June 2019 Edition

Share on Social Networks

Share Link

Use permanent link to share in social media

Share with a friend

Please login to send this document by email!

Embed in your website

Select page to start with

Post comment with email address (confirmation of email is required in order to publish comment on website) or please login to post comment

12. 4 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Commentary Piece Keith Buxton Former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia When mourning is turned into dancing! Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day commemorated this year on 7-8 May, was a day of grateful remembrance of those who lost their lives in conflict and war, as was our own Anzac Day. Yom HaZikaron has been traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, but commemoration has also been extended to civilian victims of terrorism and political violence. As of Yom HaZikaron in 2019, that number was 23,741. On this annual day radio and television stations broadcast programs portraying the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers. Most of the broadcasting time is devoted to Israeli songs that convey the mood of the day. By law, for 24 hours (from sunset to sunset) all places of public entertainment (theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, etc) are closed. Regular TV programs cease, and the names and ranks of every soldier who died for Israel since the day of Israel’s birth are displayed in a 24-hour television broadcast, each flashed on the screen for several seconds. It is the Jewish people’s way of reminding themselves that every person matters. Quite simply, for Israelis danger from war or terror is a way of life. It is the only reality they know. The very recent onslaught of nearly 700 rockets from Gaza, killing four people and injuring more than 200, has been a sober reminder of just what Israel has to contend with on all too regular a basis. At 18 almost every Israeli male is on active duty in the military for 3 years; most females serve 2 years. Most Israelis have lost friends who died while serving their country in the Israeli army. In fact, almost every high school in Israel has a “memorial corner” with the photos of the school graduates who fell in battle or while on military duty. And so we remember them. We do well at this point to reflect on the significance of the Hebrew word for “remember”—zakar —which includes both remembering and the actions that result from remembering, such as doing someone a favour, or helping them in a specific way. Hebrew verbs stress action and effect, rather than just mental and intellectual activity. When Paul writes in Galatians 2:10 that “they desired only that we should remember the poor,” he is not talking about a mental remembrance, but about practical help and financial gifts. I am often reminded too of the Hebrew word for faith—emunah— which means both faith and faithfulness. You who are reading these words understand the Biblical mandate to give practical expression to our Christian faith, and to be a blessing and a comfort to God’s chosen people, remembering practically those among the Jewish people who are poor and in need, as well as those whose heart is to make aliyah and establish their home in Israel, and need help to do so. And now we remember that from sunset on 8 May and into 9 May, the very next day after Yom HaZikaron, the “Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism,” Jewish people celebrated Yom HaAtzmaut (“Independence Day”), the national day of Israel, commemorating the historic Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. Yom HaZikaron ended with a sunset ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, including the lighting of 12 torches that heralded the start of Independence Day. This was a day to rejoice with flags and parades and picnics. On Independence Day Israel’s mourning was turned into dancing! It was a time to rejoice in the miracle that is the State of Israel. “Many spend the night dancing Israeli folk dances or singing Israeli songs. During the daytime thousands of Israeli families go out on hikes and picnics. Army camps are open for civilians to visit and to display the recent technological achievements of the Israeli Defense Forces” (from My Jewish Learning). Some people may find it strange that a deeply solemn occasion of remembrance is followed so immediately by such joyful celebration. I remember attending both events a few years ago in Melbourne at the invitation of Zionism Victoria, and certainly was struck personally by the contrast. The linking of these two days has clear significance: Israelis owe their independence - the very existence of the state - to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it. Let’s hear a Jewish perspective on this by Hanan Cidor: “Being an Israeli, one of the hardest things to deal with - and as far as I know it is unique to Israel - is the seemingly unbelievable and immediate passage between sorrow and celebration, as portrayed in the pairing of Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day). The idea behind this is that the day before celebrating our independence, we are reminded of the price and sacrifice made by so many in order to keep us free. “If you’ve never been in Israel during those two days, nothing can possibly explain the experience and the kind of emotions that it evokes. After a full day of grief and remembrance, something that is very much relevant from a personal standpoint to literally every Israeli, we go rather abruptly to a truly joyous celebration of our freedom and achievements during Israel’s Independence Day.” Just consider for a moment those achievements! Israel’s story is a truly phenomenal one. Founded 71 years ago in the middle of a desert and with hardly any natural resources, Israel has been battered by relentless war and terror. And yet, while facing constant security threats, some of them even starting literally from day one of the new state’s independence, Israel has succeeded in building a strong nation, has become a regional power, and is the only democracy in a largely hostile neighbourhood. Amazingly too, Israel is now a world leader in countless areas of technological innovation, let alone being often the first nation to provide practical assistance and relief - even to enemy nations! - when disaster strikes. And then there is the amazing revival of Hebrew as the Jewish people’s language - a language previously restricted to Scripture alone - as well as the immigration of more than 3 million Jews to Israel (and counting!) since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Back in 1956 the first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion declared: “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.” Well, the miracles continue in this land of God’s favour and blessing, despite the agenda of Israel’s genocidal enemies and the antisemitic world. As we pray and demonstrate emunah, we have good reason to rejoice with our Jewish brothers and sisters as we see Israel not only surviving but thriving! ________________________________________________________ Keith Buxton is the former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia. www.bridgesforpeace.com PHOTO: IDF soldiers at a Yom HaZikaron ceremony in 2007. Wikipedia. Quite simply, for Israelis danger from war or terror is a way of life.

24. 24 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Political Israel 12 Gabriele Luise n The Hague Initiative for International Co-operation President Trump’s recent announcement that the USA recognises Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights (Golan) has been very controversial and was met with fierce criticism from the international community. This is based on the widespread belief that Israel’s claim to sovereignty over the Golan is contrary to international law. Trump’s announcement, of course, does not change the legal status of the Golan. But what is the status of this area? Why does Israel insist on keeping control, and why is this so controversial? The announcement must be seen in light of the unique geographic situation of the Golan Heights and the complex political and military situation in Syria. The Golan Heights is made up of a 480-square-mile volcanic (basalt) rock plateau perched above the Hula Valley to the west and Jordan Valley to the south. It rises gently from 600 feet in the south to 3,000 feet in the north, with abrupt escarpments dominating the valleys to the west and south. Upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 – which Syria and other Arab States immediately tried to destroy - Syria immediately turned the plateau into a huge network of bunkers and artillery positions. Syrian gunners, shooting at random and without provocation, would fire on Israeli fishermen plying their trade on the Sea of Galilee or at Israeli farmers in the Hula Valley below. That was the situation when Israel – unexpectedly – took control of the Golan Heights during the 1967 Six Day War. Today, Syria is a major existential threat to Israel. Writing in late 2018 (i.e. before President Trump’s proclamation), international expert Colonel Richard Kemp described the context of Israel’s control of the Golan Heights as follows: “Syria is now and will remain for the foreseeable future under the domination of Iran. Through both actions and words, we know the Iranian ayatollahs are intent on aggression against the Jewish State. They are establishing a land corridor from Iranian territory through Iraq and Syria to Israel’s border and plan to link their forces in that area with Hezbollah’s strong offensive forces, including 100,000 rockets, in southern Lebanon. They have positioned their own forces and their proxies where they can threaten Israel and are intent on building these up and maintaining them in position for the long-term.” “The Syrian government, as the civil war dies down and when it reconstitutes its forces with Russian assistance, will itself threaten Israel at Iran’s behest; and Hezbollah and other Iranian proxy militias will also continue to do so. If these — or any other — malignant entities gain possession of the Golan Heights, the threats of indirect cross-border fire could well escalate, leading to the deaths of Israeli civilians and forcing Israel into an overwhelming response that would cause significant bloodshed. This would potentially draw southern Lebanon into a conflict that could easily explode into a regional war”. Against this background, in a paper recently published by The Hague Initiative for International Co-operation, US Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Dr Matthijs de Blois, Senior Fellow of thinc., reflects on the question whether Israel’s acquisition of and continued control over this territory is contrary to international law. This question, according to Dr. de Blois, is complicated and deserves a nuanced approach. Dr. de Blois describes the close historical connection between the Jewish people and the Golan. The Jewish people have continuously lived in this region from the times of Joshua until the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The Golan were originally intended as part of the Jewish homeland, as per the San Remo Resolution of 1920. However, in 1922 Britain and France agreed that the Golan would instead fall under the Mandate for Syria. So it came that the Golan were controlled by Syria upon its independence in 1946. When Syria declared war on Israel in 1948, the plateau was repeatedly used as a strategic position to attack Jewish villages in Israel’s Galilee region. In 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces captured the Golan, out of military necessity of achieving a defensible border. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel miraculously kept control of the region – failure to keep control of the Golan would have resulted in annihilation of the State of Israel. And in 1981 the Golan officially became a part of Israel when Israeli law and administration was extended to the region. This was condemned by the UN Security Council (UNSC) as ‘null and void’. The UNSC repeated that no territory can be acquired by force under international law. The prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force is at the heart of the fierce criticism from the international community of President Trump’s Golan announcement. The US President has been accused of ‘[legitimising] Israel’s illegal conquest of occupied territory.’ Many international lawyers observe that Israel has no legitimate claim to sovereignty over the Golan because the acquisition of territory, even in defensive wars, has been prohibited by international law since 1945. Dr. de Blois acknowledges that the prohibition of acquisition of territory by force is today a foundational principle of international law. But the question whether Israel gained sovereignty over the Golan Heights should be judged by international law not as it stands today but as it was understood in 1967 (when Israel acquired control over the Golan). At that time, it seems, the law was still largely undecided on the matter. As leading international lawyer Professor Eugene Kontorovich notes, there is a difference between aggressive and defensive conquest. In 1967 there was no consensus on whether states could acquire territorial sovereignty as a result of a defensive war. As former International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Stephen Schwebel noted in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, ‘no weight shall be given to conquest, but such weight shall be given to defensive action as is reasonably required to ensure that such Arab territory will not again be used for aggressive purposes against Israel.’ It was only in the 1970s that the prohibition against territorial acquisition from the threat or use of force became customary international law. De Blois disagrees with the “one size fits all” approach advocated by some, and stresses that the status of the Golan deserves a more nuanced approach. He observes that, when applied to cases where a state acquires territory acting defensively against a neighbour that is consistently trying to annihilate it, such a blanket rule would do little to deter aggression. Without the fear of territorial loss, countries like Syria that launch aggressive wars to acquire territory, but in the process lose some of their own territory, and continue their aggression to reclaim such territory, would only be encouraged to maintain their state of hostility towards their neighbours. Such consequences would surely be at odds with the Charter of the UN. Further , Dr. de Blois calls to mind that every state has the right to live ‘in peace within secure and recognized boundaries’, as reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 242 (October 1967). History makes abundantly clear that Syrian control of the Golan will not, for the foreseeable future, result in peace and security for Israel. Israeli control of the Golan Heights is the only guarantee that it will not be attacked by Syria. To that extent, he argues, Israel may have a valid claim to sovereignty over the Golan, and therefore recognition of that sovereignty by the US is justified. However, President Trump did not rely on the legality of territorial acquisition. Instead, he focused on the ‘necessity’ argument - that Israel’s security, its very existence, depends on maintaining sovereignty over the Golan. Dr. de Blois argues that even if Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the Golan is at odds with international law, it does not lead to liability if a ‘state of necessity’ can be invoked. Moreover, it can be argued that the continuation of Israeli control of the Golan will only serve the interests of stability and security in the region. Respecting Israeli jurisdiction over the Golan is, to use the words of Schwebel, necessary in order to give ‘such weight ... to defensive action as is reasonably required to ensure that such Arab territory will not again be used for aggressive purposes against Israel’. As Ambassador Alan Baker has recently observed: ‘An aggressor state that loses its territory after an offensive war and consistently refuses all efforts to make peace for over half a century cannot expect to maintain a genuine right to claim back the territory.’ Therefore, the criticism of both the Israeli claim and the recognition thereof by US President Trump appear unwarranted. In conclusion: the question of whether Israel has validly acquired territorial sovereignty over the Golan remains undecided. However, an argument can be made that such a claim to sovereignty is justified on the basis that in 1967 Israel was fighting a defensive war. In any event, even if Israel cannot claim sovereignty, international law is clear that Israel has a legitimate right to administer the Golan on the basis of its security needs. Syria’s consistently aggressive attitude towards Israel and the growing influence and military presence of Iran and other actors in the region stress the ‘state of necessity’. Dr. de Blois believes that this conclusion is justified under international law as it currently stands and constitutes good legal policy. For more information see: www.thinc.info Legal Status of the Golan Heights Golan Heights, Israel. | Photo: Unsplash June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today ... Israel’s security, its very existence, depends on maintaining sovereignity over the Golan. Sivan - Tammuz 5779

