mount, archaeologists have found measuring instruments from the time of Jesus. Researchers conclude they’ve found the central marketplace of Jerusalem, which lies near the so- called ‘pilgrim road’. According to archaeologist Reich, in biblical times the office of the ‘Agoranomos’ (inspector for measurements) was also located near the marketplace. Physicists forecast El Niño by end of 2020 Farmers and fishermen should prepare for another El Niño — a disruptive weather phenomenon caused by changing ocean conditions — by the end of 2020, according to a prediction method developed by German and Israeli researchers. Their algorithm relies on a network analysis of air temperatures in the Pacific region. This algorithm correctly predicted the last two El Niño events (in 2014 and 2018) more than a year in advance. Has Jesus’ Childhood Home Been Found? The childhood home of Jesus may have been found underneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth, Israel, according to archaeologist Ken Dark. He not only describes the remains of the home itself, but explores the evidence that suggests that this is the place where Jesus spent his formative years—or at least the place regarded in the Byzantine period as the childhood home of Jesus. | Photo: biblicalarchaeology.org Short News Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations Inc. We continue our ‘Walk through the Land’ series (Genesis 13:17) with our third article. Our goal is to increase understanding and appreciation of the Bible by understanding its geography. In our previous article, we began to explore the coastal plain. Though it is long, straight, and prominent, Israel’s coastline is not uniform. It can easily be divided into three regions: The Plain of Acre (north), Plain of Sharon (central), and Plain of Philistia (south). We began to learn about the latter plain in our last article. In this article, we focus on the five Biblical cities in Philistia: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gath. Gaza, on the Mediterranean, is mentioned 19 times in Scripture. It was where the Israelite judge Samson met with a harlot and, in order to escape his enemies, took the gates of the city in an overn ight run and carried them 56km uphill to Hebron. In Gaza, Samson was taken into captivity and laughed at in derision by the Philistines (Judges 16:25). Yet, in the end, Samson was the one who had the last laugh. He prayed to the Lord, his strength returned, and he single-handedly pulled down the temple of Dagon (Judges 26-30). It was on the road to Gaza, which is desert, where the Ethiopian eunuch was led to Christ by Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:26). Ashkelon is also on the coast and is mentioned nine times in Scripture. Here, Samson came, slew 30 Philistines, and took their garments to pay for his uncovered riddle (Judges 14:19). According to Zephaniah, Ashkelon shall be a desolation and the children of Judah shall lie down there in the evening, meaning it will go from Philistine to Israelite control (Zephaniah 2:4,7). Herod the Great was born here. Ashdod, the third and last coastal city of the Philistines, is mentioned 21 times in Scr ipture. A remnant of the Anakims, which were no longer in the land of the children of Israel, could be found in Ashdod (Joshua 11:22). The ark of the covenant was taken to Ashdod, and soon after, the statue of their god, Dagon, fell face down on the earth before the ark (I Samuel 5:3). God’s hand was heavy against the men of Ashdod and they decided to move this sacred chest as far away as they could. Nehemiah caused the men of Israel to divorce their ‘foreign wives’ from Ashdod, who spoke the local language and did not serve the God of Israel (Nehemiah 13:23-24). Today modern Ashdod is Israel’s second seaport after Haifa. Gath, an inland city, mentioned 33 times in Scripture, was the home of the infamous giant Goliath, who was slain by the faithful young David (I Samuel 17). The ark of God came here after it was sent out of Ashdod, but they suffered the same heavy fate. David fled from Saul by taking refuge under the rule of Achish, king of Gath (I Samuel 21:10) and spent time there. Gath produced other ‘giants’ who also were slain by David (I Samuel 21:20, 22; I Chronicles 20:6, 8). David’s famous eulogy after hearing of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan said: Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph - II Samuel 1:20 Ekron is mentioned 22 times in the Bible. The ‘radioactive’ ark of the covenant was sent here, after causing havoc in other Philistine cities. Its arrival caused great angst to the Ekronites, who declared that the God of Israel would be slaying them as well. The children of Judah captured Ekron earlier in their sojourn in the promised land (Judges 1:18), but apparently did not keep it. Ekron served the false god Baalzebub, which drew the attention of injured king Ahaziah, son of Ahab of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Because of his foolish inquiry of Baalzebub as to whether he would recover from his illness, rather than ask and trust the God of Israel, he earned criticism from the prophet Elijah, who said he would not recover from his sickbed (II Kings 1:2,3,6,16). Like its sister Philistine cities, Ekron was appointed to divine judgement (Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:5,7): For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up — Zephaniah 2:4 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed, and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited — Zechariah 9:5 Jaffa, known as ‘Joppa’ in Scripture, is mentioned three times in the Old Testament and ten times in the New Testament, all New Testament references being in the Book of Acts. It is the ancient port city of Israel, though not of the stature of the ports of Phoenicia to the north. The logs of the cedars of Lebanon were shipped to Jaffa so that they could be transported by land to Jerusalem for the building of the Jerusalem temple (II Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7). Jonah set sail from here to escape the presence of the Lord by sailing to Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). It was here that Peter raised Dorcas back to life (Acts 9:41-42). While he stayed at Simon the Tanner’s sea-side house (Acts 9:43), he saw the vision of the sheets with unclean animals, symbolising God’s desire to send the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10:9-16). This vision revolutionised his life, and by extension, changed the world. We will learn more about the coastal plain, including the Plain of Sharon, in our next article, published April 2020. Jaffa old city and seaport. | Photo: Shutterstock Plain of Philistia February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the city of Ashdod, Israel. | Photo: Shutterstock Jerusalem Foundation n Today it's Tuesday. For Gerta, it’s a good day -. Café Europa is on. Gerta is 87 years old and is one of 22,000 Holocaust survivors living in Jerusalem. Like most of them (62%), she is over 80 and faces daily struggles linked to age. For Holocaust survivors like Gerta, this time of uncertainty can also bring back past traumas. Once a week, Gerta makes her way to Café Europa in Rehavia. This is one of six branches active in Jerusalem, where Holocaust survivors can meet and share experiences in a safe space. The first Café Europa was founded in 1988 in Los Angeles as a meeting place and support group for Holocaust survivors. The name came from a Stockholm café where survivors gathered after World War II, hoping to find lost relatives and friends. The project was so successful that many cities around the world adopted it, including Tel Aviv, Ra’anana and Jerusalem. The R ehavia branch Gerta attends is located in the southern part of Jerusalem, while Beit Hakerem and the Pisgat Ze’ev section respectively serve the western and northern parts of the city. The so-called Café Moscow caters to Russian-speakers, and branches in Geulah and Sanhedriya serve the Ultra-Orthodox population, with separate activities for men and women. Around 100 survivors, who are no longer able to leave their homes, benefit from the Homebound Services programme. At Café Europa, Gerta especially enjoys singing. It reminds her of her youth. “After the camps, I just wanted to sing and dance.” Gerta survived five camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. At Café Europa, she is able to share her traumatic experience as a witness to the 20th century’s most terrible atrocities, but also some positive memories from pre-war Europe. Coffee and cake are served, while different activities take place. Music and films are very popular, as well as yoga and gardening. Several field trips have been organised through the years, including to the Knesset, the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, and the Zion Museum. Talks and lectures are in high demand, helping participants to navigate the worlds of technology, healthy eating, and Holocaust survivor rights. Renna, a Bergen-Belsen survivor, was quoted saying: “The talk about technology was wonderful. I FaceTimed my guide in Poland and my Grandson in America at the same time!” Over 300 participants benefit from the activities each week, gaining access to crucial support by the programme’s social workers who identify individual needs and suitable treatments. This makes it a well- rounded programme that survivors appreciate. “Café Europa is where I can socialise, hear a concert, or just read and relax, in the one place where I feel surrounded by those who truly understand me.” All this wouldn’t be possible without your support of these activities. With your help, we can ensure that people like Gerta can live peacefully during old age. You can donate to Café Europa (Holocaust Survivors - ‘I’m not Alone’) project by completing the coupon on the back page. Our Projects 15 A Home for Holocaust Survivors February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 More than Sympathy Marijke Terlouw n Christians for Israel Netherlands “You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14:16 Food is desperately needed for the poor in Israel. Over one in five people live below the poverty line. But even more invisible is the group of people who are just above the poverty line. Officially they are not ‘poor’, but in reality, they can’t, or can barely make ends meet. There are a lot of people who work multiple jobs and after having paid all their bills, are left with only a few shekels (one shekel is about 25 cents) a day to spend on food and clothing. We can keep waiting until poverty is solved, but that’s not what the Lord teaches us. He tells us to take action, to show His love in everything we do and to help those in need. The mission can be carried out by anybody: You give them something to eat. That’s why we support Hineni, and their humanitarian restaurant. Everyone Receives Help An average day at Hineni starts at 9am. The volunteers arrive and receive instructions. They cut up vegetables for lunch, and fill boxes with food for the people who come to the soup kitchen to take home later. When lunch is finished around 2pm, everything is cleaned up, and the volunteers return home. One of the volunteers shares: “This work has my heart; otherwise, you shouldn’t do this. The desire to do something for your neighbour, and certainly for Israel, our oldest brother. All kinds of people come here. Drug addicts and alcoholics off the street, elderly people who need help to put their tray on the table, but also disabled people like someone with spastic hands. People on the edge of society. You help all of them; the people are our guests. And they thank you for that. How beautiful it is to use the gifts the Creator gave you to serve the creation.” A Matter of Obedience Helping the poor in Israel is much more than a matter of sympathy for the people who are in need. Sympathy can be a beautiful sentiment. It inspires many good things in this world. But what’s happening in Israel, is at its core, acting in accordance with the Torah, God’s Word. He instructed His people to care for their neighbour and to show the world in that way how good it is to live according to God’s ways. To live that way is not a matter of sympathy or sentiment, but a matter of obedience. Grace When you fight poverty in Israel, or anywhere else, by giving, you must remember that this is not because the poor need you. After all, God Himself watches over His people and does not need any instruments for this. Just remember the manna in the desert. God can literally make it rain food! So the fact that we get to help alleviate poverty in Israel is pure grace. The Eternal One gives us the opportunity to Bless His people and to be obedient to His Word. A hot meal at Hineni costs AU $9. Please support Hineni’s humanitarian restaurant by completing the coupon on the back page. | Photo: Flash90 | Photo: Hineni