17. 9 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Commentary No other Australian family has made such an ongoing and vital contribution to Australia’s military history as the Lovett family. Twenty one (!) men and women from their family have served in the Australian Armed Forces from World War I to today. In fact, their contribution is unique in the entire commonwealth. And what’s more, they are aboriginal! Their patriarch, James Lovett was an aborigine from South Australia and their mother, Hannah (née McDonald), was from the Gunditjmara nation in Western Victoria. Her family lived at the Lake Condah Mission and after that closed they continued to reside in the area. Alfred, Leonard, Frederick, Edward and Herbert were five brothers who served in WW1. Frederick was in the 4th Light Horse troops in the Middle East and the others were sent to the Western Front. Some participated in such battles as Pozières and Passchendaele. In World War II, four of these brothers re-enlisted but served in Australia due to their age. Their younger brother, Samuel, and several other family members served overseas and in Australia in WWII. Leonard’s daughter, Alice, served with the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force in WWII and his son, also named Leonard Charles, served in the Korean War. His grandson, Mervyn, served in the Vietnam War. Frederick re-enlisted for WWII and served as a cook. His grandson, Sergeant Ricky Morris, is the most recent family member to serve with the army in the International Force in East Timor and in Afghanistan. Edward also served in WWII and his daughter, Sarah Pearl, served in the Australian Women’s Army Service during WWII. Herbert was the youngest of the brothers to enlist in WWI aged 19 at the time. He was in a Machine Gun company and participated in the attack that broke the Hindenburg Line in 1918. He re-enlisted in WWII also serving as a cook. He was an organist and choir master at the Lake Condah church. Most amazing of all, is that every one of the family returned, not only from WW1 but from every war in which they have served! The family is the first family group to be inducted to the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll. The building which houses the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Canberra has been re-named Lovett Tower in honour of their distinguished military contribution. War is a great leveller of people, which is why many aborigines sought to join, despite not being regarded as citizens. They dearly wanted to prove their worth. They were treated equally while in the forces, but when they returned, they were given none of the rewards offered to white soldiers, such as RSL support and land grants. In fact, despite such a remarkable family contribution, when the Lovett’s returned, they found their traditional family land had been taken from them and given to some of the white soldiers they had served beside!! Aborigines, at the beginning of WW1 were not officially allowed to enlist as they were not ‘white’ enough. Some, particularly the paler- skinned ones, slipped in pretending to be of other races, or by the wink and nod from the recruiting officer. Later, as recruits became harder to find, the rules were relaxed. By 1918, the ‘Black Watch’ from Queensland, which was almost entirely aboriginal (at least 26 aborigines), joined the 11th Light Horse Regiment and participated in the battle for the Semakh railway station, at the foot of the Sea of Galilee. One of these was Jack Pollard, whose story was told in the April edition of this newspaper. A ‘Black Watch’ is being resurrected in Queensland and had its inaugural even on Anzac Day 2019 at Gatton. One of those aboriginal horsemen, Jack’s grandson, John Pollard, is the model for the statue, created by Jennifer Marshall, which is to be unveiled in Semakh in September. The 30 cm model is complete and will be 3D printed in Israel to full size and erected on site for the grand opening. About 75% of the necessary funds have been raised for this project, and C4Israel is kindly donating dollar for dollar. Let us all offer a small token of thanks to the over 1,000 indigenous troopers who put their lives on the line in WW1 and give them the honour due to them but denied them at the time. This statue is the first of its kind and a small way we can give the aboriginal soldiers a lasting memory on the soils they fought to liberate. Donations can be made at www.c4israel. com.au/semakh-statue or use the form on the back page of this paper. Lest we forget. ________________________________________________________ Jill Curry is author of ‘The Anzac Call.’ Jill Curry Jewish Prayer Focus coordinator A Unique Contribution...and Why We Should Remember Them ...many aborigines sought to join, despite not being regarded as citizens. They dearly wanted to prove their worth. PHOTOS: (Left) Alfred Lovett with his Family (right) Leonard Lovett. Australian War Memorial. PHOTO: Early Mold/rendition of what the Semakh Statue will look like upon completion.

26. 26 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Rev Henk Poot n Christians for Israel Netherlands We continue our journey along highway 60, the ancient patriarchs’ route to the south. It is still mountainous, but the area is busier. You can tell that we are approaching Ramallah. It is close to the destination of today’s journey, Bethel, which is situated along the border between Ephraim and Benjamin’s territories. We drive through the streets of modern- day Bethel and stop at a broad high round platform. From the top, you get an amazing view of the whole area. To the east is Ofra, another Jewish town. It is not very well-known but is likely to have been the Biblical town of Ephraim, where Jesus was taken after the Sanhedrin, under Caiaphas, sentenced Him to death (John 11:54). Nowadays, Ofra is known for the girls’ high school whose students are active participants in one of our projects: Lev Benjamin. After school activities and vacation, camps are provided here to children with mental disabilities. Ramallah sprawls ahead of us. Behind it, when the weather is clear, we see the contours of Jerusalem, the city of God. It takes us back to Genesis 12, which records that Abraham journeyed south and set up his tents between Bethel and Ai. He built an altar at Bethel and called on the name of the Lord there. That was where he saw Zion for the first time. He had no idea of everything that would take place there, of what the future held for him. There in the distance he also saw mount Moriah, which he would lat er climb with his son. Once we climb back down, we walk out of town along a winding country road until we reach the ruins of what was once a mosque. The mosque was presumably built on the ruins of a church, which in turn was built on the ruins of a synagogue. The reason is soon clear. Next to the rubble, there is a standing ladder, a bronze sculpture silhouetted against the sky. There is nobody around, just as when Jacob was fleeing from Esau and decided to spend a night here. He took a stone for a pillow and dreamed. Next morning he woke up, rubbed sleep from his eyes and stammered, “Beth-El, house of God, the gate of heaven. I had no idea.” He saw angels and heard the voice of God speaking about promises and protection and a way back. When you stand here, you have an urge to look up to heaven and then down to see if you might be able to spot that particular stone. Later, Bethel would become a place of idol worship. The northern tribes turned away from Juda and Jerusalem and built a new sanctuary on the border. The prophet Amos raged against Jeroboam II for the sacrifices he offered here and forbade him from opening his mouth in Bethel. Hosea says, “The calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.” (Hosea 8:6) All of this was long ago. There is nothing left of the calf, and Jeroboam’s national temple has disappeared. What is here is a flourishing Jewish community wanting to serve God in the footsteps of Abraham and Jacob, here at the gate of heaven. The Biblical Heartland 14 Bethel is neighboured by several Arab towns, like Ramallah. | Photo: Flash90 The sanctuary that was built by the northern tribes stood on this plateau. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons The ruins of a mosque, church and presumably a synagogue at the traditional location where Jacob dreamed about the ladder from heaven. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Beit El Jerusalem June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Views from Bethel Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Top Hospital In a worldwide hospital top-ten, the Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv takes tenth place, according to the English magazine Newsweek. The hospital is “a leader in the field of medical science and biotechnical innovations, both in the Middle East and worldwide.”, according to the editorial staff. | Photo: Flash90 The Secret of Sleep For centuries it has been a mystery as to why living creatures actually sleep. Scientists have conducted a lot of research into it. Israeli scientists think they now have the answer. For that purpose, they meticulously examined the nerve cells in transparent, young zebra-fish. And what did they find? Sleep provides rest to nerve cells, rest needed to recuperate the DNA in these cells properly. Computerised Customs Check “Did you pack your luggage yourself?” Everyone who has come to Israel before has heard that question asked. This standard question is still asked today by security guards at the Israeli airport Ben Gurion. But soon a robot will ask that question. Smart machines should reduce the long delays at the airport. Israel is also installing passport gates for foreign travellers with a biometric passport. Nowadays you sometimes have to queue for quite sometime before the passport control. | Photo: Flash90 Smart Road Initiative Israeli company ElectReon has developed a wireless loading technology. This technology can accommodate wireless loading of electric trucks and buses while driving on the road via a copper strip installed under the asphalt. ElectReon recently won a tender in Sweden, and a 1.6-kilometre road will be built using this technique. The road will be built as part of a 4.1-kilometer route between the airport and Visby on the island of Gotland. Short News

10. 2 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Opinion Piece Stan Goodenough Journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide God is Preparing a Table... In the 30 years that this land has been my home, I have never seen Israel as lovely— or as flourishing. Between the Feast of Tabernacles 2018 and Passover 2019, the country experienced an extraordinary outpouring of the former rains and the latter rains, in their season. Early soft showers primed the soil before driving rains sent water root-deep and deeper, healing and restoring after years of parching drought. Snow on Mt Hermon—already three times the norm—was still falling into April, while from the north to the Negev, hail and heavy rain drenched and re-drenched the earth. As spring nudged winter aside, the groups I guided thrilled to see the land bursting into a sumptuous spread for the eyes. From the heartland to the coast, over the plains and up in the heights a tablecloth in luxuriant shades of green was spread out, arms flung wide, shot through with extravagant seas and splashes of wildflower: blood-red corn poppies and turban buttercups; scarlet pimpernels; white and yellow common chamomile; lavender-blue hyacinth; pink Egyptian campion-carpeted almond groves; prickly Syrian thistles; tall lines of swaying, heavy- headed hollyhocks. I’m describing a fraction of the diversity, and to some extent we see this dressing of the land annually, but this year! Israel’s Good Shepherd “Do you know what we are witnessing?” Smiling, I put the question to my Christian visitors then take them to the Psalms. To be correctly understood, the Psalms must first be read knowing who they were written by (Israelites) and whom they were written for (the nation of Israel). Where he speaks in the first person (I, we, us and our) the Psalmist is speaking to and about his nation. Also, the Psalms include many prophetic writings about Messiah and about national Israel. Many of those that speak to the restoration of Israel are being fulfilled before our eyes. “Understanding this,” I say, “and knowing about the pain-filled history of the people whose God calls Himself ‘the Shepherd, let’s read Psalm 23.” This most beloved of the Psalms speaks to Israel’s past, their present and their future. As we travel we see the upsurge of urban progression and development—towns and cities that have suddenly doubled in size; the ultra-modern upgrading of national infrastructure—with superhighways, soaring bridges and high-speed trainlines crisscrossing the land; the large new international airport opening a gateway in the south. This urban mushrooming may not sit as prettily in the landscape as the blossoming outdoors (although Jerusalem’s limestone in its soft shades of white, yellow and pink is very beautiful) but it too tells us that Israel is undergoing enormous growth. “What we are seeing,” I explain to my wide-eyed group, is how God is ‘preparing a table’ for Israel in the presence of all her enemies.” It is the most marvellous thing. As gentile nations weather increasingly severe natural disasters caused by ‘climate change’, an almost unrestricted flow of immigration that is erasing national cultures and identities, plus a growing disconnect from their roots of those built on Judeo-Christian foundations, Israel is experiencing a kind of ‘climate correction’ that speaks volumes about the numerous ways in which its Shepherd is gathering, bestowing blessing, turning His face towards and lifting up His countenance upon the people and the land He is restoring one to the other - and will soon restore fully to Himself. Consider these truths: The LORD is the Shepherd of Israel. (Gen 49:24; Psalm 80:1) and Israel is His flock. He established the everlasting dynasty of David to shepherd this nation (2 Samuel 7:12-16; 1 Chronicles 11:2; Psalm 78:71) and He was moved with compassion when He saw them as shepherdless sheep. (Matthew 9:36). After their Shepherd had been struck, He said, His sheep would be scattered (Mark 14:27). Moses had also foretold this: that the nation would be driven out of its land and scattered “even to the farthest corners under heaven” where they would be hated and persecuted. But he also said that, after this, they would be gathered back physically into their own land and then restored in relationship to the Lord. (Deuteronomy 30:3-5) God did indeed drive them out—not once, but twice—and they went as sheep to the slaughter. But when they, in their captivity, cried out to Him (Psalm 44:11-26), God began to search for, deliver and restore them (Ezekiel 34:11-12). As for us, Gentile believers, we should be heeding and doing what He instructs us to do: “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) Is God being true to His Word? And are we declaring it? Since 1882—with the first wave of aliyah (immigration)—Israel’s Shepherd has been about the business of gathering His sheep. Seventy-one years ago, the nation-state of the Jewish people was reborn. Today, nearly seven million Jews call Israel home. How does this impact Australia? The nations are, in fact, bidden to help set the table. Will we accept, or refuse, this most important of invitations? We say yes! as believers by telling Israel (and the world) what the Lord is doing, and where, by upholding to Israel (and the world) the Lord’s scriptural promises of her national restoration. We say yes! as nations if we stand with Israel; refusing to pressure her into yielding (yet more) land to people hellbent on destroying; by supporting her right to defend herself; by recognizing her sovereign right to her ancestral and covenanted homeland, and by supporting her claim to it. We say yes! by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal and undivided capital and by placing our embassies in this city. And in light of the May 18 election which saw Scott Morrison returned as Australia’s prime minister in what he called a ‘miraculous victory’? I tweeted after the win: “Congratulations Scott Morrison, non- Australians who love Israel rejoice at your victory. You’re positioned to lead your country As the Lord wondrously prepares this banquet table in Israel, for Israel... will Australia say yes! to the invitation..? ...It is in the Land of Israel. It is for the nation of Israel. And it is for the Gentile nations who accept the invitation to help set it.

1. 13 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Judea & Samaria Annexed? 2 Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au & Christians Today ISRAEL AUSTRALIA June 2019 Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Israeli ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon and UN representatives, visit the house of 58-year-old Moshe Agadi, who was killed from shrapnel wounds after his house was hit directly by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on 5 May 2019. | Photo: Flash90 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent in Israel Heavy violence erupted early May between Israel and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad regimes in Gaza. Four Israelis were killed and dozens injured by projectiles fired from Gaza. Those killed included Moshe Agadi, a father of four who died after a rocket slammed into his home in southern Israel early Sunday morning 5 May. During two days of intense conflict, around 25 people were killed in the Gaza Strip, including several Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. This new round in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Islamic regimes in Gaza was part of Iran's ongoing promotion of terror in the region. On 15 May 2019, Palestinian Arabs in Gaza commemorated the so-called Nakba Day, the annual commemoration by Arab countries of what the Palestinian Arabs call Nakba (Disaster), the founding of the State of Israel and the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. During the Nakba commemoration, Hamas and Islamic Jihad again vowed to continue the violent struggle against Israel. The two Gaza-based terror organisations organised a new violent mass-protest along the border with Israel in Gaza and again launched incendiary balloons which caused at least nine fires in southern Israel. The Israeli military foiled a number of infiltration attempts and used riot control measures against the violent protesters wounding 60 of them. Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, vowed to fight Israel until the “liberation of all of Palestine from the (Mediterranean) Sea to the (Jordan) River.” This not merely rhetoric as we will see. One could argue that the Palestinian Arab terror organisations have already been trying to destroy Israel for more than 70 years and that all attempts by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to realise their goals have utterly failed. However, something has changed over the past two years. Since the beginning of the so-called ‘Great March of Return’, the violent Palestinian mass-protests along the Israeli border in March 2018, Hamas and Islamic Jihad attempted eight times to drag the Israel Defense Forces into a new war by launching hundreds of rockets at southern Israel. At the beginning of November 2018, the parties came close t o all-out war when Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired 460 projectiles into southern Israel destroying a complete building in the coastal city of Ashqelon which was levelled by an Iranian missile. The missile was a copy of the Iranian Falaq-2 and was assembled by Islamic Jihad in Gaza. The mini-war began with an attack by a Kornet anti-tank missile on a bus which had transferred a group of IDF soldiers to the Gaza-border. Only one soldier was injured by the missile which had been supplied by Iran via its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Israel. Iran Sponsors New Round of Violence Continued on page 3 ‘Bluetooth’ & Denmark 7 Feast of Shavu’ot 11 Landmark Windmill 13 AUSTRALIA

16. 8 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Commentary from Judea and Samaria Sondra Oster Baras Director of the Israel office of CFOIC Heartland What is an Israeli Settlement? What are Israeli Communities? The Biblical region of Judea and Samaria was given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, forever, 4000 years ago. Today Jews have returned to their ancient homeland in fulfillment of ancient Biblical Prophecies. These Jewish communities, otherwise known as “settlements”, are located in the very heartland of Biblical Israel. Following are frequently asked questions about these communities: Why have Israelis built these communities? Because God Called His People to “Settle the Land”. “I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before.” Ezekiel 36:11 Judea and Samaria is the Biblical name for the center of the Holy Land also called the Mountains of Israel. The media refers to this area as the “West Bank.” The residents of these areas, otherwise referred to as “settlers” are fulfilling prophecy and pointing the way for the rest of the Jewish people back to their roots. What is a Settlement? It is a city, town or village established by brave, Jewish pioneers in the Land of Israel. The early Zionists established kibbutz and moshav settlements in the Galilee and the Negev. Since 1967, settlement activity has focused on the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria. In most cases a settlement community is established on a barren rocky hilltop where no one had lived for thousands of years. In some cases, such as Shiloh, communities are established on the original site of an ancient Jewish city. In others such as Hebron and Gush Etzion, a Jewish community is established on the site of an older community destroyed by Arab armies during or just prior to Israel’s War of Independence. How does a Settlement Get Started? The first communities were established in the 1970’s as small military outposts that were later turned over to families who committed themselves to live and develop the land for security purposes. Others began with a nucleus of families in tents or caravans (mobile homes), laying the foundations for what later became residential communities or cities. The larger urban communities were developed as a result of careful government planning and support. In all cases, the Government of Israel authorized and encouraged the creation of the community, lending assistance for infrastructure and development. With the exception of some of the newest neighborhoods, all communities have built permanent housing and public buildings, including schools and synagogues. Some communities are structured as an agricultural “moshav” where the common work benefits the whole community; others, called “yishuv”, are more like suburban neighborhoods in the USA. All have day care centers to assist working parents. A community can be as small as twenty families or large enough to have a university and industrial park. What does the Bible say? The Biblical region of Judea and Samaria was given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, forever, 4000 years ago. Because of sin, disobedience and lack of belief, most Jews were driven from the land around 70 AD. However, there were always some Jews living in the Land and Jews around the world have prayed to God three times a day, each day, to return His people to Zion. The prophets foretold the ingathering of the exiles and the rebuilding of the Land in the latter days. (Ezekiel 36, Amos 9 to mention a few). In 1948, Israel was reborn as a sovereign nation and in 1967 the “West Bank” was reunited with the rest of the nation in the prophetic, miraculous Six Day War. Although Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria for 19 years and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip during the same period, there was never any attempt to form a Palestinian State at this time. The land remained barren until the Jews returned to cultivate it. This is truly the fulfillment of prophecy. Why does CFOIC support the people of Judea and Samaria? In 1993 and again in 1995, Israel transferred significant territory to the Palestinian Authority, in accordance with the Oslo Accords. Israel entered into this so-called peace process in the hopes that territorial withdrawal would ultimately bring peace and prosperity to an area that has known so much killing and bloodshed. Many political and religious leaders, however, warned that the withdrawals ran counter to God’s plan for the Jewish nation and would only weaken Israel in future confrontations with her enemies. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC Heartland) was established in 1995 in response to the Oslo Process. Christians around the world were deeply troubled by Israel’s major territorial concessions and felt drawn to the people that stood on the forefront of Israel’s territorial battle—the people of Judea and Samaria. CFOIC provided a much- needed vehicle for Christians to become better informed about events in Israel, particularly with regard to the Jewish communities in the heartland of Biblical Israel, to visit these areas and become personally connected to the people living there, and to provide practical support for vital community needs. CFOIC Heartland is not an evangelizing ministry, but rather aims to build bridges of love and mutual respect between Christians and Jews. CFOIC Heartland brings unconditional support to the Jewish communities and partners with the dedicated pioneers of Biblical Israel to fulfill Biblical prophecy. How can Christians help? The Peace Process has failed. Rather than usher in a new era of peace and tranquility, it created conditions that were more conducive than ever before to terror and bloodshed. Throughout, Christians from around the world have stood up for Israel and become valuable friends and supporters of the pioneers of Biblical Israel. Through CFOIC Heartland churches, ministries and individuals have visited the communities and Biblical sites of Judea and Samaria and have linked directly with communities through CFOIC’s unique adopt-a-settlement program. Thousands of individuals have provided financial support for community projects and have made a real difference in the ability of these communities to cope in the face on ongoing terrorism. “For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” Romans 15:27 [Editors Footnote] ________________________________________________________ Sondra Oster Baras , director of the Israel office of CFOIC Heartland, is an Orthodox Jew who has devoted the past 21 years of her life to building relationships with Christians in support of her people and the Land of Israel. In most cases a settlement community is established on a barren rocky hilltop where no one had lived for thousands of years. PHOTO: Ariel, one of the four biggest settlements in the West Bank. Salonmor, Wikipedia

15. 7 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy 4: 9). Some people ask me why I feel the need to go to places like Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland and to Babi Yar in Ukraine where 33,000 Jews were murdered in one day. Why go to specifically hear wretched, horrific memories from those who were Jewish children in Ukraine during the holocaust—stories that still haunt these now elderly folk and ensuing generations of their families? Why follow wintry trails into forests to pause and grieve for the thousands of Jews who were murdered there and still lie awaiting justice? Why do I try to comprehend the ‘how and the why’ of the concerted efforts to eradicate every Jew from planet Earth? Canadian-born Rick Weinecke, a non Jew, explains that he tried to argue with God concerning His prompting to Rick to create the Fountain of Tears, a memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. In his book ‘A Dialogue of Suffering Between the Crucifixion and the Holocaust’ Rick asks: “How did it come about? Where does a prayer begin? Does it happen at the same time the tears start to fall, or has it always been there, waiting for the right time to express itself? How could I create a memorial to the six million who perished when I don’t have a memory of it myself? I thought this was a good argument and convinced myself for a time it was not for me to do. “Suddenly I felt the Lord say to me, ‘But I do...I have a memory of every man, every woman, every child, every train car, every camp, every pit, every cry from every gas chamber. I have a memory of it all. You can create from my memory, not yours’”. Rick’s words continue to deeply move me and serve to answer, in part, my own deepening emotion and response concerning the long and grievous suffering of the Jewish nation. In February/March 2019 I led my eighth tour to Israel, this time beginning in Krakow to visit Auschwitz, Schindler’s Factory and meeting members of the Jewish community in this lovely city. We also enjoyed Jewish coffee establishments and restaurants delighting in their delicious cuisine. I still struggle to grasp what we saw, heard and felt in the camps, in spite of them now being ‘cleaned-up’ sites. How could this wickedness have happened? Surely this was man, created in the image of God, giving permission to act as host to the same demonic spirit that took residence in Pharoah, Haman, Herod, Hitler and right through to today’s Israel-hating regimes. When I was led to begin this tour in Poland, like Rick Weinecke, I began to question whether this was something God was definitely asking me to do. Would others be interested in walking through areas of Poland with me? Would others be drawn to visit Ukraine, this land of unspeakable grief, this land where each town and village has its own Babi Yar? Would others be willing to go to a land which seems that wherever you place your feet, you are walking upon Jewish bones? The Lord spoke into my heart that this was not my tour but His and that He would prepare those He wished to accompany me. Later, as I spoke to each person who had accepted God’s invitation, I found that this is exactly what had occurred. Whilst the journey was sobering, with tears and grief at times, there was superb Jewish/Christian fellowship and love, born out of shared experiences unable to be voiced adequately. It becomes ‘a knowing’ rather than requiring explanation. After Krakow, my group and I flew to Kiev to assist in the Christians for Israel’s loving outreach to impoverished Jewish holocaust survivors, and their families. This was not a journey for the faint-hearted and certainly not a ‘holiday’. Our time in Ukraine was beyond words as we worked with the Christians for Israel’s Aliyah team in their outstanding, servant-hearted work. Some of my group expressed their joy of partaking in the work by teary “thank you for bringing us here” statements. It was a privilege to assist in packing hundreds of food parcels and then delivering them to Jewish folk in far away villages, accessed by atrocious roads damaged by snow and melting ice. We travelled 2000 kms during our time there. The elderly folk we visited, who were children during the holocaust, are still understandably deeply troubled by indelible memories of parents and siblings murdered before their eyes, babies thrown into furnaces and having their own childhoods stolen. They are so delightfully appreciative, especially for the loving visits as well as the food to supplement their meagre pensions which are used mainly for rent, heating and medicines. In addition to the food there is an invitation for passport and practical assistance to make Aliyah from Ukraine to Israel. We visited the Jewish National Fund to hear of their role, in cooperation with Christians for Israel , in assisting Jewish Ukrainians to make Aliyah to Israel. Following our time in Ukraine we flew to Israel for a wonderful two-week tour witnessing the miracle that this nation is, under God’s sovereign hand. We specifically visited some of the Christians for Israel’s projects whilst there. One of the most moving was a visit to First Home in the Homeland run by The Jewish Agency and supported by Christians for Israel . Here the group were able to see the ‘end result’ of the Aliya—from Ukraine to Israel. This is a very special place where Olim are taught Hebrew and assisted to settle into the Israeli community. One of the loveliest moments during the tour was made possible when in Ukraine I presented a superb patchwork quilt made by a fellow member of my local Presbyterian Church in Springwood, NSW. When Frances Spinney heard I was returning to Ukraine she made the quilt, resplendent with Hebrew motifs including hand stitched Stars of David and incorporating Numbers 6:24-26. It was specifically made for a Jewish person or family who was making Aliyah. ________________________________________________________ Judy Russell is an advocate for Christians for Israel Australia. You can contact Judy at judy.russell@iinet.net.au Commentary Judy Russell Christian’s for Israel Advocate and host of popular worldview meetings, Parliament House, Sydney The ‘Horror of Poland’, the ‘Catastrophe of Ukraine’ and the ‘Hope of Israel’ They are so delightfully appreciative, especially for the loving visits as well as the food to supplement their meagre pensions PHOTO: Oksana (left) receiving the beautiful, hand-made, patchwork quilt. She flew to Israel the next day.