6. 18 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Biblical Reflection 6 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author This article is the final instalment in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. Psalm 2 is frightening and dreadful, but it concludes by saying: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him!” (verse 12e). In his interpretation of Psalm 2 on Christ Jesus, Martin Luther writes: “That’s why He suffered, that’s why He’s risen, that’s why He has been installed as king, that’s why He has received everything as an inheritance, that He could save all who trust in Him.” There would be nothing to add to that from the Christian point of view if there were not a fateful exegetical tradition which wipes out everything Jewish and every link to the Land of Israel. However, even in its last sentence, the message of Psalm 2 should not be seen in one dimension exclusively, as Christian exegesis traditionally has often done. All hermeneutical levels of Psalm 2 should be kept in mind. Christ must not be removed from His national context. Not without a good reason did Jesus emphasise: “Salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22). And the saving work of God cannot be detached from its geographical context, from the Land of Israel, from the city of Jerusalem. When Paul declares in Romans 10:13, that only that person shall be saved, who will “call upon the name of the Lord”, he quotes the prophet Joel, who continued in the same breath: “For there shall be refuge on Mt Zion and in Jerusalem” (Joel 3:5). The work of God through Messiah is interconnected with the people and Land of Israel, whose heart is the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the Land of Israel, and the longing for Zion are rooted in the Word of God. As the nations rage against the Lord and His Messiah, they also rage against the people and the Land of Israel, and against Jerusalem. Everyone who wishes to ‘take refuge in Him’ should keep an eye on that. Luther, finally, finds a connection between the terrible and the safety, which is expressed in the closing word of Psalm 2: “Because that’s why His anger is scary, so that he may urge you to trust Him.” “There is no refuge from Him,” the British exegete Derek Kidner perfectly sums up the statement of the last sentence of Psalm 2 , “only in him.” Samson Raphael Hirsch connects the Hebrew root ‘hasah’ (to seek/to take refuge) with ‘the intensified” ‘hazah’ (to see, to look) and concludes: This ‘seeking refuge’ is about ‘the most intimate, most expectant focusing at something’. Concrete: Anyone who seeks refuge in God will constantly focus on God and His actions. This does not happen automatically. The temptation is huge to allow the reality surrounding us to capture our attention. But whoever turns away his focus from the Lord and His Messiah, allowing themselves to be caught even for a little moment by the ‘strong winds’, by the raging storm; will, as Peter once did, begin to sink (compare Matthew 14:22-33). The opposite of those who seek refuge with God is the man who seeks his safety in people. The living God calls such a person ‘cursed’ (Jeremiah 17:5a). Comparison with Psalm 1 Rabbinic teachers of Scripture discovered early on that the word ‘ashray’ (blessed) is like parentheses around Psalms 1 and 2. The Babylonian Talmud hands down a saying of “Rabbi Shmuel Bar Nahmani on behalf of Rabbi Yohanan: Every section of Scripture that David especially loved, began with ‘ashray’ (blessed is) and concluded with ‘ashray’ (blessed is). He started with ‘ashray’ as it is written [at the beginning of Psalm 1 ]: “Blessed is the man...” and concluded with ‘ashray’, as it is written [a t the end of Psalm 2 ]: “Blessed is the one who seeks his refuge in Him”. The first two chapters of the Book of Psalms are also linked in terms of content and language by many parentheses. Hakham observes: “In Psalm 1, the wicked and the righteous face each other.” Likewise, in Psalm 2 “the evil nations face the Lord and His Messiah”. Linguistic references are often only visible in the Hebrew original. Thus the Gentiles ‘mutter’ in Psalm 2:1 in vain, just as the righteous man had ‘muttered’ over the Torah in Psalm 1 day and night. Psalm 2:12 warns “so that you will not perish”, direct connecting it back to the statement in Psalm 1:6: “The way of the ungodly will perish.” In some cases, the opposites are striking, which directly confront each other both in terms of language and content. Thus, the efforts of the Gentile nations in Psalm 2:1 are ‘absurd,’ ‘failing,’ and ‘into the void,’ while the righteous in Psalm 1 will be ‘successful in all things’ (verse 3). The connection between the first two chapters of the Book of Psalms is perceived to be so closely linked by Jewish interpreters that they even claimed that they were originally one single chapter. Derek Kidner observes that Psalm 2 lacks a headline typical of many other chapters in Psalms. Furthermore, there are indeed some ancient manuscripts that treat both psalms as one chapter. However, Paul in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia speaks about the ‘second psalm,’ quoting our passage (Acts 13:33). From what Psalm 1 ‘expresses for the individual life’, Psalm 2 “draws the consequences for the national life and the whole future”. Whereas in Psalm 1, we see a single man, an individual with a certain attitude that he makes his lifestyle; Psalm 2 describes a world wide perspective in which the individual has to prove himself. Psalm 2 has a broad prophetic horizon, while Psalm 1 focuses on the behaviour of the individual, on ethics. If we want to know how an individual should behave in the global chaos that Psalm 2 describes, if we want to know what it looks like, ‘to seek refuge in Him’ or ‘to sit in the shadow of the Almighty’, then we have to look at Psalm 1. The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/ Really Blessed - Psalm 2 - Part 8 A young boy holds an umbrella on a rainy winter day at the Western Wall. | Photo: Flash90 Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International Why don’t many Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah, when it’s clearly written in the Bible? This sort of question is one with which we all are familiar. Some even regard Jews stubborn for this reason. In doing so, we are doing the Jews a serious disservice and ignoring the great difficulty that they have faced when it comes to Jesus over the last 2000 years. Paul referred to this as a ‘mystery’. During his missionary journeys, Paul always visited the synagogue first. Some Jews believed, but others could not accept his message about Jesus. The prophets in the Old Testament spoke in one breath about the coming of the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, and the coming of the worldwide kingdom of peace from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2 speaks about the coming of the Root of Jesse, followed by the ‘earth that shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’ and ‘the nursing child that shall play by the cobra’s hole’. But for the Jews in Paul’s days, the brutal occupation of Israel by the Romans was still going on. Nothing had changed. And they had never seen Jesus personally. Let us try to understand a bit of their resistance. Over the centuries, the Christian Church believed that the Jewish people were cursed for eternity. The church had become the true Israel and would have taken Israel’s place. Jews in Europe were forced to repent and be baptised and renounce their Jewry. Maintaining the Torah, eating kosher, celebrating Jewish feasts and memorial days were then no longer allowed. They had to give up their Jewish identity completely and live a Christian life. How could the church demand this of Jews! Church Father Chrysostom said in the 3rd century: “Visiting the synagogue equals visiting a brothel or robber’s lair”. However, maintaining the Torah out of reverence for God was sacred to Jews. For them, the ‘Christian Jesus’ could never be their Messiah. This resistance was reinforced by the many massacres of Jews and looting of Jewish homes and possessions. Instead of arousing jealousy, as Paul wrote, we made it almost impossible for Jews to accept Jesus as their Messiah. The Church forgot that Jesus himself is a Jew and that the ancient prophecies about the coming of the Messiah were part of Judaism. In the 20th century, even the Holocaus t would take place in the heart of Christian Europe. Too much has happened over the centuries. After the Second World War, the attitude of many churches towards the Jews has improved considerably and there are many good relationships. At the same time, many churches find it difficult to renounce the classical replacement theology and there are even churches active in the BDS movement for an economic boycott of Israel. Let us realise that there is a ‘mystery’ at this point and understand the difficulty and resistance of Jews regarding Jesus. Jewish Hesitation Towards Jesus

23. 23 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel Today 10 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Analysis: Israel’s Security Situation Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent | Israel The assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis the commander of the Kata’ib Hezbollah militia and the deputy commander of the al-Hashd al-Sha’abi organisation of predominantly Shiite militias in Iraq, caused a significant change in the war that Israel is fighting against Iran. At the end of 2019, Aviv Kohavi, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), indicated during a security conference in Herzliya, that Israel wasn’t satisfied with the fact that it was fighting Iran’s imperialistic drive in the Middle East alone. But, on 3 January, came the American drone attack that killed Soleimani, a national hero in Iran, and al-Muhandis who had more than 40 years of experience in asymmetric warfare against foreign actors in Iraq. The assassination changed the whole strategic situation in the war against Iran and its numerous proxies and Israel’s case for the better. Until 3 January, Israel carried out more than 1,0 00 air strikes against Iran-related targets in Syria while the Israeli air force (IAF), in 2019, widened its attacks against the Iranian axis to Iraq where Soleimani was arming the al-Hashd al-Shaabi militias with ballistic missiles that could reach Israel. At the same time, the Quds commander was interfering in Iraqi politics and tried to establish a new, pro-Iranian government that would force the US army out of Iraq; a plan that would also have repercussions for Israel since the US military in Iraq was cooperating with Israel in the field of intelligence. Soleimani, however, overplayed his hand when he ordered attacks on US targets in Iraq which eventually resulted in the death of an American engineer in Iraqi Kurdistan and the wounding of four US soldiers. The Iranian general also engineered violent attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad. This together with a reported plan to attack additional US embassies in the Middle East, caused US President Donald Trump to okay the assassination of Soleimani and his Iraqi sidekick al- Muhandis. The Iranian response came in the form of a missile attack on two US bases in Iraq that only lightly wounded nine American soldiers. This was followed by new mysterious airstrikes on pro-Iranian militias in the area of the border town of al-Bukamal on the Syrian Iraqi border. Arab media reported that this time the airstrikes were contributed to by the US-led coalition that used to fight Islamic State and not the IAF. The airstrikes marked the first time the US army directly confronted the Iranian axis, and they could be a game- changer in the war against Iran. In one month’s time, Iran lost the high ground it had in its imperialistic drive to take over the Middle East. It lost Soleimani, the shrewd architect of the Shiite Crescent project, a man whom Israel regarded as its biggest foe and who was actively preparing for war against the Jewish state by forming a coalition of proxy forces that included Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in both Syria and Iraq, the Ansar Allah or Houthi militia in Yemen, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza. These militias and terror organisations received massive amounts of weapons and money from Soleimani as well as militarray as became apparent by reports about the chaos in the Hashd al-Sha’abi organisation in Iraq. Another indication that the pro-Iranian axis is suffering from a leadership vacuum is the fact that Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is trying to raise his profile by making comments indicating that he would like to take over Soleimani’sary training in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Iran reportedly also delivered long-range missiles to Ansar Allah in Yemen that were supposed to be used against southern Israel and the Gulf of Eilat, a very important waterway for Israel. With Soleimani and al-Muhandis gone, the pro-Iranian axis seems to be in dis role. The Hezbollah leader lacks the skills of Soleimani, however, and is not able to travel around freely in the Middle East since Israel is looking to assassinate him. To conclude, Israel isn’t alone anymore in the fight against the Iranian axis now that the US has entered the fray. The axis doesn’t have a leader like Soleimani anymore and the regime in Iran has been weakened not only by Soleimani’s death but also, by the popular uprising that followed the tragic shoot-down of a Ukrainian civilian plane in Iran. Rachel Rachel was the beloved wife of Jacob. Her name means ewe. It is an expression of all the history and life-setting of the family (Genesis 29). Father Laban gives to his daughters names that are connected directly to his business: sheep and cow (Leah). Those names may express his hope for prosperity and a great offspring. Laban’s ancestors had arrived in Paddan- Aram as nomadic shepherds, where they settled in Haran (Genesis 11:31) – maybe for good, or maybe just temporarily. In any case, sheep-farming remained their source of income. Abram went further as shepherd-prince to arrive in the Promised Land. From there, his grandson Jacob returned to the f amily to find a wife. He finds her at a well, the meeting place for the region. There the shepherds come together with their flocks and there, too, comes a shepherdess with her flock. The shepherdess is not only Jacob’s cousin, but she is also ‘beautiful of form and face’ (Genesis 29:17). The groom in the Song of Songs sings of his bride: “Your teeth are like a flock of ewes which have come up from their washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost her young” (6:6). Seeing Rachel inspires Jacob to great deeds. He rolls aside the large stone that cov ers the well and then waters the sheep of Laban, which are under Rachel’s guard. For Rachel, Jacob will serve Laban, fourteen years in total. And after that, he will serve Laban for another six years for his flock. During all that time, Laban’s ewes and she-goats have not miscarried (Genesis 31:38). Bitter is it then that Rachel herself remains childless, and dies when giving birth to her second son. She is buried ‘on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)’ (Genesis 35:19), a place that will always be kept in remembrance: “A voice is hear d in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children” (Jeremiah 31:15 and Matthew 2:16-18). Finally, the prophet Isaiah speaks of a “sheep that is silent before its shearers”, a Rachel! (Isaiah 53:7) Did he think of the matriarch? That is probably a bit far- fetched. Yet, apart from the preceding verses, this is the only Bible reference where that word is used. Might it perhaps be a poetic reference to the origins of Israel, be it by association? Biblical Names By Kees de Vreugd Netanyahu: Israel will Defend Itself In the largest diplomatic event in Israel’s history, leaders of over 40 nations met in Jerusalem late January to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in January 1945. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminded the world that Israel will no longer rely on others for its survival: “Israel is eternally grateful for the sacrifice made by the Allies. Without that sacrifice, there would be no survivors today. But we also remember that some 80 years ago, when the Jewish people faced annihilation, the world turned its back on us,” Netanyahu said. “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: that we cannot take threats to annihilate us lightly; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we greatly appreciate the help of our friends, to defend ourselves by ourselves,” Netanyahu said. He continued: “The Jewish people have learned the lessons of the Holocaust: to take, always to take seriously the threats of those who seek our destruction; to confront threats when they are small; and above all, even though we deeply, deeply appreciate the great support of our friends, to always have the power to defend ourselves by ourselves. We have learned that Israel must always remain the master of its fate.” While th e world learned the lesson about evil, it did not necessarily learn the lesson about pre-emption, he argued. “There are some signs of hope – and this extraordinary gathering is one of them. Today, the dangers of racism, hateful ideologies, and anti-Semitism are better understood. Many recognise a simple truth: that what starts with the hatred of the Jews doesn’t end with the Jews,” he said. But, he added, “I am concerned. I am concerned that we have yet to see a unified and resolute stance against the most anti-Semitic regime on the planet – a regime that openly seeks to develop nu clear weapons and annihilate the one and only Jewish state.” Calling the ayatollahs’ regime the “tyrants of Tehran,” Netanyahu said Israel “salutes President Trump and Vice President Pence for confronting the Tyrants of Tehran that subjugate their own people and threaten the peace and security of the entire world. They threaten the peace and security of everyone in the Middle East and everyone beyond. I call on all governments to join the vital effort of confronting Iran.” And he vowed: “I wish to assure again our people and all our friends, Israel will do whatever it must do to de fend our state, defend our people and defend the Jewish future.” Israeli PM and Israeli President with world leaders during the Fifth World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem on 23 January, 2020. | Photo: Flash90 Theology 11 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Jewish Festivals Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church In this article, we complete our discussion of the ‘Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel’ published by Christians for Israel. Thesis 12: We believe that ultimately and finally the renewal of all things will take place. Creation will be delivered from its bondage to decay and be brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. And God will be all and in all. Elaboration: We finally believe and confess that the Lord Himself will be the guarantee of the renewal of all things, of the (re)new(ed) heavens and of the (re)new(ed) earth. Then the heavenly Jerusalem will come down to earth and the nations will walk by its light and the Glory of God will be its light and the Lamb will be its lamp. And the tree of life will be the source of healing for the nations. On that day God will be all and in all. Hallelujah! Clarification: When Messiah will eventually have destroyed all the enemies and the final enemy, death, has been defeated, Jesus will surrender the Kingdom to God the Father, and the Universe will enter into its final phase of everlasting glory. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 says: “Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For He ‘has put everything under His feet.’ Now when it says that ‘everything’ has been put under Him, it is clear that this does not include God Himself, who put everything under Christ. When He has done this, then the Son Himself will be made subject to Him who put everything under Him, so that God may be all in all .” In the prophetic and eschatological perspective, it is not always clear to define which prophecy refers to which stage of the unfolding Kingdom. The prophets sometimes mix the beautiful elements without sharply defining which element belongs where. But the Kingdom of God will be realised when Satan and the powers of darkness will be bound, but death is still a reality (Isaiah 65:20, Revelation 20:1-6). Finally, there will be the realised Kingdom of God, that will glow with everlasting life and in which death shall be no more (Revelation 21:1-5). Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations And he that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new”. And he said unto me, “Write this down, for these words are true and faithful”. Revelation 21:5 The 12th Thesis announces a wonderful truth: God has saved the best for last. It reflects the fulfilment of the longing of all Godly people, and of creation itself. First, let us be clear that God is Creator, and is celebrated as such from Genesis to Revelation. Everything God made was ‘very good.’ Yet, due to the first couple’s disobedience, sin and death were introduced into humanity and creation was corrupted. From this disaster came seven formidable enemies: sin, sickness, worldliness, danger, the devil, death, and hell. No religion, no ideology, no economic or military power could defeat any of these, except the cross of Christ and His resurrection. Through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, all seven enemies have been dealt a fatal blow, including the last and greatest enemy, death. God’s plan of redemption includes the salvation of souls and the renewal of all things to the state they were in before sin and death came into the world. At the end of the age, the glory God has already given us will be revealed in us; our bodies will be renewed, glorified, and made bullet-proof from death. Creation will also return to its pristine, pure creation-condition. In the millennial reign of Messiah, Isaiah 11:6 says, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” The bondage of sin will be replaced by renewal, freedom, and eternity itself. Messiah will continue to reign until all enemies are under his feet, the last of which is death itself (I Corinthians 15:25-26). Satan, death and hell will all be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 14). With all enemies vanquished, including sin, death, sorrow, crying, and pain, the earth is ready for renewal and the arrival of the New Jerusalem, our eternal home (Revelation 21:1-5). th 12 Thesis: Renewal Book Review By Bjorn Lous | Founding Member | Jules Isaac Foundation Gerald McDermott wrote a popular- theological book to make the complex questions regarding the people and land of Israel accessible for ‘lay’ Christians. Israel Matters offers a profound and nuanced consideration of both the theological and political dimensions and is an absolute must-read. In the introduction, the writer takes you on his personal quest for the role of Israel in the Christian narrative. As a traditional Anglican, McDermott used to have troubles with Christian Zionism as being not only incompatible with the gospel but, moreover, using theology to gloss over everything the State of Israel did, without caring for the suffering of the Palestinians. Until he took his Bible and started to give notice to the details. The results of his study are summarised in Israel Matters. The book starts with a nuanced overview of Christian thinking concerning Israel through the ages. McDermott, for example, shows that the disconnection of the land and the people in Christian theology is much younger than often thought, and is not simply related to anti-Semitism. Then he gives a lucid description of what the New Testament actually says about the relationship between Israel and the believers called out of the nations. In the Old Testament, he discerns a distinction between the covenant with Israel and the land promise. The covenant with Israel is unconditional and eternal. The land promise, whether Israel may live in the land and govern it, however, is conditional, as seen in the past it turned out from the different exiles Israel experienced. In the eternal covenant between God and Israel, however, McDermott also sees a future for the land promise. Just as the distinction between Israel and the other nations remains, so, too, the distinction between the land of Israel and the rest of the world. Yet, his conclusion does not lead McDermott to the standard Christian Zionist view. From the viewpoint of justice, McDermott’s engagement with the fate of the Palestinians remains strong. That brings him to an extraordinarily nuanced form of Zionism, in which the connection with Israel and love of justice are in balance. This unique Zionist view McDermott extrapolates to the larger narrative of Christianity. In the last two chapters, he explains what his view means for how we as Christians confess our faith, and for the message we preach. In addition to that, Zionism, or the Christian relation to Israel, is no longer a purely political story, but a narrative that deepens our faith in all its aspects. Available from Amazon (www.amazon.com). Israel Matters. Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land. By Gerald R. McDermott. Published by Grand Rapids, Brazos Press 2017. 176 pages. ISBN 9781587433955. Israel Matters Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land by Gerald R McDermott Tu BiShvat New Year for Trees 10 February 2020 Tu BiShvat is a minor Jewish holiday, th occurring on the 15 day of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat. It is also called ‘The New Year of the Trees’. Tu BiShvat is one of four ‘New Years’ mentioned in the Mishnah. Tu BiShvat begins at sundown on Sunday, 9 February 2020. Shabbat Shekalim Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Adar 22 February 2020 Shabbat Shekalim (Sabbath of shekels) read in preparation for Purim, requests each adult male Jew contribute half of a Biblical shekel for the upkeep of the Tent of Meeting. The Torah portion Exodus 30:11-16 is read. This Shabbat takes place on the Shabbat before the 1st of the Hebrew calendar month of st Adar, or on the 1 of Adar itself if it falls on Shabbat. In leap years on the Hebrew calendar, when there are two months of Adar, Shabbat Shekalim is st on the Shabbat before the 1 of Adar II st (or on the 1 of Adar II itself if it is Shabbat). Shabbat Shekalim begins at sundown on Friday, 21 February 2020. Shabbat Zachor Shabbat before Purim 7 March 2020 Shabbat Zachor (Sabbath of remembrance) is the Shabbat preceding Purim. Deuteronomy 25:17-19, describing the attack by Amalek, is recounted. The tradition from the Talmud that Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story, was descended from Amalek. The portion read includes a commandment to remember the attack by Amalek, and therefore at this public reading both men and women make a special effort to hear the reading. Shabbat Zachor begins at sundown on Friday, 6 March 2020. Ta’anit Esther Fast of Esther 9 March 2020 The Fast of Esther (Ta’anit Ester) is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three- day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim. If the date of the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbat (Saturday), the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday. Ta’anit Esther begins at dawn on Monday, 9 Ma rch 2020. Purim One of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar 10 March 2020 Purim (Hebrew: ‘lots’, from the word pur, related to Akkadian p ū ru ) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther (Megillat Esther). Purim begins at sundown on Monday, 9 March 2020.

7. 19 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Biblical Reflection 6 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author This article is the final instalment in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. Psalm 2 is frightening and dreadful, but it concludes by saying: “Blessed are all who take refuge in him!” (verse 12e). In his interpretation of Psalm 2 on Christ Jesus, Martin Luther writes: “That’s why He suffered, that’s why He’s risen, that’s why He has been installed as king, that’s why He has received everything as an inheritance, that He could save all who trust in Him.” There would be nothing to add to that from the Christian point of view if there were not a fateful exegetical tradition which wipes out everything Jewish and every link to the Land of Israel. However, even in its last sentence, the message of Psalm 2 should not be seen in one dimension exclusively, as Christian exegesis traditionally has often done. All hermeneutical levels of Psalm 2 should be kept in mind. Christ must not be removed from His national context. Not without a good reason did Jesus emphasise: “Salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22). And the saving work of God cannot be detached from its geographical context, from the Land of Israel, from the city of Jerusalem. When Paul declares in Romans 10:13, that only that person shall be saved, who will “call upon the name of the Lord”, he quotes the prophet Joel, who continued in the same breath: “For there shall be refuge on Mt Zion and in Jerusalem” (Joel 3:5). The work of God through Messiah is interconnected with the people and Land of Israel, whose heart is the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the Land of Israel, and the longing for Zion are rooted in the Word of God. As the nations rage against the Lord and His Messiah, they also rage against the people and the Land of Israel, and against Jerusalem. Everyone who wishes to ‘take refuge in Him’ should keep an eye on that. Luther, finally, finds a connection between the terrible and the safety, which is expressed in the closing word of Psalm 2: “Because that’s why His anger is scary, so that he may urge you to trust Him.” “There is no refuge from Him,” the British exegete Derek Kidner perfectly sums up the statement of the last sentence of Psalm 2 , “only in him.” Samson Raphael Hirsch connects the Hebrew root ‘hasah’ (to seek/to take refuge) with ‘the intensified” ‘hazah’ (to see, to look) and concludes: This ‘seeking refuge’ is about ‘the most intimate, most expectant focusing at something’. Concrete: Anyone who seeks refuge in God will constantly focus on God and His actions. This does not happen automatically. The temptation is huge to allow the reality surrounding us to capture our attention. But whoever turns away his focus from the Lord and His Messiah, allowing themselves to be caught even for a little moment by the ‘strong winds’, by the raging storm; will, as Peter once did, begin to sink (compare Matthew 14:22-33). The opposite of those who seek refuge with God is the man who seeks his safety in people. The living God calls such a person ‘cursed’ (Jeremiah 17:5a). Comparison with Psalm 1 Rabbinic teachers of Scripture discovered early on that the word ‘ashray’ (blessed) is like parentheses around Psalms 1 and 2. The Babylonian Talmud hands down a saying of “Rabbi Shmuel Bar Nahmani on behalf of Rabbi Yohanan: Every section of Scripture that David especially loved, began with ‘ashray’ (blessed is) and concluded with ‘ashray’ (blessed is). He started with ‘ashray’ as it is written [at the beginning of Psalm 1 ]: “Blessed is the man...” and concluded with ‘ashray’, as it is written [a t the end of Psalm 2 ]: “Blessed is the one who seeks his refuge in Him”. The first two chapters of the Book of Psalms are also linked in terms of content and language by many parentheses. Hakham observes: “In Psalm 1, the wicked and the righteous face each other.” Likewise, in Psalm 2 “the evil nations face the Lord and His Messiah”. Linguistic references are often only visible in the Hebrew original. Thus the Gentiles ‘mutter’ in Psalm 2:1 in vain, just as the righteous man had ‘muttered’ over the Torah in Psalm 1 day and night. Psalm 2:12 warns “so that you will not perish”, direct connecting it back to the statement in Psalm 1:6: “The way of the ungodly will perish.” In some cases, the opposites are striking, which directly confront each other both in terms of language and content. Thus, the efforts of the Gentile nations in Psalm 2:1 are ‘absurd,’ ‘failing,’ and ‘into the void,’ while the righteous in Psalm 1 will be ‘successful in all things’ (verse 3). The connection between the first two chapters of the Book of Psalms is perceived to be so closely linked by Jewish interpreters that they even claimed that they were originally one single chapter. Derek Kidner observes that Psalm 2 lacks a headline typical of many other chapters in Psalms. Furthermore, there are indeed some ancient manuscripts that treat both psalms as one chapter. However, Paul in the synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia speaks about the ‘second psalm,’ quoting our passage (Acts 13:33). From what Psalm 1 ‘expresses for the individual life’, Psalm 2 “draws the consequences for the national life and the whole future”. Whereas in Psalm 1, we see a single man, an individual with a certain attitude that he makes his lifestyle; Psalm 2 describes a world wide perspective in which the individual has to prove himself. Psalm 2 has a broad prophetic horizon, while Psalm 1 focuses on the behaviour of the individual, on ethics. If we want to know how an individual should behave in the global chaos that Psalm 2 describes, if we want to know what it looks like, ‘to seek refuge in Him’ or ‘to sit in the shadow of the Almighty’, then we have to look at Psalm 1. The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/ Really Blessed - Psalm 2 - Part 8 A young boy holds an umbrella on a rainy winter day at the Western Wall. | Photo: Flash90 Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International Why don’t many Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah, when it’s clearly written in the Bible? This sort of question is one with which we all are familiar. Some even regard Jews stubborn for this reason. In doing so, we are doing the Jews a serious disservice and ignoring the great difficulty that they have faced when it comes to Jesus over the last 2000 years. Paul referred to this as a ‘mystery’. During his missionary journeys, Paul always visited the synagogue first. Some Jews believed, but others could not accept his message about Jesus. The prophets in the Old Testament spoke in one breath about the coming of the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, and the coming of the worldwide kingdom of peace from Jerusalem. Isaiah 2 speaks about the coming of the Root of Jesse, followed by the ‘earth that shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’ and ‘the nursing child that shall play by the cobra’s hole’. But for the Jews in Paul’s days, the brutal occupation of Israel by the Romans was still going on. Nothing had changed. And they had never seen Jesus personally. Let us try to understand a bit of their resistance. Over the centuries, the Christian Church believed that the Jewish people were cursed for eternity. The church had become the true Israel and would have taken Israel’s place. Jews in Europe were forced to repent and be baptised and renounce their Jewry. Maintaining the Torah, eating kosher, celebrating Jewish feasts and memorial days were then no longer allowed. They had to give up their Jewish identity completely and live a Christian life. How could the church demand this of Jews! Church Father Chrysostom said in the 3rd century: “Visiting the synagogue equals visiting a brothel or robber’s lair”. However, maintaining the Torah out of reverence for God was sacred to Jews. For them, the ‘Christian Jesus’ could never be their Messiah. This resistance was reinforced by the many massacres of Jews and looting of Jewish homes and possessions. Instead of arousing jealousy, as Paul wrote, we made it almost impossible for Jews to accept Jesus as their Messiah. The Church forgot that Jesus himself is a Jew and that the ancient prophecies about the coming of the Messiah were part of Judaism. In the 20th century, even the Holocaus t would take place in the heart of Christian Europe. Too much has happened over the centuries. After the Second World War, the attitude of many churches towards the Jews has improved considerably and there are many good relationships. At the same time, many churches find it difficult to renounce the classical replacement theology and there are even churches active in the BDS movement for an economic boycott of Israel. Let us realise that there is a ‘mystery’ at this point and understand the difficulty and resistance of Jews regarding Jesus. Jewish Hesitation Towards Jesus C4I Events | Holocaust 7 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Dr Emilie Noteboom n Director of Outreach, European Coalition for Israel Monday, 27 January, marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops. The world commemorated the tragedy and horrors of the Holocaust, remembering the six million (some argue many millions more!) precious Jewish lives that were ruthlessly snuffed out. Collectively we gasp again at what man can do to man and wonder how such a thing as the Holocaust could ever have happened. Where were the normal, decent people in the face of such evil? Why did our Jewish friends and neighbours not receive more help so they could be rescued from a fate unspeakable? My nation of The Netherlands was home to 144,000 Jews before the Second World War. After Nazi rule, only 40,000 Jewish people were left. The ghost town areas of Amsterdam, completely bereft of all its Jewish inhabitants, served for years as a silent witness to the huge numbers of people, young and old, deported for the sole crime of being Jewish. How could this have been? History tells us that some Dutch people collaborated with the German occupiers. Some joined the underground resistance and fought back. One famous such hero was Corrie ten Boom who, with her family, hid Jews and helped where she could. We like to remember people like Corrie ten Boom. They had a moral compass that directed them to do what was right despite the personal cost and suffering. We like to think of them as our friends, as kindred spirits, as we, too, would want to have been like them in the face of such monumental challenges. But —and I say this with shame— most Dutch people did not help. Most kept their heads low and hoped the grotesque nightmare wo uld go away. Of course, war is complicated. The Germans were ruthless. If you helped, you and your family, perhaps your whole street or village, might be tortured and deported to the camps. So people looked away. What could one person do against a war machine, against all the propaganda? Desperate times have a way of bringing into the open what kind of person we really are; what our character is made of. The track record of my fellow Dutch folk is that right under our noses more than 100,000 beautiful souls were tragically murdered. At the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the many millions who died and also those who returned from the camps broken and often the sole survivors of their entire family, who were frequently mistreated and unwelcome even after returning from their hellish experiences. I cannot help but wonder what kind of person I would have been had I been alive at that time. In the face of such evil and under such difficulties, how would I have acted? What would I have done? Would I have helped? While we cannot change the past, the present is witnessing a horrifying rise of the old poison of anti- Semitism in Europe and around the globe, showing disturbing similarities to the 1930s. Again Jewish businesses are singled out and marked for boycott, through the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) efforts. A recent ruling by the European Court of Justice ruled that Israeli wine originating from the so-called West Bank must be labelled as coming from ‘Israeli settlements’. Jewish professors and students are made to feel unwelcome in academia and on university campuses. Legislation is being considered that would make Jewish life impossible such as proposals within the EU to outlaw circumcision and kosher slaughter. Again neo-Nazi rhetoric is propagated in Central and Eastern European countries, while violent attacks on Jews in Western European countries, and most recently also in the US, is becoming alarmingly more common, so much so that the German government (!) has this past year advised German Jews not to wear skullcaps as their safety can no longer be guaranteed. As the old hatred of anti-Semitism is gaining momentum, often expressed by hatred for Israel, my question is no longer, “What would I have done?” My question has become, “What am I doing?” Am I willing to stand with the Jewish people and the Jewish State? Am I helping? Are you willing to do so, despite the likely cost? May our remembrance of the atrocities of the Second World War remind us where the cancer of anti-Semitism can lead, and may it galvanise all of our resolves to fight this evil and help where we can to stop it in its tracks. ‘Never again’! is now! ‘Never Again!’ is Now! Holocaust Memorial | Photo: unsplash At least 500 people gathered in the late afternoon of Tuesday, 17 December 2019, on a roundabout in a new housing estate in Sderot. A twelve-meter-high menorah was unveiled that immediately became the largest menorah in the Middle East. Although the menorah was inaugurated on Israeli soil, the impressive construction was not entirely new to many visitors. At least 150 people came along on a journey with Christians for Israel, Netherlands, and many of them had seen the menorah before in the Netherlands. There it had been on display successively in Nijkerk, Urk, Maastricht, The Hague, Lelystad and Leeuwarden during public Hanukkah celebrations that Christians for Israel was allowed to organise together with the Jewish community. After having wandered around in the Netherlands for six years, the menorah now came ‘home’ to Israel. Sderot was chosen deliberately, a city only a few kilometres from the Gaza strip. The inhabitants suffered severely under the missile terror of Hamas. The menorah is meant as a visible sign of friendship between Dutch Christians and Israel. Danielle Mor of the Jewish Agency started the meeting: “It is everybody’s duty to spread the light. That is why we are here.” Mayor Alon Davidi from Sderot was happy to see so many friends of Israel in his city. “It is important that we are here and that we stay here, even if Hamas wants us out of the way. They try to destroy our city, but we are rebuilding it.” Chairman Pim van der Hoff from Christians for Israel Netherlands referred to Israel as a light for the nations. “The prophet Isaiah already wrote this, and the menorah is a tangible example of that.” Van der Hoff also thanked the Frisian entrepreneurs Arjen Lont and Klaas Zijlstra who assumed responsibility for the construction of the menorah six years ago. “Today, after six years of having spread the light in the Netherlands, we want to bring the light where it belongs. That is in Israel.” Chief Rabbi Jacobs of the Netherlands took up that remark: “Some six years ago I joked to a number of people from Christians for Israel that if they wanted to do something extraordinary, they ought to build the biggest menorah in the world. Apparently, they didn’t know that rabbis make jokes every now and then because have a look behind me”, he said, pointing at the menorah. It was Jacob’s seventh time he was present at the lighting of the menorah. The six previous times he had to be lifted up with a hydraulic arm, but now a touch of a button was enough to switch on the lights. Isaac Herzog (director of the Jewish Agency) wondered how you can lead a normal life in Sderot when you are surrounded by so much darkness. He answere d the question himself: “We oust the darkness by spreading the light.” The menorah is now permanently located on a prominent place in Sderot. The unveiling took place one week before the Jewish people celebrated Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights. Large Menorah Unveiled in Sderot The Menorah spreads its light. | Photo: Christians for Israel Netherlands

20. 12 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 C4I Oceania 2020 Israel Tour — with Keith Buxton DAY 1: SUNDAY 30 AUGUST Depart Brisbane today DAY 2: MONDAY 31 AUGUST Early arrival Ben Gurion / Neot Kedumim Tel Azeka / Beit Shemesh Jaffa (Jaffa Institute) / Independence Hall O/night Netanya DAY 3: TUESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER Caesarea / Mount Carmel Megiddo / Kibbutz Merhavia (First home) Nazareth Village O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 4: WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER Galilee boat ride / Magdala / Tabgha Mount of Beatitudes / Capernaum Yardenit baptisms O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 5: THURSDAY 3 SEPTEMBER Golan Heights / Misgav Am Banias / Tel Dan Mount Bental O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 6: FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Jordan Valley /Masada / Ein Gedi Qumran / Dead Sea (Kalia) Shabbat dinner (Henini) O/night Jerusalem DAY 7: SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER Mount of Olives / Gethsemane Bethesda / Via Dolorosa Mount Zion / Garden Tomb O/night Jerusalem DAY 8: SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER Temple Mount / Jewish Quarter Western Wall / Hezekiah’s Tunnel Herodion / Tekoa O/night Jerusalem DAY 9: MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER Biblical Heartland (CFOIC) Karnei Shomron / Itamar Shiloh / Ofra / Neve Tzuf O/night Jerusalem DAY 10: TUESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER Yad Vashem Absorption Centre (Aliyah) Old City shopping Depart for home DAY 11: WEDNESDAY 9 SEPTEMBER Arrive home to Brisbane today WHO TO CONTACT: Proud Member of the Inter national Institute for Peace through Tourism Olive Tree Travel 103a Gardenvale Road, Gardenvale VIC 3185 T: +61 3 8488 9696 or 1300 55 08 30 Toll free NZ: 0800 874 867 info@olivetreetravel.com.au www.olivetreetravel.com.au Keith Buxton Mobile - +61 (0) 411-267520 E-mail - keithbuxton01@gmail.com TOTAL ESTIMATED PACKAGE PRICE: $5,590* OPTIONAL SINGLE ROOM $795 SUPPLEMENT ADDITIONAL * Price is subject to change. Conditions apply. Based on minimum of 20 paying participants. C4I Pacific Islands Tour Group To Israel With Keith Buxton 11 Days 30th Aug – 9th Sept 2020 Fully Escorted PRICE INCLUDES • Return economy airfares Brisbane- Bangkok - Tel Aviv with Thai Airways & El Al Israel Airlines or Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong. (all participants will need to make their own way to and from Brisbane Airport) • Current airport and departure taxes • 8 nights’ hotel accommodation in shared twin rooms • Daily breakfasts and dinners at hotels unless otherwise specified • Lunch at Abrage Yafo, falafel lunch at Megiddo • Transport by deluxe air-conditioned motor-coach • All guiding and entrance fees • Sightseeing as per itinerary • All tips, porterage and gratuities PRICE EXCLUDES • Entrance/sightseeing/meals other than those in the itinerary • Lunches, except those mentioned above • Headsets • Single supplement • Travel insurance • Incidental expenses of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, room service etc. • Any services not listed in ‘Price Includes’ above BASED ON FOLLOWING HOTELS (or similar): Netanya King Solomon Hotel 1 night Galilee Restal Hotel 3 nights Jerusalem Jerusalem Gate Hotel 4 nights WHAT TO DO NEXT 1. Register your interest and ask for a booking form from C4I or the team at Olive Tree Travel 2. To secure your place, a booking deposit of AUD$350 per person will be required by 2nd December 2019 3. The balance payment is required by 30th June 2020 Join us on this exciting tour and you will walk where Jesus walked and see the pages of the Bible come wonderfully alive! This life-changing experience will also give you new insights into the fulfilment of biblical prophecy in these days in Israel, truly the land of miracles. Keith Buxton has served as a church pastor in Australia for many years, and as a Bible teacher in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. His more recent role as the Australian director of an inter - national ministry teaching Christians about God’s heart for Israel has seen him lead many tours to this amazing land. C4I Pacific Islands Tour Group To Israel With Keith Buxton 11 Days 30th Aug – 9th Sept 2020 Fully Escorted PRICE INCLUDES • Return economy airfares Brisbane- Bangkok - Tel Aviv with Thai Airways & El Al Israel Airlines or Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong. (all participants will need to make their own way to and from Brisbane Airport) • Current airport and departure taxes • 8 nights’ hotel accommodation in shared twin rooms • Daily breakfasts and dinners at hotels unless otherwise specified • Lunch at Abrage Yafo, falafel lunch at Megiddo • Transport by deluxe air-conditioned motor-coach • All guiding and entrance fees • Sightseeing as per itinerary • All tips, porterage and gratuities PRICE EXCLUDES • Entrance/sightseeing/meals other than those in the itinerary • Lunches, except those mentioned above • Headsets • Single supplement • Travel insurance • Incidental expenses of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, room service etc. • Any services not listed in ‘Price Includes’ above BASED ON FOLLOWING HOTELS (or similar): Netanya King Solomon Hotel 1 night Galilee Restal Hotel 3 nights Jerusalem Jerusalem Gate Hotel 4 nights WHAT TO DO NEXT 1. Register your interest and ask for a booking form from C4I or the team at Olive Tree Travel 2. To secure your place, a booking deposit of AUD$350 per person will be required by 2nd December 2019 3. The balance payment is required by 30th June 2020 Join us on this exciting tour and you will walk where Jesus walked and see the pages of the Bible come wonderfully alive! This life-changing experience will also give you new insights into the fulfilment of biblical prophecy in these days in Israel, truly the land of miracles. Keith Buxton has served as a church pastor in Australia for many years, and as a Bible teacher in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. His more recent role as the Australian director of an inter - national ministry teaching Christians about God’s heart for Israel has seen him lead many tours to this amazing land. DAY 1: SUNDAY 30 AUGUST Depart Brisbane today DAY 2: MONDAY 31 AUGUST Early arrival Ben Gurion / Neot Kedumim Tel Azeka / Beit Shemesh Jaffa (Jaffa Institute) / Independence Hall O/night Netanya DAY 3: TUESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER Caesarea / Mount Carmel Megiddo / Kibbutz Merhavia (First home) Nazareth Village O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 4: WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER Galilee boat ride / Magdala / Tabgha Mount of Beatitudes / Capernaum Yardenit baptisms O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 5: THURSDAY 3 SEPTEMBER Golan Heights / Misgav Am Banias / Tel Dan Mount Bental O/night Sea of Galilee DAY 6: FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Jordan Valley /Masada / Ein Gedi Qumran / Dead Sea (Kalia) Shabbat dinner (Henini) O/night Jerusalem DAY 7: SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER Mount of Olives / Gethsemane Bethesda / Via Dolorosa Mount Zion / Garden Tomb O/night Jerusalem DAY 8: SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER Temple Mount / Jewish Quarter Western Wall / Hezekiah’s Tunnel Herodion / Tekoa O/night Jerusalem DAY 9: MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER Biblical Heartland (CFOIC) Karnei Shomron / Itamar Shiloh / Ofra / Neve Tzuf O/night Jerusalem DAY 10: TUESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER Yad Vashem Absorption Centre (Aliyah) Old City shopping Depart for home DAY 11: WEDNESDAY 9 SEPTEMBER Arrive home to Brisbane today WHO TO CONTACT: Proud Member of the Inter national Institute for Peace through Tourism Olive Tree Travel 103a Gardenvale Road, Gardenvale VIC 3185 T: +61 3 8488 9696 or 1300 55 08 30 Toll free NZ: 0800 874 867 info@olivetreetravel.com.au www.olivetreetravel.com.au Keith Buxton Mobile - +61 (0) 411-267520 E-mail - keithbuxton01@gmail.com TOTAL ESTIMATED PACKAGE PRICE: $5,590* OPTIONAL SINGLE ROOM $795 SUPPLEMENT ADDITIONAL * Price is subject to change. Conditions apply. Based on minimum of 20 paying participants.