27. 27 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Steven Khoury n President, Executive Director | Holy Land Missions The book of Acts offers us a pattern of how the church originally lived and worshipped together in a tightly knit unit. “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people” (Acts 2:44;46) . At First Baptist Church, we hold fast to this Biblical truth, knowing that fellowship and community is vital to our spiritual growth and maturity. That is why our Family Camps are so important to us. For the past decade or so, we have set aside a weekend every summer for families from our congregations all over the country to come together like the Believers we read about in Acts 2. Every year, approximately 300 fathers, mothers, sons and daughters from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho and so forth join us on these retreats. It is a time for brothers and sisters in the Lord to fellowship, to share the truth and love of Jesus that we have in common, to break bread, eat and relax together, and to join our voices in worshipping God as one. Stepping Outside the Stress and Struggles “For us, the conference is a special treat, something so out of the ordinary,” Nareman, one of the participants, shares. “We are not used to taking many trips or going somewhere on social outings. So when we do, it is a time we treasure, a time that God uses to speak to our hearts.” Life for Christians in Bethlehem is often not easy. The conferences, Nareman explains, allows her family to step outside the stresses and struggles of daily life to focus solely on worshipping and loving God. “You get to leave all that behind. For three days, it is just about your family and God. We can learn, pray and worship without anything distracting us. And God has used that time so wonderfully to draw me closer to His heart.” Thanks to the Family Camp, Nareman, her husband and their children enjoy a richer, fuller relationship with God. But spiritual growth is not the only way in which her family has benefited, Nareman explains. “All the families attending First Baptist Church here know one another. Over the years, we have become friends. But it was only once we attended the first Family Camp that I really had the opportunity to connect deeply and profoundly with my brothers and sisters. Nareman and her family’s testimony is in no way uncommon. Time and time again we have witnessed God’s anointing to grow, knit together and refresh families during these times of community with other Believers. We want all the families in our flock to be part of the Family Camp – regardless of their financial ability. With your help, Nareman and her family, as well as other families will be able to enjoy Family Camp with us! Christians for Israel has been supporting the First Baptist Church for many years. Our goal is to raise US $15,000 this year to support their Family Camp. You can donate by completing the coupon on the back page. June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Our Projects 15 Making Charity Happen in Samaria Anat Zafrir in front of the Barkan Senior Citizens Center, a project of the Samaria Family Assistance Programme, funded by Christians for Israel. Time of Relief and Fellowship Sondra Oster Baras n Director | CFOIC Heartland Energetic, amazingly warm and spirited are words that best describe Anat Safrir, a one-of-a-kind charity powerhouse in Samaria. Born and raised in Even Yehuda, near the coastal city of Netanya, Anat comes from a farming family where she learned the importance of helping others, as they would consistently apportion their surplus produce to the hungry. Anat and her husband Ilan moved to the Samaria community of Barkan in 1994, and for more than a decade, Anat has been working in the social services department of the Samaria Regional Council, responsible for special humanitarian projects. Over the past seventeen years, Anat has felt blessed to have been involved in so much charity work for so many families in need. Strengthening individual families who live in Samaria is critical to providing a solid foundation for community living and expansion. More than 100,000 Jews are living in Samaria today, spread out over 30 small communities and several larger towns, covering a large area in the heart of Israel. The small communities come under the umbrella of the Samaria Regional Council, and its social services department. Sadly, about a third of the families in the Samaria Regional Council’s jurisdiction live below the poverty line. Hundreds of families experience economic difficulties, and many of them require food staples just to maintain a basic standard of living. For years, the social services department has worked tirelessly to provide families in need with the basics, restoring their self-worth and sense of dignity. As the social workers interact with both community leaders and individual families, they can assess the needs. Government funding will help provide programmes and subsistence funds to those with the greatest need, while the social workers work with the families to teach them financial management skills and help them find employment. But often, a family needs the most basic help – food and clothing. The Samaria Family Assistance Programme was developed to provide food packages to needy families even as they receive counselling and employment assistance to help them step out of poverty. And Christians for Israel, through CFOIC Heartland, has been involved with this programme since its inception: “CFOIC Heartland does exceptional work assisting us in providing needy families with food regularly. It’s okay not to have the newest clothes or sneakers on the block, but food is a necessity. This is what I was born to do. This gives me a sense of purpose,” Anat explains. Christians for Israel has always been generous in providing funds in difficult situations – a family in need because the main breadwinner has been murdered by terrorists, or because he or she has suddenly lost a job. A mother who is diagnosed with cancer or a father who is suffering from mental illness. These are the people whom Christians for Israel has helped over the years. This is a partners hip that the people of Samaria can count on – a partnership that continues to provide food for the needy families of Samaria. Support the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria through CFOIC. You can donate by completing the coupon on the back page. Anat and her volunteers pack hundreds of food parcels for needy families, thanks to Christians for Israel.

18. 10 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Dr Ron Weiser AM Hon Life Pres of the Zionist Council of NSW Mazal tov to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who pulled off the completely unexpected and will lead a majority government! Noteworthy when it comes to Australian foreign policy vis a vis Israel, is that it means that we can expect continuity of Australia’s increased pro-Israel voting pattern at the United Nations and we will not see as Labor threatened, a reversal of Australia’s recognition of Jerusalem, albeit West Jerusalem, as Israel’s capital. It also means the Labor’s policy of unilateral recognition of Palestine, recommended to but non-binding on its parliamentary body, will not come into being in the near future. One of the ongoing quirks of Jews and Australian politics is that Melbourne Jewry largely live in a safe Labor seat whilst Sydney Jews are concentrated in a once again safe Liberal seat. As a large national survey of over 8,000 Australian Jews in 2017 showed, the Jewish community in both cities regard themselves overwhelmingly as ‘Zionist’ and what almost defies explanation is that young Jews between the ages of 18 to 29 defined themselves as ‘Zionist’ in greater percentages than all older age groups. This goes against trends in most if not all diaspora communities, not the least important of which is the USA. Since the establishment of the State of Israel and in the absence of a constitution, the Israeli Declaration of Independence ( DOI ) of the 14th of May 1948 has become THE single document that underpins Zionism. In essence the practical part of the declaration comes in 3 parts. It “declares the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael to be known as the State of Israel.” This very clearly and unambiguously says that the State of Israel is to be a Jewish State. Then it goes on to say that “the State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles”. Also an unambiguous statement. And then and only then the DOI says how the Jewish State will operate: “it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” These three elements of the DOI when combined together present no dilemma for traditional Zionists. The concept of a Jewish State with equal rights for all her citizens is moral, logical and without internal contradiction. There is much discussion about what exactly a ‘Jewish State’ means, but not whether Israel is a Jewish State— certainly not amongst the vast majority of Israelis and self- identifying Zionists living in the diaspora. Of late however a small element of Australian Jewry and especially larger percentages of American Jewry, are describing these passages from the DOI as contradictory. When nationalism is derided and universalistic views are superimposed on the State of Israel, Jewish self-determination seems to these people to be something less than ideal, especially if it is misunderstood by them to come at the expense of others. This conceptual tension was increased by the passage of the Jewish Nation State Bill by the Netanyahu government in 2018. Within Israel the debate about this Bill was essentially about the following—whether or not it was redundant, why it failed to include a statement about equal rights for all and particularly why it omitted recognition of those fiercely committed to the Jewish State, such as the Druze community? The equal rights debate centred on whether already having been included in the 1948 DOI and within an earlier Bill passed in 1992, it was or was not necessary to include it again. To remind ourselves this 1992 bill was called ‘Basic Law—Human Dignity and Liberty’. In clause 1A it states: “The purpose of this Basic Law is to protect human dignity and liberty, in order to establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State ”. Whilst there was valid debate about whether the equality statement needed to be included in 2018 or not, what was again not a point of contention in Israel, was that if a Nation State Bill was to be presented, it say clearly that Israel is and can only be the Nation State of one people —the Jewish people. In essence that means that only the Jewish people will express their national—not individual—but national aspirations, within the State of Israel. It is so non-controversial in Israel that people across the spectrum including of course self-described secular leftists, not only believe this concept to be moral and legitimate, but clearly state and understand it to be a basic underpinning of Zionism. In 2018 Tzippi Livni, no right winger, said; “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. At the same time, equality is a Jewish and democratic value and being a Jewish state with equal rights to all the citizens means that the Israeli Arabs have equal rights as citizens, although their national aspirations will not be fulfilled in Israel” Where the drift occurs, when it does, between Israeli leftists and diaspora leftists it is precisely over this national concept. This is exacerbated by a misreading of Israel’s democratic system. Just as Australia’s system of democracy has its own peculiarities, Israel’s has too. With only a one house Knesset, there is a different and more complicated relationship with the High Court which acts as a judicial body, but also in some ways as a house of review for parliamentary legislation. No, Israel’s democracy is not in danger nor are the moral underpinnings of the State— one just needs context and the right lens. Our task whilst discussing these issues, is to have those outside of Israel understand as Israelis do, just what makes Israel unique and why the moral clarity of the DOI continues to shine through. ________________________________________________________ Dr Ron Weiser AM is a Life Member of the ZFA Executive, Past President of the ZFA and Hon Life Pres of the Zionist Council of NSW. There is much discussion about what exactly a ‘Jewish State’ means, but not whether Israel is a Jewish State An Ongoing Quirk amongst Jews and Australian Politics Opinion Piece PHOTO: taken at a peace rally for Israel in Brisbane with Jewish and Christian Zionists

8. 20 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Interview 8 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel International Steven Khoury felt pain in the back of his neck. He reached with his hand to touch the spot. Maybe just an insect. Then he turned around. That is when he saw them. Several men, armed with knives and heavy weapons, were approaching. “Filthy Jew-lover”, they snarled — “Traitor”. One of the men struck Khoury. He fell to the ground. They kicked him and beat him repeatedly. Finally, he was left alone. “Strangely”, recalls Khoury, “at that moment I felt God’s presence like never before. I realised God is a God of love. As I lay there, bleeding and in agony, a wave of peace came over me. I knew, deep inside, that God loved me, and that He will never leave me. I understood what it meant to be in covenant relationship with Him. I realised that when God promises to look after us, to provide for us and protect us, He says what He means, and He means what He says”. The Whole Bible Steven Khoury is the son of pastor Naim Khoury, a Palestinian Christian pastor in Bethlehem. Over forty years ago, pastor Naim and his young wife Elvira came to a living faith in the Lord. Naim started to preach the gospel, and together with his wife and young family, they reached out in love to their Muslim Palestinian neighbours. They became well-known in Bethlehem. There was only one problem. Naim taught from the whole Bible – both Old and New Testaments. He preached that God is faithful to His covenants with the Jewish people and that God is bringing the Jewish people back to the land as He had promised in the prophets of the Old Testament. He taught them that Jesus was a Jew. He spoke about the Kingdom of God and God’s purposes with the Jewish people, and he encouraged them to look for the return of Jesus. That is when the attacks started. Molotov cocktails. Naim’s brother was murdered on the Mount of Olives. The church in Bethlehem was bombed. Death threats became a reality of daily life. Steven grew up knowing that his father pays an enormous price for following Jesus and loving the Jewish people. Gradually, Steven came to realise that he, too, has a calling to demonstrate and express Jesus’ love, forgiveness and grace, and his faithfulness to the Jewish people, to the Palestinian people. Step by step, Steven came to realise that it is because of God’s faithfulness towards his People, that we Gentiles can know God as a faithful God. “I can claim the promise in Genesis 12:15-17 as m y own because I know God is faithful to His promises to Abraham, Isaac and J acob. If I can’t trust God’s continuing faithfulness towards the Jewish people, why should I trust Him to be faithful to me?” An Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn At the same time as Steven Khoury was discovering his vocation in Bethlehem, a young Jewish man in Brooklyn got an unexpected phone call that would change his life forever. David Nekrutman – a descendant of Jewish refugees who fled the pogroms in Minsk (present-day Belarus) to New York in the 1800s - was working at the Israeli consulate in New York. One Friday morning, his boss, the Deputy Consul General of Israel in New York, called David from Jerusalem. “I have to stay here for an emergency. Can you attend a meeting in a Spanish-speaking church in New York tomorrow? It is walking distance from your home so that you won’t violate the Sabbath.” David had never been in a church. The only thing he knew was that Christians hate Jews and that they persecuted his people for centuries for being “Christ- killers”. He called his Rabbi. “Rabbi, what should I do? Can I enter this church?” The Rabbi replied: “We are in a war. In times of war, you do what your commander tells you to do. You need to speak in that church”. And so, David attended the meeting, and for the first time discovered that there are Christians who love the Jewish people. The next thing he knew, he was appointed by the Consulate to look after relations with the Christian world. Several years later, David made Aliyah to Israel. Soon after, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin called him. “It is time for us Orthodox Jews to reach out to Christian Zionists”, explained Riskin, who himself had left America to become the Chief Rabbi of Efrat. And so the Centre for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) was born in 2008. David became the Executive Director, a function he still fulfils. Jews and Arabs – United in Covenant Ten years ago in Jerusalem, David invited Steven to accompany him to a meeting in the USA. A friendship was born. Today, David Nekrutman considers Steven Khoury, his best friend. “I love Steven as a brother. Who could have imagined, in his wildest dreams, that an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn would one day become best friends with a Palestinian Arab Christian from Bethlehem? God works in mysterious ways!” Nekrutman and Khoury are working closely together on many projects. CJCUC supports the Khoury’s ministry, which has grown into the largest, fastest-growing Christian Arab evangelical ministry in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Together, David and Steven travel the world to tell Christians and Jews about how God is bringing Jews and Palestinians together, in a bond of love. Nekrutman: “With a covenant land, comes covenant responsibility. We Jews have an obligation to help the non-Jews in the land. God called us, and brought us back to the land, in order to be a blessing to others. But it goes deeper than that. Steven Khoury has inspired me to be a better Jew. His willingness to sacrifice his own life has changed my life. I realise that together, we are fulfilling God’s divine mission to establish the Kingdom of heaven so that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Christians for Israel is proud to support the First Bethlehem Church and Holy Land Mission. Read the article on page 15. David Nekrutman Jews and Arabs Together - Hope for the Future Steven Khoury Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Israel’s Story in Maps Map 4 | Israel in the Middle East n An isolated democracy in a sea of totalitarian states Israel lies on the eastern Mediterranean Basin, and borders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. There are 22 Arab countries surrounding Israel. In other words, there are 22 dictatorships or unstable regimes in the region and just one Jewish democratic state. Israel upholds democratic values, providing equal rights to Arabs and Jews, men and women. There are over 500 million Muslims and 7 million Jews living in this region. The Arab world is 500 times larger than the State of Israel. Map 5 | The British Mandate in Palestine n Current-day Israel is only a quarter of the size of the original territory of Palestine that was intended to become a Jewish homeland. 1917: The Balfour Declaration announces the support of Great Britain for the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish People in the territory known as ‘Palestine’. 1920-22: At the San Remo Conference in April 1920, in order to implement the Balfour Declaration, the Principal Allied Powers decided to create Mandates in the territories of the defeated Turkish empire. In 1922 the League of Nations appointed Great Britain as Mandatory of the Mandate for Palestine. Following Arab riots in 1920-22, British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill published the White Paper in 1922, dividing Palestine into east and west and retreating from the goal of creating a Jewish homeland in all of Palestine. 1923: The League of Nations approves the division of ‘Palestine’ into two parts: 76% east of the Jordan River renamed Transjordan and given to Emir Abdullah, and 24% west of the Jordan River designated for the Jewish homeland. Mediterranean Sea Syria (French Mandate) Iraq Eretz Israel British Mandate Palestine Egypt Transjordan Saudi Arabia Area separated and closed to Jewish settlement, 1921 Area ceded to Syria, 1923 Area remaining for Jewish National Home

13. 5 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Commentary Ron Ross Author and Middle East correspondent and commentator Tisha B’Av – The Saddest Day The deadly attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue sent shock waves around the world. USA Today published an article: “Rising anti-Semitic hatred is changing Jewish life across the United States.” The story came immediately after the terror attack at Chabad Synagogue near San Diego. This event came a mere six months after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life, Pittsburgh. A CNN survey conducted across Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden highlights active anti-Semitism in Europe. Forty percent said Jews were at risk of racist violence in their countries. The Anti-Defamation League reported 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, the highest since 1979. In her diary Ann Frank wrote: “If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.” Her words lead us to two very important dates on the Jewish calendar—17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av. (July 11 to August 10/11) Significantly they represent the anniversary dates for the destruction of the First and Second Temples. The three weeks between these two days is known as ‘within the straits,’ (Hebrew ‘bein hametzarim’) from Lamentations 1 : 3 “All her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits.” The Hebrew for ‘straits’ (bein hametzarim) contains the word tzar which means ‘narrow’ but also means ‘anguish’ or ‘distress.’ For three weeks the hazardous years of exile, persecution and anguish is recalled. Joy is suppressed – no weddings are held, no music is played. Haircuts or shaving are both discouraged. Christians can consider Jesus and Isaiah 53 – ‘a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.’ He relates to this season. This time of reflection is of great significance for a people who have prospered despite the hate. As the people sink into sorrow, a bible verse comes to mind: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40). “Within the Straits” begins on the 17 of Tammuz a minor fast with a major history. On this day five events are specifically remembered. • Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai, in response to the sin of the Golden Calf. • The priests in the First Temple stopped offering the daily sacrifice because Jerusalem was under siege and they ran out of sheep. • The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in the Second Temple period. • A Roman general, Apostomos, burned a Torah scroll. In like manner others have burnt Jewish books though the centuries. • An idol was erected in the Temple by the Romans, a wicked act of blasphemy. Three weeks later Tisha B’Av, (the ninth day of the Jewish month Av), the fasting and grieving is intensified. On the Gregorian calendar Tisha B’Av begins sunset August 10, through sunset 11th. (Note the Jewish day goes from sunset to sunset). Many tragic events occurred on Tisha B’Av: • The sin of the spies caused Hashem to decree that the Children of Israel who left Egypt would not be permitted to enter the land of Israel. • The first Temple was destroyed. • The second Temple was destroyed. • Betar, the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135, fell, sealing the fate of the Jewish people. • In 1492, King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree, setting Tisha B’Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed to walk on Spanish soil. • World War I—which began the downward slide to the Holocaust— began on Tisha B’av. This poem speaks of the emotion. ‘We sit forlornly on the ground, lamenting, yet we do not mourn alone. God clothes the skies with darkness and covers them with sack, He clouds the light of sun and moon, and dims the twinkling stars. He rends His purple robes and walks barefoot, sits lone and silent as He weeps and asks again, “Where are you?”’ This day is remembered as the saddest day. Those who suffered and died are remembered and honoured. In the words of a Jewish prayer: “As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now, a part of us; as we remember them.” Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks MBE wrote: “Jews survived all the defeats, expulsions, persecutions and pogroms, the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people, even the Holocaust itself, because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.” Paul exhorts us to ‘weep with those who weep.’ (Romans 2:15). This can be a sensitive time of connection and understanding between Jews and Christians. The sanctity of the Temple featured prominently in the lives of Jesus and His disciples. The Apostle Luke tells the story of Jesus as a 12 year old boy sharing with the teachers in the Temple. Those men were amazed at his wisdom and understanding. (Luke 2: 41-52) Another disciple Matthew told of Jesus defending the sanctified nature of the Temple. He drove money-lenders and merchants from the Temple calling it His house, a house of prayer, and charging that it had become ‘a den of robbers.’ His beloved disciple John wrote about Jesus talking with a widow. “Salvation is from the Jews,” He told her. He also said the day would come when the Father would be worshipped in Spirit and Truth. (John 4:20-24) The Jewish sage Jeremiah wrote prophetic words. “Look, the days are coming,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” (Jeremiah 31: 31) A few days after Tisha B’Av comes Tu B’Av, a very interesting celebration. It does not appear in the Torah but was established during the Second Temple period. It is a time of great joy, laughter and dancing. Scribes says it is like an ancient Valentine’s Day. I read an interesting analysis. The author called it ‘the festival of future redemption.’ (Tu B’Av – the 15th of Av: Love and Rebirth. Chabad.org) Remember this “There is a time for everything....a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time for mourning, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4) ‘Within the straits’ is a narrow season. Consider Psalm 30:11 “You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” Remind our Jewish friends love conquers all. _______________________________________ 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 Those who suffered and died are remembered and honoured. Memorials for victims outside the synagogue. Wikipedia.

20. 12 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Peter Kentley President of Beersheba Vision Inc. and Facilitator of the Isaiah 967 group. On Israel’s Independence Day Tuesday 14 May 2019 over 220 friends of Israel gathered to honour Israel and bless the Jewish people. The leadership team for the event was represented by Rabbi Yitzhok Isaac Riesenberg and Peter Kentley. Nations bless Israel started in New Zealand and is now going global. The background to the organisation is found on their web site at: www.nationsblessisrael The purpose of NBI is to bless Israel by honouring the special covenant that God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis – Bereishis 12:3 NIV.) During the evening eight Christian organisations shared how they bring blessing to the land of Israel and the Jewish people. These efforts include assisting hundreds of thousands of Jews to make Aliyah and sending volunteers to help harvest grapes and olives in Israel, which provide financial and volunteer assistance to Jewish communities, build bridges whereby Christians and Jews work side by side for a better understanding and a more secure Israel. This gathering demonstrated Christians of all denominations and backgrounds being united in their love for the Jewish people, in their support for the nation of Israel and in their collective repentance because of Jewish suffering throughout Church history. During the gathering there were appreciative responses from the Australia, Israel and Jewish Affairs Council , the Zionist Federation of Australia and the Central Community Centre. Over supper there was a six-minute video of the Centenary Celebrations of the 31 October Anzac Charge at Beersheba with the Prime Ministers of Israel and Australia present. This famous charge at the same hour as the signing of the Balfour agreement enabled the re-formation of the modern State of Israel on 14 May 1948. Here is a link to the video on YouTube: www.tinyurl.com/y2j4k8rp And so, it was such a fitting time to bring Australian Jews and Christians together on this 71st anniversary to stand together in blessing Israel and the Jewish people. Names and websites of participating organisations: • Australia, Israel and Jewish Affairs Council www.aijac.org.au • Beersheba Vision inc* www.airborne.org/BV.php • Bridges for Peace* bridgesforpeace.com/home-australia • Central Community Centre www.centralshule.com.au • Christian Friends of Israeli Communities* www.cfoic.com • Christians for Israel Australia* www.c4israel.com.au • Ebenezer Operation Exodus* www.eoeaspac.org/australia • HAYOVEL* www.hayovel.com • International Christian Embassy Jerusalem* www.icej.org.au • Kingdom Builders* www.kingdombuilders.com.au • Nations Bless Israel International* www.nationsblessisrael.website • Zionist Federation of Australia www.zfa.com.au *Christian organisations supporting Israel. Here are some of the event feedback comments from Jewish attendees: ‘Amazing feedback about last night’s function. The passion of the speakers for Israel was quite inspirational.’ ‘What has come through from the Jewish people who were there was your genuine love and commitment to Israel.’ ‘Exceptional night, a real outpouring of love and blessings by the Christian Zionists who do amazing mitzvos for the Jewish people and Israel. I never knew that they help hundreds of thousands of Jews to make Aliyah and volunteer in Samaria to till the fields for orthodox Jews, and much, much more. Thank you!’ ‘Such a beautiful and warm event, I LOVED IT. Bless them all.’ Nations Bless Israel Report Judeo-Christian Relations L to R: Peter Kentley, Matthew Thorn, Philip Goldman, Rabbi Riesenberg, John Lockwood, Marion Sully, Deon van Baalen, Alex Goodman, Jill Curry, Enoch Lavender, Philip Heilbrunn, Colin Rubenstein and Ron Finkel. Christians and Jews meeting in the Shul (Top) and over supper afterwards (Bottom) Bill Rizopoulos from the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) reading out the letter of greeting from the Israeli Ambassador to Australia.