3. 15 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Editorial 2 Colophon Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel Mission Our mission is to bring Biblical understanding in the Church and among the nations concerning God’s purposes for Israel and to promote comfort of Israel through prayer and action. Editorial Team Andrew Tucker International Editor-in-Chief atucker@c4israel.org Cathy Coldicutt Managing Editor newspaper@c4israel.org Marloes van Westing International Communications Manager international@c4israel.org Ian Worby, Bryce Turner, Rita Quartel, James Patrick, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev. Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Q ueensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 402 277 930, info@c4israel.com.au www.c4israel.com.au Christians for Israel - New Zealand Bryce Turner, National Executive Director PO Box 12 006, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand 1642 Tel: +64 9 525 7564, info@c4israel.org.nz www.c4israel.org.nz Christians for Israel - United Kingdom PO Box 789, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B73 5FX, United Kingdom Tel: +44 121 647 3710, ukinfo@c4israel.org Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 fredvanwesting@c4israel.org www.c4israel.us DISCLAIMER - Articles printed in Israel & Christians Today expr ess the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or that of the Board of Christians for Israel. The printing of articles or advertising in Israel & Christians Today does not necessarily imply either endorsement or agreement. ©Christians for Israel International Reproduction, or storage in a retrieval system or in any other form, is prohibited without permission. Please contact the Managing Editor should you wish to syndicate or r epublish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l New elections will be held in Israel on 2 March. Pray that the Israeli people are well informed in the run-up to the elections. Also, pray that a government can be formed after this third round of elections and that Israel does not have to go to the polls again. l “I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22. Pray for Jewish Israelis who do not believe in God. Pray that they may come to faith and thank and pray for the work of organisations such as Am Yisrael Echad and the Savyon Center that connects secular Jews with their Jewish roots and their God. l Pray for security in Israeli villages in Judea and Samaria. Pray that terrorist attacks will be prevented. Israel & the Nations l “No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17). After the liquidation of the most important army general of Iran by the US Army, tensions in the Middle East have risen again. Pray for the protection of Israel. l Pray for protection for Jews living outside Israel. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe and America, anti-Semitism is on the rise. Pray also for those who want to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel), pray that they have the right means to do so. l Pray for Christians in the Middle East and particularly for Christians living under the rule of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. Pray for their protection and pray that they will be a blessing to those around them. Christians for Israel l “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). In 2020 Christians for Israel celebrates its 40th anniversary. This is a point of thankfulness. Pray that the coming year will be another fruitful year and that many people around the world will hear about God’s eternal love for Israel. l Pray for the representatives of Christians for Israel who are ‘ambassadors’ for Israel around the world. l Pray that churches worldwide will stand up against anti-Semitism. And that Israel will play an important role in the prayers of Christians. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explains that the God of the Old Testament is a forward- looking, active God, who intervenes in history. This understanding of God was lost by the early church fathers, who focused on God the eternal, unchangeable being remote from worldly events. As a result, many in the church today, influenced by Greek thinking, have lost our understanding that God is on the move, that He has a plan and that He calls us to participate in the fulfilment of His purposes with the world. We are no longer looking for the coming of God’s future because we think He has already fulfilled all things. There is nothing left for God to do. I think this loss of a prophetic, expectant mindset has been one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian church, which was created not to replace the Jewish mindset, but to enter into it even more fully. One of the results is that for many Christians, the prophetic scriptures have become closed books. The book of Revelation - instead of drawing us closer into an understanding of God’s most intimate secret - is barely read any more. We have also lost something concerning our understanding of free will. As Sacks so eloquently explains, it is precisely because God is forward-looking that we can exercise our free will. God invites us to decide whether we will use our freedom to participate in His future or pursue our own (often well-meaning) goals. Another result is that many Christians no longer understand the Jewish mindset, which is constantly looking forward, seeking creative and innovative ways to participate in the fulfilment of God’s purposes, working towards the coming of Messiah to usher in God’s kingdom. It also means we do not understand the nation of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people. When Moses heard the mission he was to be sent on, he said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” That was when God replied, cryptically, Ehyeh asher ehyeh (Exodus 3:14). Sacks says: “This was translated into Greek as ego eimi ho on, and into Latin as ego sum qui sum, meaning ‘I am who I am’, or ‘I am He who is’. The early and medieval Christian theologians all understood the phrase to be speaking about ontology, the metaphysical nature of God’s existence as the ground of all being. It meant that He was ‘Being-itself, timeless, immutable, incorporeal, understood as the subsisting act of all existing’. Augustine defines God as that which does not change and cannot change. Aquinas, continuing the same tradition, reads the Exodus formula as saying that God is ‘true being, that is, being that is eternal, immutable, simple, self-sufficient, and the cause and principal of every creature’. But this is the God of Aristotle and the philosophers, not the God of Abraham and the Prophets. Ehyeh asher ehyeh means none of these things. It means ‘I will be what, where, or how I will be’. The essential element of the phrase is the dimension omitted by all the early Christian translations, namely the future tense. God is defining Himself as the Lord of history who is about to intervene in an unprecedented way, to liberate a group of slaves from the mightiest empire of the ancient world and lead them on a journey towards liberty... Whenever I visit Israel, I find myself awestruck by the way this ancient people in its history-saturated land is one of the most future-oriented nations on earth, constantly searching for new advances in medical, informational, and nano- technology. Israel writes its story in the future tense. And the future is the sphere of human freedom because I cannot change yesterday, but I can change tomorrow by what I do today. Therefore, because Judaism is a religion of the future it is a religion of human freedom, and because Israel is a future-oriented nation, it remains, in the Middle East, an oasis of freedom in a desert of oppression. Tragically, most of Israel’s enemies are fixated on the past, and as long as they remain so, their people will never find freedom and Israel will never find peace.” Food for thought. The God of the Future | Photo: Shutterstock News 3 McDonald’s Kosher After nine years of absence, the Big Mac is now again available at the Israeli airport Ben Gurion. At the beginning of the year, McDonald’s opened a branch in Airport Terminal 3. The Chief Rabbinate has also issued a kosher certificate for a restaurant in Israel that is open on Shabbat. In return, McDonald’s has committed itself to precook the products and using only non-Jewish staff on Sabbath. | Photo: The Yeshive World Boeing Names New 787 ‘Tel Aviv’ Ethiopian Airlines now offers two daily flights direct from Tel Aviv to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bilan Arpain, the regional director for Ethiopian Airlines in Israel, said that naming the new Dreamliner aircraft after the city of Tel Aviv demonstrates with it the significance and importance Ethiopian Airlines attaches to Israel, the local market and their loyal Israeli passengers. Imports and Exports at Gaza Crossing Between 500-1000 trucks a day go into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. Chai latte, popcorn, all kinds of household goods and also cement. In principle, such access can be used to build terror tunnels. However, to punish 2 million people for the terror of 35,000 Hamas members is a bridge too far for Israel. Exported goods include agricultural products such as tomatoes. The crossing is regularly bombarded with explosives. Apparently, some people don’t want any goods to come into Gaza. | Photo: C4I Jamie Oliver Enjoys Israeli Breakfast During his visit to Israel, famous chef Jamie Oliver had breakfast in popular cafe Kalo in Jerusalem. The standard Israeli breakfast consists of eggs, salads, cheeses and bread, which was a kibbutz creation. Jamie Oliver marvelled about the variety of salads, herbs and colours that were presented at breakfast. He commented: “This blows most breakfasts around the world out of the water.” Short News February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent | Israel For the third time in one year, Israel is gearing up for parliamentary elections. This is the first time in the history of the Jewish state new repeat-elections will be held after the previous rounds resulted in a deadlock whereby neither the left-wing bloc (which includes the Arab parties) nor the right- wing bloc (led by Likud) succeeded in forming a majority government. If we are to believe the polls – taking into account that in Israel polls are often wildly off the mark – the upcoming elections on 2 March will not change the situation. Kachol Lawan (Blue and White), a centre- left party that was founded before the first elections in April last year with the goal to oust Benyamin Netanyahu, the longest- serving Prime Minister in Israel’s history, is leading in the latest polls. Netanyahu (Likud) is facing three indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Attorney General Mandelblit filed charges in Jerusalem on Tuesday, 28 January, after Netanyahu earlier in the day angrily withdrew his attempts to obtain Knesset immunity in order to stay in office. The PM accused his opponents of political murder. Blue and White leader Gantz repeated his party’s position that an indicted leader is not fit for the office of Prime Minister. In the meantime, small parties on the right and left are trying to establish new mergers that will ensure they would cross the 3.25 per cent threshold on election day. Israel’s founding party, Labor, recently merged with the far-left party, Meretz, because both parties were in danger of not reaching the threshold. Labor had already merged with the right-wing party, Gesher, before the last elections in September 2019 to avoid demise. On the right, the only parties that were not trying to establish mergers are the ultra-orthodox, Shas, and Likud. The national-religious parties are in disarray afte r Yamina leader Naftali Bennett blocked a proposal to merge with the far- right party, Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power). Yamina leaders and PM Netanyahu now call upon Otzma Yehudit leader, Itamar Gvir, to drop out of the race in order to avoid a situation where thousands of votes of right-wing Israelis will go down the drain. You might think: what about a national unity government? In Israel, political deadlocks during the formation of governments were always solved by establishing national unity governments. Kachol Lawan, however, is blocking this solution, citing Netanyahu’s legal troubles. In terms of political platforms, there aren’t wide gaps between Likud and Kachol Lawan. Both parties have the same views on the Palestinian Israeli conflict and security issues which are the most important topics for the majority of the Israeli public. Historic Third Election Members of the Blue and White party seen at the election committee where political parties running for a spot in the upcoming Israeli elections, arrive to present their party list at the Knesset. | Photo: Flash90 Continued from page 1 ‘Palestine’ has wide international support for its claims to sovereignty over the whole of the West Bank including East Jerusalem; has, since 2012, successfully acceded to tens of multilateral treaties, including the statute of the International Criminal Court; has been granted ‘UN non-member observer state status’ and is recognised as a state by over 130 states; and receives significant international funding. Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Plan Unveiled The question is whether the Palestinians will now be willing to accept less: a demilitarised state that can only come into existence when they satisfy the demands of the USA. On the other hand, the Trump plan includes many incentives and benefits for the Palestinians, such as massive economic investment, state- building assistance, and regional recognition, should they accept the plan. Some of the main aspects of the Political Framework are as follows: Palestinian Statehood The plan envisages the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state, provided certain criteria are met. “The Palestinians deserve a better future mid-1990s and this Vision can help them achieve that future. Palestinian leaders must embrace peace by recognising Israel as the Jewish state, rejecting terrorism in all its forms, allowing for special arrangements that address Israel’s and the region’s vital security needs, building effective institutions and choosing pragmatic solutions. If these steps are taken and the criteria set forth in this Vision are satisfied, then the United States will support the establishment of a Palestinian State.” Negotiations Leading to a Peace Agreement The plan envisages both Israel and the Palestinians to take various steps that would lead to a binding peace agreement to end the conflict. Jerusalem Jerusalem west of the security barrier will remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty. A Palestinian capital can be established in the area of Jerusalem outside the barrier. Jordan retains control over the Temple Mount. Territory, Borders and Settlements The plan contains a map showing the borders of the proposed future Palestinian state. The Palestinian state would cover all of current Areas A and B as well as about 70% of Area C. These areas are connected by major roads. A tunnel connects Gaza and the Palestinian state. Israel retains sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. No Israeli settlements are to be forcibly removed. Security The proposal contains extensive arrangements designed mainly to protect Israel’s right to security. Gaza Hamas and Palestinian Jihad are to be disarmed, and the Palestinian Authority is to have control over Gaza. A range of proposals is intended to improve the economic conditions in Gaza. This includes adding territory close to the Gaza strip to enable new infrastructure to be built. Regional Development The plan promotes regional cooperation and integration. Both Jordan and Egypt will have an important role to play in determining whether the plan obtains political support in the region, and if so, the success of the plan’s implementation. There will be a free trade zone between Jordan and the State of Palestine.

28. 28 February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 2 3 Anemone R üger n Project Coordinator | Holocaust Survivors in Israel and Ukraine | Christians for Israel On behalf of you, our faithful sponsors, we have been able to visit and support many poor and lonely Holocaust survivors in the past weeks. We have been able to bring them the light of hope: God is there! We knocked at Zhenia’s door with two food parcels, fresh bread and warm winter clothes in our hands. When we wrapped Zhenia in a blanket that a lady from Germany had knitted for her, she started crying. Many of Zhenia’s relatives are lying in Babi Yar (ravine in the capital Kiev where 33,771 of the city’s Jews were shot in late September of 1941). She was five years old when the Wehrmacht invaded Ukraine. Her father was drafted into the Red Army and sent to the battle front, her mother tried to hide with her as long as possible. “Mom told me how they were all driven out of our village, first to Kiev, then to Babi Yar,” Zhenia says. She found refuge initially with an older man who hid her; then, when her mother died of typhus, she was smuggled to her Ukrainian grandmother on her father’s side, which is where she grew up as her father also died shortly after returning from the war. Of her own family – husband and three children – only herself and a granddaughter are left, who looks after her from time to time. Christians for Israel supports her with regular food parcels. Moved Olga was our big surprise. When we visited her the first time in August, she was very quiet and started crying as she shared her story of Babi Yar, of being in line for the execution site together with her family. A Ukrainian neighbour saved her from the column of Jewish mothers, children and older people walking to their death, and pretended Olga was her child. When we visited for the second time with the Christians for Israel board of the German branch in October, her tears already mingled with laughter – that’s how happy she was to have found a far-travelled family who poured love, gifts and blessings on her. Her little hut, however, looked like it could collapse any moment, and none of us dared to imagine how she would survive another winter there. Now just before Hanukkah, we were welcomed by a radiant Olga – she moved a few days earlier! Our local contact person had negotiated with the neighbours and found an abandoned little house, whose owners moved to the city and are glad to have someone to use it. It was nice and warm thanks to the wood stove. Light was falling through the large window, and even the electricity worked. Olga proudly presented her new tea kettle, which she just received. “Moi ditki!” – my children, she kept exclaiming while hugging each of us in a row. Now the gifts – two large food parcels, those should last her for a while. Then, with a big smile, Olga pulled photos out of the envelope. “Vse moi ditki!” she said, beaming with joy. “This one I know, and this one, and her and her.” Then came the cuddle blanket whic h we had brought for her. Now Olga had tears in her eyes again. Such a wonderfully soft fabric! “Convey my greetings to everyone,” Olga said. “And health – I wish lots of health to all my friends!” – See you in spring, then, Babushka (grandma). Our Projects 16 A Blanket from Germany February 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Update Food Parcel Campaign Winter 2019-2020 Our team in Ukraine visits Jewish elderly and Holocaust survivors with a van full of food parcels. The food parcels we bring are much needed to get through the harsh Ukrainian winters. However, a food parcel means far more than a bag filled with edible articles. It is a sign of friendship that demonstrates your support for our Jewish brothers and sisters, and shows them that they are not alone. One food parcel costs AU $15. Zhenia receives a beautiful hand-made blanket to keep her warm. Zhenia and Anemone read a letter from Germany. Zhenia in front of her home. PLEASE COMPLETE FORM & RETURN TO: Christians for Israel Australia, PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD 4127 or you can donate securely online www.c4israel.com.au/donate Yes, I would like to make a donation towards... C4I MINISTRY 1 SOCIAL WELFARE PROJECTS ALIYAH - BRING THE JEWS HOME TEACHING RESOURCES & PREMIUM GIFTS DONATION DONATION SEE OUR FULL RANGE AT: C4ISRAEL.COM.AU/STORE QUANTITY SUB TOTAL $___________ SUB TOTAL $___________ MY TOTAL DONATION $___________ $___________ My donation for general admin costs (inc print & post) $___________ Hineni soup kitchen & Holocaust survivors in the Ukraine $300 One Person* $5000 One Busload (25 persons)* $1350 Bnei Menashe - Asian Jews (1 person) $___________ First Home in the Homeland ($350 pp) $1000 One Family (5 persons)* $______ ___________ Israel and Christians Today Paper (free or by donation) Riding Into History (BOOK) by Barry Rodgers Light Horse History Bundle (BOOK + DVD) by Barry Rodgers $50 each ___________ $100 each Adi Watches (Mens) (Ladies) ___________ $12 each NEW! The Signs of the Times (BOOK) by Willem J.J. Glashouwer ___________ ___________ ___________ The Light Horse Century (DVD) by Barry Rodgers $30 each ___________ Anti-Israel Agenda (BOOK) by Alex Ryvchin $___________ 1=$15 3=$45 5=$75 10=$150 Food Parcels $46 each ___________ Israel on Trial (500p Reference BOOK) by Andrew Tucker $20 each ___________ Why Jerusalem? (DVD) by Rev. Wilem Glashouwer $15 each ___________ Why Jerusalem? (BOOK) by Rev. Wilem Glashouwer 7 Menorah Unveiled in Sderot 3 Historic Third Election Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL February 2020 Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 8 H olocaust R emembrance Day 9 Was Auschwitz Liberated US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen at the White House in Washington DC, following Trump’s unveiling of the US Peace Plan. 28 January 2020. | Photo: Flash90 Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Plan Unveiled Tuesday, 28 January 2020 was one of the most extraordinary days in Israel's history. Attorney-General Mandelblit filed an official indictment against Prime Minister Netanyahu on counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust - an hour after Netanyahu withdrew his application to the Knesset for immunity when it became clear that he could muster no majority. This is the first time in Israel's history that a sitting Prime Minister has been officially charged with crimes. On the same day, in Washington, American president Donald Trump announced the political aspects of his long- awaited ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan. ‘A realistic two-state solution’ is how he described it. The Trump team, led by the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has worked for three years on the plan, which is unlike any peace plan proposed in relation to the conflict since the Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s. It reflects the broad principles for peace set out in the UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz were invited to the presentation of the plan in Washington, as was Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli leaders accepted, but the PLO l eader declined, calling Trump ‘a dog and the son of a dog’. The presentation was also attended by leaders from Oman, Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates. The plan contains two parts: a Political Framework and an Economic Framework. The Economic Framework had previously been unveiled in June 2019. Israeli PM Netanyahu has embraced the plan, as has Gantz’s Blue and White party. There is some opposition within right-wing parties to the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state of any sort. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright. “I don’t have long to live”, Fatah representatives quoted Abbas as saying to the Jerusalem Post. “I don’t want to go down as a traitor. It’s either dying like martyrs or flying the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem”. The Palestinian leadership under Abbas has made clear it will not accept anything less than the terms demanded by them consistently and many of which are reflected in UN resolutions such as Security council resolution 2334: full sovereignty over all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967 except for mutually agreed adaptations; removal of Israeli settlements; full Palestinian sovereignty over all of Jerusalem; and return of Palestinian refugees. The plan conflicts with the mainstream interpretation of international law that underpins the UN and EU-sponsored approach to the conflict, supporting the PLO demands: Israel must end the occupation of the ‘Palestinian’ territories; all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have been established illegally; the Palestinians have a right to statehood, and all of East Jerusalem is to become the capit al of a Palestinian state. The plan is thus likely to receive much international criticism. The US, on the other hand, considers that Israel has valid legal and historical claims to the territories captured in 1967, that it is not obliged to withdraw from all these territories, that Israeli settlements are not necessarily illegal, and that the Palestinian refugees do not have a right of return. A small number of states, such as Australia, support the US view on many of these issues. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au 7 Menorah Unveiled in Sderot 3 Historic Third Election Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL February 2020 Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 8 Holocaust Remembrance Day 9 Was Auschwitz Liberated US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen at the White House in Washington DC, following Trump’s unveiling of the US Peace Plan. 28 January 2020. | Photo: Flash90 Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Plan Unveiled Tuesday, 28 January 2020 was one of the most extraordinary days in Israel's history. Attorney-General Mandelblit filed an official indictment against Prime Minister Netanyahu on counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust - an hour after Netanyahu withdrew his application to the Knesset for immunity when it became clear that he could muster no majority. This is the first time in Israel's history that a sitting Prime Minister has been officially charged with crimes. On the same day, in Washington, American president Donald Trump announced the political aspects of his long- awaited ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan. ‘A realistic two-state solution’ is how he described it. The Trump team, led by the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has worked for three years on the plan, which is unlike any peace plan proposed in relation to the conflict since the Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s. It reflects the broad principles for peace set out in the UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz were invited to the presentation of the plan in Washington, as was Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli leaders accepted, but the PLO l eader declined, calling Trump ‘a dog and the son of a dog’. The presentation was also attended by leaders from Oman, Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates. The plan contains two parts: a Political Framework and an Economic Framework. The Economic Framework had previously been unveiled in June 2019. Israeli PM Netanyahu has embraced the plan, as has Gantz’s Blue and White party. There is some opposition within right-wing parties to the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state of any sort. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright. “I don’t have long to live”, Fatah representatives quoted Abbas as saying to the Jerusalem Post. “I don’t want to go down as a traitor. It’s either dying like martyrs or flying the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem”. The Palestinian leadership under Abbas has made clear it will not accept anything less than the terms demanded by them consistently and many of which are reflected in UN resolutions such as Security council resolution 2334: full sovereignty over all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967 except for mutually agreed adaptations; removal of Israeli settlements; full Palestinian sovereignty over all of Jerusalem; and return of Palestinian refugees. The plan conflicts with the mainstream interpretation of international law that underpins the UN and EU-sponsored approach to the conflict, supporting the PLO demands: Israel must end the occupation of the ‘Palestinian’ territories; all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have been established illegally; the Palestinians have a right to statehood, and all of East Jerusalem is to become the capit al of a Palestinian state. The plan is thus likely to receive much international criticism. The US, on the other hand, considers that Israel has valid legal and historical claims to the territories captured in 1967, that it is not obliged to withdraw from all these territories, that Israeli settlements are not necessarily illegal, and that the Palestinian refugees do not have a right of return. A small number of states, such as Australia, support the US view on many of these issues. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au 7 Menorah Unveiled in Sderot 3 Historic Third Election Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL February 2020 Sh’vat - Adar 5780 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 8 Holocaust Remembrance Day 9 Was Auschwitz Liberated US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen at the White House in Washington DC, following Trump’s unveiling of the US Peace Plan. 28 January 2020. | Photo: Flash90 Trump’s ‘Peace to Prosperity’ Plan Unveiled Tuesday, 28 January 2020 was one of the most extraordinary days in Israel's history. Attorney-General Mandelblit filed an official indictment against Prime Minister Netanyahu on counts of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust - an hour after Netanyahu withdrew his application to the Knesset for immunity when it became clear that he could muster no majority. This is the first time in Israel's history that a sitting Prime Minister has been officially charged with crimes. On the same day, in Washington, American president Donald Trump announced the political aspects of his long- awaited ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan. ‘A realistic two-state solution’ is how he described it. The Trump team, led by the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has worked for three years on the plan, which is unlike any peace plan proposed in relation to the conflict since the Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s. It reflects the broad principles for peace set out in the UN Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz were invited to the presentation of the plan in Washington, as was Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. The Israeli leaders accepted, but the PLO l eader declined, calling Trump ‘a dog and the son of a dog’. The presentation was also attended by leaders from Oman, Bahrein and the United Arab Emirates. The plan contains two parts: a Political Framework and an Economic Framework. The Economic Framework had previously been unveiled in June 2019. Israeli PM Netanyahu has embraced the plan, as has Gantz’s Blue and White party. There is some opposition within right-wing parties to the idea of the creation of a Palestinian state of any sort. The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright. “I don’t have long to live”, Fatah representatives quoted Abbas as saying to the Jerusalem Post. “I don’t want to go down as a traitor. It’s either dying like martyrs or flying the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem”. The Palestinian leadership under Abbas has made clear it will not accept anything less than the terms demanded by them consistently and many of which are reflected in UN resolutions such as Security council resolution 2334: full sovereignty over all of the territories captured by Israel in 1967 except for mutually agreed adaptations; removal of Israeli settlements; full Palestinian sovereignty over all of Jerusalem; and return of Palestinian refugees. The plan conflicts with the mainstream interpretation of international law that underpins the UN and EU-sponsored approach to the conflict, supporting the PLO demands: Israel must end the occupation of the ‘Palestinian’ territories; all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have been established illegally; the Palestinians have a right to statehood, and all of East Jerusalem is to become the capit al of a Palestinian state. The plan is thus likely to receive much international criticism. The US, on the other hand, considers that Israel has valid legal and historical claims to the territories captured in 1967, that it is not obliged to withdraw from all these territories, that Israeli settlements are not necessarily illegal, and that the Palestinian refugees do not have a right of return. A small number of states, such as Australia, support the US view on many of these issues. Continued on page 3 AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au Please post cheque or money order to: Christians for Israel Australia Inc (don’t use staples) NEW INTERNET BANKING DETAILS: BSB: ANZ BANK – 014-279 Account No: 405318551 Ref: Your name & donation purpose. Please confirm by emailing info@c4israel.com.au MY DETAILS Name: _________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________ Phone: _________________ Email: __________________ Christians for Israel Australia ABN: 79 941 819 693 ICT0220 *NOTE: Certificates for individuals and families from the Ukraine only. $35 each 2 for $60 4 for $100 $25 each 2 for $40 4 $___________ CFOIC (Judea and Samaria) Heartland

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