4. 16 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 News 4 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Ruben Ridderhof n Christians for Israel Netherlands “The will be no peace if we don’t understand Arab culture.” Dr Mordechai Kedar is an orthodox Jew who speaks fluent Arabic and reads the Qur’an better than many Muslims. Arabic media such as Al Jazeera often invite him to speak, and when he does so, he passionately defends the Jewish state. “Arabs are amazed by Israel; they want to understand how Israel has become such a success in the Middle East”. How is it that, as an Israeli Jew, you are so fascinated by the Arab culture? “I had a wonderful teacher in high school who taught Arabic. It was through his classes that I fell in love with the Arabic language. We learned to read and write the language, and we read everything in Arabic from the Qur’an to the Arab newspapers of that time. My knowledge of Arabic was very useful during my military service. I worked in military intelligence for 25 years, specialising in Islamic groups. At a certain moment, I really needed a sabbatical. So I started intensively studying Arab culture and mentality. I ended up becoming a researcher in the field of Arabic studies at the Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan.” Do you think knowledge of Arab culture is necessary in order to understand the Middle East? “Absolutely! In fact, I think that most of the problems in the Middle East today are the result of the actions over the last 100 years by Western powers who did not understand and therefore did not take into account the Arab way of thinking. A good example was in 2011. It was called ‘the Arab Spring’. The most respected Middle East commentators in the West looked at the images from Tahrir Square in Cairo and celebrated: democracy is coming in the Middle East! But it was not to be. Look, people in the West have always known democracy. If they see a dictatorship fall, they automatically think it will be replaced by democracy. Naturally, because the West thinks within its own experiential paradigm, and imposes that on the rest of the world. They think that Israeli’s and Palestinians will end up sitting around the campfire singing kumbaya. But that is not the way it works here.” What do you think we in the West need to understand about Arab culture? “First of all, we need to understand that tribal and ethnic background are much more important than we often realise. Take the former Yugoslavia. Since Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s, seven states, each with a different ethnic background, have been living alongside each other more or less in peace. The Soviet Union also disintegrated after 70 years of existence into separate republics that were established along ethnic lines. However hard we try, ethnicity is alive and kicking! And you can see that in the Middle East. After the First World War, the Western allied powers drew lines in the sand and installed foreign dictators. The Arab Spring was nothing other than the response of ethnic, tribal and family groups to that situation.” So the Arab States have no legitimacy? “The Arab world basically comprises a system of foreign dictators ruling various clans, tribes and families. Take Iraq. We have heard a lot in recent years about the different groups in that country: Kurds, Yezidis, and Arabs, comprising different religions – especially Christians, Shi-ite and Sunni Muslims who do not feel united under one flag. In order to survive in the desert, you are dependent on others. That’s why family and tribal identity are so important in the Middle East. Loyalty to the family and tribe is more important than anything else. An Arab will hide a murderer from the authorities if he belongs to the same tribe; that is the obligation to look after a fellow member of the tribe. A while ago a talent show was broadcast in the Middle East. There were candidates from many different countries. The winner was a young Syrian boy. When the votes of the viewers were analysed, it was discovered that his supporters were located not only in Syria but also in Iraq and Jordan. This boy was a member of a large tribe, and it was loyalty to the tribe that determined the votes.” What is the role of Islam in the Middle East? “Ah! Islam is an attempt to unite many different tribes under one flag. The religion of Islam strives to create the umma, which is the global body of Muslims. But there was resistance to this, even in Mohammed’s time. Islam managed finally, through massive use of violence, to conquer many tribes into submission. But the reality is that Islam has never really been able to destroy ethnic and tribal loyalties. That’s why the umma has never been established, and the Islamic world remains deeply divided. That’s why you see so many Muslims killing each other. Ethnicity is not only alive and kicking; it is alive and killing!” How does that work amongst the Palestinians? “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. Arabs have also never used this word. This area was known as ash-Shām and comprised the area of what today is Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the so-called ‘Palestinian territories.’ If you open a telephone book in the Palestinian territories, you will find names like Al-Iraqi, Al-Masri and Al-Houran, which you will also find in Iraq, Egypt and Houran, a region in Syria. The Palestinian territories are populated by a melting pot of different ethnic groups, tribes, religions, and families. They are all supposedly represented by the Palestinian Authority. But the PA was created by Israel and the USA. No-one in the Palestinian territories feels the slightest loyalty towards the PA, because it is a violent and corrupt dictatorship.” This means there is no negotiating partner for Israel if the Palestinian people do not support their own leaders? “That’s right, at least not in the form of the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians see the PA as a political dictatorship created by Israel to keep them under control. And they are right. In the Oslo Accords, it was stupid Israelis who agreed to create a terror organisation, led by the mother of all terrorists Yasser Arafat, to lead the Palestinians. Finding a solution for the conflict means finding a solution to that terrible mistake”. Can you envisage a solution to this conflict? “I genuinely believe that a solution can be found. It will take common sense and a long- term strategy. I advocate dismantling the PA, and establishing some form of Palestinian emirates. The only system of government that works in the Middle East is a system which takes account of the loyalty of tribes and families. That is the situation in the Gulf States, which enjoy remarkable peace and prosperity. A solution for the Palestinian territories should be based on that model. The biggest families in the Palestinian territories live in the largest cities. You could create eight city-states governed by these families, with extra space around the cities for growth and agriculture. I’m thinking of Hebron, Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Gaza – which is in fact already such a city-state. Bethlehem is more complicated, that would need more thought.” Gaza? Isn’t that a recipe for eight terror states, like Gaza today? “As I said, this needs a long-term vision. You cannot solve this problem from one day to the next. Israel is used to living next to hostile nations. We have had huge conflicts with Egypt and Jordan, but we managed to conclude peace treaties with both of them. In this region, you need to maintain a degree of deterrence. As long as your neighbour thinks you can do something nasty to him, he will keep his distance, and you can even live in peace with him. That’s the situation we now find ourselves in with respect to Gaza.” And what about the rest of the ‘West Bank’? “My proposal is that Israel annexes the territory between the eight city-states. That would also solve the problem of the settlements. We should offer Israeli citizenship to the Palestinian residents in the smaller towns, if they want it. I think most of them will immediately accept that. I believe in this plan, as the path to peace in the Middle East. It is the most realistic solution for the long term. If it is implemented, it will take years to establish real peace. But peace will come, provided the Palestinians are prepared to focus on improving their situation and building their future, instead of fighting against Israel”. Plea for an Eight-State Solution Dr Mordechai Kedar. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons “When people in the West see a dictatorship fall, they automatically think it will be replaced by democracy .” Sivan - Tammuz 5779

22. 22 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Theology 10 Book Review By Kees de Vreugd If you would ask a random Christian to summarise the Biblical message in one sentence, the answer would probably be along these lines: God sent His Son to save a world lost in sin. The story of the Bible as kept in the collective Christian mind is that of creation, fall, and salvation through Christ. In that summary, Israel does not appear, and yet the history of God’s relationship with Israel covers at least two-thirds of the Bible. You could call this the narrative of much of classic and modern theology. In his book Learning Messiah, Edjan Westerman, a retired minister in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, exposes that pattern as structurally supersessionist. There is no real place for Israel in the narrative. Does the Christian message necessarily imply the ultimate superfluity of Israel? If so, then the unity of God, and His faithfulness to His promises, appear to have no lasting meaning. Consequently, there needs to be an alternative to the traditional narrative, an alternative that reads the two-part canon in one continuous story. That is what Westerman proposes; a ‘canonical narrative’ covering the entire canon of both Old and New Testaments. In a sense, he is retelling the story of the Bible, thus proving the pivotal role Israel has in salvation history, from creation to redemption. Key to this canonical narrative is the priestly calling of Israel. From that calling, we can also understand the relationship between Israel and other nations prior to the appearance of the Messiah, and following His coming. Moreover, we discover the profound unity between the Messiah and Israel. The calling of Israel in the midst of the nations has an abiding character. The nations will receive blessing through Israel. When we, as believers from the nations, recognise this abiding calling of Israel, we also recognise that we want to receive blessing through Israel. Thus we acknowledge also that Israel has a different calling from the nations. In the Messiah, there is unity, but it remains a unity in diversity of Israel and the nations. Learning Messiah can be ordered from the Christians for Israel webshop. Edjan Westerman, Learning Messiah. Israel and t he Nations: Learning to Read God’s Way Anew. Wipf & Stock 2018. ISBN: 978-1-5326-5425-1 (paperback); 978-1-5326- 5426-8 (hardcover); 978-1-5326-5427-5 (Ebook). Learning Messiah: Israel and the Nations: Learning to Read God’s Way Anew by Edjan Westerman June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church In this article, we continue our discussion of the ‘Twelve Theses of Faith on Israel’ published by Christians for Israel. Thesis 8: We believe that the restoration of the Jewish people to the Promised Land of Israel is the beginning of ultimate redemption. We believe that the nations carry a responsibility to help the Jews return. Elaboration: We behold and believe that the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land of Israel, and the establishment of the State of Israel is a sign of God’s faithfulness to the everlasting promises and Covenants that He made with Israel and the Jewish people. Together with Israel, we will thank, worship and praise the LORD for the beginning of redemption and the fulfilment of Biblical prophecies leading to the ultimate redemption. Clarification: After the establishment of the State of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate added a prayer for the State to the liturgy of the Shabbat morning service. In carefully formulated words, the Eternal One is given thanks for Medinat Yisrael (the State of Israel) as the ‘beginning of the blossoming of our redemption’. Some parts of Orthodox Jewry have their reservations, though. Some are convinced that the nation of Israel can only live in peace in the land of Israel, in the Promised Land, if and when the promised Messiah has come. Admittedly, the present State of Israel is a secular state that is not perfect, where mistakes are made and will be made, against the expressed will of the Eternal One. Therefore, it is not our duty as Christians and churches to always endorse and applaud without criticism the policies of the Israeli government. Despite this, on the basis of God’s promises, we as Christians and churches should back, and will unequivocally back the right of the State of Israel to exist, and therefore reject all kinds of vicious boycott actions and attempts of the enemies of Israel to get rid of this Jewish State in the Middle East. Israel is and must be a safe haven for the so often persecuted and dispersed Jewish people, God’s people. For many of the Jewish people, the existence of Israel and living in the Promised Land is an expression of their Jewish identity. Edward Mwesigwa n Baligonzaki Christians for Israel Uganda Comment: The restoration of the Jewish people to the Promised Land of Israel is the beginning of ultimate redemption. Consequently, the nations have a God- given responsibility to help the Jews return to Israel. God’s heart is for Israel, and the eyes of the world should also be for Israel. However, ever since God’s promise to Abraham there has been a diabolical plot to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Whether it was the plot of Haman, as written in the Bible 2,500 years ago, or the plot by Hamas for the past 25 years, Israel has continually been in the crosshairs of the enemy’s attack (and those enemy’s attacks are both natural as well as spiritual). God’s unchanging heart for Israel is not based on their worthiness but rather on his irrevocable, unconditional, unilateral everlasting covenant with Israel. God, refers to Israel as his firstborn son, my people, and the apple of his eyes (among other expressions of God’s love towards Israel). God’s commitmen t to Israel is something so fundamental that it should never be taken lightly. So, the issues of Israel whether big or small, physical or spiritual are issues of God’s dealing and glory! The re-gathering of Jewish people to Israel and God’s promises of their future spiritual restoration to God, have nothing to do with whether they deserve it - as a matter of fact, the Bible says they don’t. Rather it has everything to do with the mercy of God who will ensure that his holy name will be vindicated among nations. If we as Christians, churches and as nations wish to fulfil our God-designed destiny, then we must share God’s heart for Israel. God will judge nations based on their treatment of Israel. As Ed Flannery so eloquently stated, “The pages Jews have memorised have been torn from our histories of the Christian era.” The time and hour is now for trends to change and for the church and nations to carry God’s heart for Israel. No wonder the enemy opposes Israel as a nation because their (Israel’s) future salvation signifies the end of the devil’s rule. Christians, therefore need to continue praying and advocating for the rights of the Jewish people to live in safety and security in their own ancestral homeland and the modern state of Israel. Israel has been restored as a nation. Its spiritual restoration will also take place (Ezekiel 36:24). Now is the time for an awakening in the church towards renewed awareness and sensitivity towards Israel. We must trumpet the message of God’s heart for Israel as well as support the believers both Arab and Jew labouring in the land of Israel. th 8 Thesis: Restoration Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Yom Yerushalayim Jerusalem Day 2 June 2019 Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’. Rosh Chodesh Sivan New Hebrew month of Sivan 4 June 2019 Beginning of new Hebrew month of Sivan. Sivan is the 3rd month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to May or June on the Gregorian calendar. Shavu’ot Festival of Weeks 9-10 June 2019 The festival of Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (late May or early June). Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer. Rosh Chodesh Tammuz New Hebrew month of Tammuz 3 June 2019 Beginning of new Hebrew month of Tammuz. Tammuz is the 4th month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to June or July on the Gregorian calendar. Tzom Tammuz Walls of Jerusalem breached 21 July 2019 Tzom Tammuz is a Jewish fast day commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple. It falls on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz and marks the beginning of the three- week mourning period leading up to Tisha B’Av. Like other minor fasts, Tzom Tammuz begins at dawn (first light) and ends at nightfall (full dark). Jewish Festivals

14. 6 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Commentary Piece Joy Heylen Retiered Social Worker and Intercessor for the Nation of Israel The “New Thing” God is Doing With Jews and Christians It’s a MIRACLE and a MYSTERY!! A miracle because after nearly 2000 years of the most vile and heinous persecution and murder of Jewish people by people bearing Christ’s name, Jewish people actually want to relate to Christians! A mystery , because in this new relationship there is a sense of oneness and family, even though there are fundamental differences in our beliefs! If any Christian is unfamiliar with our dire history with Jewish people I would encourage you to read Dr Michael Brown’s book “Our Hands Are Stained with Blood” or watch Frontier Alliance’s films “Covenant and Controversy” or “Let The Lion Roar” by Vanessa Frank. There are many other resources available, including a 45 page A4 “List of Atrocities” that Root Source has compiled www.root-source. com/ blog/9av-resources-post Many Christians world wide are now working through this list, but our history with the Jewish people is so appalling and grievous that one is soon overcome with sorrow and tears of repentance. As Rabbi Shmueley Boteach says in his book “Kosher Jesus” ; “...the very name Jesus reminded me of the suffering laid upon Jewish communities for two thousand years: persecutions, forced conversions, expulsions, inquisitions, false accusations, degradations, economic exile, taxation, pogroms, stereotyping, ghettoization and systematic extermination. All this incomprehensible violence and cruelty against us, ... committed in the name of a Jew...” ...meaning Jesus. As many would know, the words “You killed our Christ we will kill you” were written over the entrance to one of Hitler’s concentration camps. What a deception on our part. So what a miracle that in the last three decades, Jewish people are allowing Christians to partner with them in “building up Zion” and in “hastening the day” of the Messiah’s appearance. In light of the above history, where Christ has been so misrepresented, it is surely imperative that we come into this new relationship with Jews in the purest of love and humility and a willingness to serve. However, I believe it is also imperative that our new relationship be built on mutual respect for each other’s faith and that we come to the relationship with no hidden agendas. We are living in an era where 3000-year- old prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. The State of Israel has been reborn; Jewish people are returning from the four corners of the earth; the desert is blooming; vineyards are once more being planted on the mountains of Israel. In Ezekiel 36, God says 18 times, “I WILL DO THIS” and in Jeremiah 32:41 He says “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.” And He is surely doing this!! (Note this is the only time in the Bible that God says He will do something with all His heart and soul!!). Our job is surely to “Comfort ye, Comfort My people!” as Isaiah says (40:1). In the New Testament we are told (Romans 9-11) that we are in debt to the Jews because of all the spiritual blessings we have received from them. And in Romans 15:27 we are instructed to minister to the Jews in material things as a result of this debt. I have been connected to Christian Friends of Israeli Communities for many years and recently agreed to serve as this organization’s Australian representative. I chose CFOIC Heartland because their message is so critical and because all funds raised make such a difference in the lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria who are “settling” the land as God has commanded them. It is such a comfort to the people of Judea and Samaria to know, especially when there is tension or tragedy, that there are Christians around the world who love them and stand with them as they assert their God- given right to the Land. What an amazing way to express the change in our relationship with the Jewish people and to participate in the miracle of this change as it is unfolding before our very eyes! Sondra Oster Baras (pictured right), director of the Israel office of CFOIC Heartland , is an Orthodox Jew who has devoted the past 21 years of her life to building relationships with Christians in support of her people and the Land of Israel. And Sondra is my dear friend. And this is what CFOIC Heartland is all about— Christians and Jews, sharing leadership and working together in one organization to partner in what God is doing in Israel. If you are already involved in CFOIC Heartland , I would love to hear from you and get to know you. Perhaps you want to join the tour I am leading this September with Stan Goodenough as our Guide – a one of a kind experience in the Land of Israel. If you do please email me for the Itinerary on joyhey50@gmail.com . IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN. And if you are not already connected to C FOIC Heartland or if your involvement is peripheral, I want to invite you to take the plunge and become a true partner. Contact me! There is no better way to take part in the fulfilment of prophecy! ________________________________________________________ Joy Heylen retired Social Worker, Intercessor for Israel, National Coordinator of Stan Goodenough’s Speaking Tours to Australia and the Australian Representative for Christian Friends of Israel Communities (Judea & Samaria). ...in the last three decades, Jewish people are allowing Christians to partner with them... The founding Patrons of the Young Liberals were joined at the official launch by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Matthew Guy and over a dozen Victorian Liberal MPs at the Central Shule Chabad in Caulfield in 2018. An example of both Jewish and Christian Zionist cooperation.

9. Dear faithful readers & friends (chaverim), Welcome to this June and July edition as we arrive at the half way mark of the year. Many of us are still marvelling at the miraculous outcome of the recent Australian Federal election results. Certainly it went against all odds and predictions of the left leaning main stream press and political commentators. I guess it is up to us to not take this victory for granted and become complacent, as often after great wins we see “the enemy crouching at the door” Genesis 4:7. It begs the question why the majority almost always get it wrong. And reaffirms the truth that ultimately the Almighty is the one who controls times and seasons, He removes Kings and sets them up, He gives wisdom to those who have understanding. (Daniel 2.21) As we look across to the USA Trump phenomena and more recently the Israeli elections returning Benjamin Netanyahu as PM of Israel. I guess as believers in God’s sovereignty we shouldn’t have been so surprised. So what is our role now, and how should we take advantage of God’s favour? Check out the commentary and analysis of Dr Ron Weiser’s article on page 10. Comforting Israel to Show Our Love and Support. As I write this, news of bush fires across Israel are a call to prayer and action. Many fires have been deliberately lit, and we have established a special appeal for purchasing mobile fire-fighting pumps which you can prayerfully consider and give via the response form on the back page or via our secure website www.c4israel.com.au/donate Our Special Semakh Memorial Statue matching gift project has nearly reached its goal (We now only have $3000 to go!). Once achieved, the certificates and other premium gifts including the Books, DVD and limited edition Medallions that go with each level of giving will be posted out. So thanks for your patience if you have already given. See the update and special tour details for the unveiling of the statue in Israel this September by Barry Rodger’s and article by Jill Curry on pages 9 and 11. Barry’s New book and DVD on the centennial celebrations of the Light Horse charge in Beersheba are now available from our resource webstore www.c4israel.com.au/store or back pages. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) We have had a long friendship and connection with Sonia Baras who heads up Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) who are focused on creating greater awareness of the significance of the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, where much of the Bible stories and promises took place, and yet today it is the centre of the disputed West Bank between the Palestinians and the Jewish settlers who as their name indicates are from Judea. Christians for Israel is partnering with CFOIC in some important humanitarian projects and we will be highlighting some of these in coming editions for your prayerful awareness and understanding. See CFOIC’s Sondra Baras article on page 8 and Australian advocate Joy Heylen’s report on page 6 including details of her tour with popular tour Guide Stan Goodenough. Speaking and Teaching Events and Tours Stan Goodenough will be Touring Australia again in July August for the 6th time in the wake of the recent election outcomes and again provoking us as one of the nations in the valley of decision, we need to decide if we will be Judged by the Lord as ‘Sheep or Goats’ on things like the status of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and where our embassy should be, and our continued official recognition of Israel being the only Jewish homeland of the Jews. See Stan’s article and itinerary on pages 2 and 3. The Signs of the Times I am fortunate to be able to attend the inaugural teaching summit and official launch of Christians for Israel Nepal , with C4I International President Rev Willem Glashouwer and other leadership in Kathmandu June 3-5. Then in July Christians for Israel Australia and Oceania will be hosting a special “Signs of the Times” speaking and teaching tour with Reverend Glashouwer in Brisbane, Honiara Solomon Islands, Sydney and Melbourne and Auckland New Zealand July 12 to 30. See details of the itinerary on page 11 . Rev Willem Glashouwer is also the author of many popular books and DVDs (including the ‘Why Israel?’ Trilogy) and will be launching his latest Book “The Signs of the Times” which we will have available at the various venues and can be ordered via www.c4israel.com.au/store or see the back page. There are a number of other Events happening in Sydney and Brisbane as well— see page 11 for details. (if you have some events coming up in August to December please let us know so we can consider promoting them in future editions. Email us at info@c4israel.com.au ). Thanks for Your Continued Generosity and Support. As you know we are only a very small ministry with just a couple of faithful volunteers who come in each Monday to clear the mail and fill the orders. We are nearly finished in our systems updates and now the learning phase is happening. So your patience, prayers and understanding is very much appreciated. We had a lot of good donations for food parcels and Holocaust survivors support. Also I was pleased to have some general donations to help cover the cost of printing and posting this newspaper. (Last edition was about 7000 copies sent to nearly 4000 addresses and that cost us $12000 so if you can help with a little donation to help pay for your copy and maybe someone else that would be terrific). Some gentle reminders on how to help us help and serve you better. We have had a lot of papers returned to sender because of people moving and forgetting to update us with their new address. Please send in a slip of paper with your new details or email us at info@c4israel.com.au (It will save us wasted money in printing and postage and you the disappointment of not getting your next edition....smile). We even had a number of orders with no cheque or money order or credit card details inside so do be sure to check everything is inside the envelope. Also if you send a donation please be sure to tell us what it is for, as some have sent donations but no instructions, and make sure we have your name and address for a receipt. If you give us your email address, then we can email your receipt and save postage. We had a number of people fill in orders with their credit card but please be careful to fill in all the details including your CVC number or else we can’t process it. Please ensure to make cheques or Money orders out to Christians for Israel Australia Inc— else the bank may not accept it. Bringing the Jews back home to Israel is Gods assignment for us Gentile Believers. We sent out over 300 certificates for Aliyah this year already for those who have sponsored bringing a Jew home to Israel from the Ukraine. This is amazing and some of you have even gone the extra mile and given for the First Home in the Homeland project to ensure they have a place to live for the first 6 to 9 months to learn Hebrew and be in a better position to integrate into the community and get a job. I know the Lord smiles when he see us do this and as we fulfil his prophecy in Isaiah 49:12 “Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” Until Next time God Bless and Keep you. _____________________________________ Ian Worby National Leader & Regional Director for Christians for Israel Australia & Oceania. June 2019 Report From Our National Leader Comforts Informs Inspires Ian Worby C4I Australia National Leader and Regional Director for Oceania

5. 17 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 News 4 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Ruben Ridderhof n Christians for Israel Netherlands “The will be no peace if we don’t understand Arab culture.” Dr Mordechai Kedar is an orthodox Jew who speaks fluent Arabic and reads the Qur’an better than many Muslims. Arabic media such as Al Jazeera often invite him to speak, and when he does so, he passionately defends the Jewish state. “Arabs are amazed by Israel; they want to understand how Israel has become such a success in the Middle East”. How is it that, as an Israeli Jew, you are so fascinated by the Arab culture? “I had a wonderful teacher in high school who taught Arabic. It was through his classes that I fell in love with the Arabic language. We learned to read and write the language, and we read everything in Arabic from the Qur’an to the Arab newspapers of that time. My knowledge of Arabic was very useful during my military service. I worked in military intelligence for 25 years, specialising in Islamic groups. At a certain moment, I really needed a sabbatical. So I started intensively studying Arab culture and mentality. I ended up becoming a researcher in the field of Arabic studies at the Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan.” Do you think knowledge of Arab culture is necessary in order to understand the Middle East? “Absolutely! In fact, I think that most of the problems in the Middle East today are the result of the actions over the last 100 years by Western powers who did not understand and therefore did not take into account the Arab way of thinking. A good example was in 2011. It was called ‘the Arab Spring’. The most respected Middle East commentators in the West looked at the images from Tahrir Square in Cairo and celebrated: democracy is coming in the Middle East! But it was not to be. Look, people in the West have always known democracy. If they see a dictatorship fall, they automatically think it will be replaced by democracy. Naturally, because the West thinks within its own experiential paradigm, and imposes that on the rest of the world. They think that Israeli’s and Palestinians will end up sitting around the campfire singing kumbaya. But that is not the way it works here.” What do you think we in the West need to understand about Arab culture? “First of all, we need to understand that tribal and ethnic background are much more important than we often realise. Take the former Yugoslavia. Since Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s, seven states, each with a different ethnic background, have been living alongside each other more or less in peace. The Soviet Union also disintegrated after 70 years of existence into separate republics that were established along ethnic lines. However hard we try, ethnicity is alive and kicking! And you can see that in the Middle East. After the First World War, the Western allied powers drew lines in the sand and installed foreign dictators. The Arab Spring was nothing other than the response of ethnic, tribal and family groups to that situation.” So the Arab States have no legitimacy? “The Arab world basically comprises a system of foreign dictators ruling various clans, tribes and families. Take Iraq. We have heard a lot in recent years about the different groups in that country: Kurds, Yezidis, and Arabs, comprising different religions – especially Christians, Shi-ite and Sunni Muslims who do not feel united under one flag. In order to survive in the desert, you are dependent on others. That’s why family and tribal identity are so important in the Middle East. Loyalty to the family and tribe is more important than anything else. An Arab will hide a murderer from the authorities if he belongs to the same tribe; that is the obligation to look after a fellow member of the tribe. A while ago a talent show was broadcast in the Middle East. There were candidates from many different countries. The winner was a young Syrian boy. When the votes of the viewers were analysed, it was discovered that his supporters were located not only in Syria but also in Iraq and Jordan. This boy was a member of a large tribe, and it was loyalty to the tribe that determined the votes.” What is the role of Islam in the Middle East? “Ah! Islam is an attempt to unite many different tribes under one flag. The religion of Islam strives to create the umma, which is the global body of Muslims. But there was resistance to this, even in Mohammed’s time. Islam managed finally, through massive use of violence, to conquer many tribes into submission. But the reality is that Islam has never really been able to destroy ethnic and tribal loyalties. That’s why the umma has never been established, and the Islamic world remains deeply divided. That’s why you see so many Muslims killing each other. Ethnicity is not only alive and kicking; it is alive and killing!” How does that work amongst the Palestinians? “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. Arabs have also never used this word. This area was known as ash-Shām and comprised the area of what today is Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the so-called ‘Palestinian territories.’ If you open a telephone book in the Palestinian territories, you will find names like Al-Iraqi, Al-Masri and Al-Houran, which you will also find in Iraq, Egypt and Houran, a region in Syria. The Palestinian territories are populated by a melting pot of different ethnic groups, tribes, religions, and families. They are all supposedly represented by the Palestinian Authority. But the PA was created by Israel and the USA. No-one in the Palestinian territories feels the slightest loyalty towards the PA, because it is a violent and corrupt dictatorship.” This means there is no negotiating partner for Israel if the Palestinian people do not support their own leaders? “That’s right, at least not in the form of the Palestinian Authority. Palestinians see the PA as a political dictatorship created by Israel to keep them under control. And they are right. In the Oslo Accords, it was stupid Israelis who agreed to create a terror organisation, led by the mother of all terrorists Yasser Arafat, to lead the Palestinians. Finding a solution for the conflict means finding a solution to that terrible mistake”. Can you envisage a solution to this conflict? “I genuinely believe that a solution can be found. It will take common sense and a long- term strategy. I advocate dismantling the PA, and establishing some form of Palestinian emirates. The only system of government that works in the Middle East is a system which takes account of the loyalty of tribes and families. That is the situation in the Gulf States, which enjoy remarkable peace and prosperity. A solution for the Palestinian territories should be based on that model. The biggest families in the Palestinian territories live in the largest cities. You could create eight city-states governed by these families, with extra space around the cities for growth and agriculture. I’m thinking of Hebron, Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Gaza – which is in fact already such a city-state. Bethlehem is more complicated, that would need more thought.” Gaza? Isn’t that a recipe for eight terror states, like Gaza today? “As I said, this needs a long-term vision. You cannot solve this problem from one day to the next. Israel is used to living next to hostile nations. We have had huge conflicts with Egypt and Jordan, but we managed to conclude peace treaties with both of them. In this region, you need to maintain a degree of deterrence. As long as your neighbour thinks you can do something nasty to him, he will keep his distance, and you can even live in peace with him. That’s the situation we now find ourselves in with respect to Gaza.” And what about the rest of the ‘West Bank’? “My proposal is that Israel annexes the territory between the eight city-states. That would also solve the problem of the settlements. We should offer Israeli citizenship to the Palestinian residents in the smaller towns, if they want it. I think most of them will immediately accept that. I believe in this plan, as the path to peace in the Middle East. It is the most realistic solution for the long term. If it is implemented, it will take years to establish real peace. But peace will come, provided the Palestinians are prepared to focus on improving their situation and building their future, instead of fighting against Israel”. Plea for an Eight-State Solution Dr Mordechai Kedar. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons “When people in the West see a dictatorship fall, they automatically think it will be replaced by democracy.” Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Israel & the Region 5 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today David Lazarus n Israel Today In the month of May, Israel observed several important days: Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah), Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron), and Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut). This article, published in early May 2019, eloquently reflects the bitter reality of Israel’s precarious existence between life and death, and is worthy of republication. Yet another topsy-turvy week in Israel. One moment our heads were down racing to a shelter, the next we are looking up to the sky and seeing no more missiles. Now we're getting ready for tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations. We barely concluded remembering our Holocaust and now tonight begins Memorial Day to honour our fallen soldiers. On Wednesday, our cemeteries will be packed with mourning crowds, and in the evening those same crowds will fill our city streets and squares with dancing and song to celebrate our independence and return to our homeland. One more grave story for our people, one more brave story to remember. This is the bittersweet of our life in Israel. Like the fireworks that will light up the skies on our Independence Day, the celebrations will be just a temporary spark to shine some light on the pain of the price we pay to live in this land. These contrasting poles of opposites are the story of Israel. Here we live with Left and Right, secular and religious, the mundane and the holy, conservative yet tolerant. Our very existence as a state is filled with contrast. We have become a military and technological superpower, yet we battle daily with the boycotts and condemnations of a world that wants to limit our power and influence. We are the country that travelled 4 million miles to get to the moon and then crashed just a few yards before landing. It took us 2,000 years to get back to our homeland, but even here we don’t have a moment’s quiet. We gave the world the Word of God’s love for mankind, and we are a people hated by humanity. Our forefathers understood this dilemma thousands of years ago when they taught us that in the beginning, in response to the chaos that was over the surface of the deep God spoke and light came into being (Gen 1:2). It was their faith in God that gave them strength to keep walking through the valleys and shadows of death toward the hope of greener pastures and quieter waters. In the final analysis, only when we are willing to turn our hearts to the creator of Israel will we find the golden streets that will lead us on the path to our eternal home and our true Shalom. We are a nation taught to love our neighbour as ourselves, and so we will feel both the pain and suffering of every Israeli and every family, and we will rejoice at our every and any unfathomable accomplishment no matter how great or small. Happy Independence Day, Israel. May you be comforted in your hope. Published 7 May 2019 on http://www.israeltoday.co.il/ Republished with permission. Between Memorial Day and Independence Celebrations Israeli soldiers place Israeli flags on the graves of fallen s oldiers in Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem, on May 6, 2019. The ceremony is held every year a few days before the Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers. | Photo: Flash90 Letter to Netanyahu After the elections in Israel, Christians for Israel sent a letter of congratulations and encouragement to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You can read it here : 11 April 2019 ‘And the Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.’ Zechariah 2:12 Your Excellency, On behalf of the international Christians for Israel movement we want to congratulate you and the Likud party on the results of the elections. As Christians for Israel we are active in over 40 nations on all continents. You can be assured that hundreds of thousands of Christians worldwide will be praying for you, your colleagues and the whole nation in the coming days and weeks as you seek to form a new government. Israel is in a very precarious time in history. So is the whole world. We are thankful that God is bringing the Jewish people home, and that at the helm of the nation of Israel is a leader who trusts firmly in the God who never slumbers nor sleeps. You have been an amazing leader. Under your leadership the Jewish people are a light to the nations in many respects and the days will come soon that they will recognize that the Almighty protects and blesses His people Israel. We are fully confident that the Lord God of your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will continue to guide and strengthen Israel. Be assured of our ongoing support and that we will continue ou r efforts to persuade the churches and leaders in our nations to bless the Jewish people and support the nation of Israel. Yours sincerely, Pim van der Hoff Dr. Leon Meijer Chairman Chairman Christians for Israel Netherlands Christians for Israel International Roger van Oordt Rev. Cornelis Kant Director Director Christians for Israel Netherlands Christians for Israel International Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Eurovision Boosts Israel The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 attracted thousands of fans, tourists and media from around the world. What a way to promote Israel! The ministry of tourism organised tours throughout the country for the international press, and many events took place in the week leading up to the Grand Final of the contest on 18 May. Before each performance, a clip was shown revealing the great diversity of Israel’s landscape. This all gave much publicity to the country. Politics were mostly kept off stage. However, Madonna was criticised for her performance in which two backup dancers were wearing jackets with Israeli and Palestinian flags. Political statements are not allowed during this cultural event. Later on, the Iceland delegation showed banners with Palestinian flags during the announcement of the televoters. More than 200 million viewers worldwide witnessed how Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands won the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

21. 21 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Interview 8 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel International Steven Khoury felt pain in the back of his neck. He reached with his hand to touch the spot. Maybe just an insect. Then he turned around. That is when he saw them. Several men, armed with knives and heavy weapons, were approaching. “Filthy Jew-lover”, they snarled — “Traitor”. One of the men struck Khoury. He fell to the ground. They kicked him and beat him repeatedly. Finally, he was left alone. “Strangely”, recalls Khoury, “at that moment I felt God’s presence like never before. I realised God is a God of love. As I lay there, bleeding and in agony, a wave of peace came over me. I knew, deep inside, that God loved me, and that He will never leave me. I understood what it meant to be in covenant relationship with Him. I realised that when God promises to look after us, to provide for us and protect us, He says what He means, and He means what He says”. The Whole Bible Steven Khoury is the son of pastor Naim Khoury, a Palestinian Christian pastor in Bethlehem. Over forty years ago, pastor Naim and his young wife Elvira came to a living faith in the Lord. Naim started to preach the gospel, and together with his wife and young family, they reached out in love to their Muslim Palestinian neighbours. They became well-known in Bethlehem. There was only one problem. Naim taught from the whole Bible – both Old and New Testaments. He preached that God is faithful to His covenants with the Jewish people and that God is bringing the Jewish people back to the land as He had promised in the prophets of the Old Testament. He taught them that Jesus was a Jew. He spoke about the Kingdom of God and God’s purposes with the Jewish people, and he encouraged them to look for the return of Jesus. That is when the attacks started. Molotov cocktails. Naim’s brother was murdered on the Mount of Olives. The church in Bethlehem was bombed. Death threats became a reality of daily life. Steven grew up knowing that his father pays an enormous price for following Jesus and loving the Jewish people. Gradually, Steven came to realise that he, too, has a calling to demonstrate and express Jesus’ love, forgiveness and grace, and his faithfulness to the Jewish people, to the Palestinian people. Step by step, Steven came to realise that it is because of God’s faithfulness towards his People, that we Gentiles can know God as a faithful God. “I can claim the promise in Genesis 12:15-17 as m y own because I know God is faithful to His promises to Abraham, Isaac and J acob. If I can’t trust God’s continuing faithfulness towards the Jewish people, why should I trust Him to be faithful to me?” An Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn At the same time as Steven Khoury was discovering his vocation in Bethlehem, a young Jewish man in Brooklyn got an unexpected phone call that would change his life forever. David Nekrutman – a descendant of Jewish refugees who fled the pogroms in Minsk (present-day Belarus) to New York in the 1800s - was working at the Israeli consulate in New York. One Friday morning, his boss, the Deputy Consul General of Israel in New York, called David from Jerusalem. “I have to stay here for an emergency. Can you attend a meeting in a Spanish-speaking church in New York tomorrow? It is walking distance from your home so that you won’t violate the Sabbath.” David had never been in a church. The only thing he knew was that Christians hate Jews and that they persecuted his people for centuries for being “Christ- killers”. He called his Rabbi. “Rabbi, what should I do? Can I enter this church?” The Rabbi replied: “We are in a war. In times of war, you do what your commander tells you to do. You need to speak in that church”. And so, David attended the meeting, and for the first time discovered that there are Christians who love the Jewish people. The next thing he knew, he was appointed by the Consulate to look after relations with the Christian world. Several years later, David made Aliyah to Israel. Soon after, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin called him. “It is time for us Orthodox Jews to reach out to Christian Zionists”, explained Riskin, who himself had left America to become the Chief Rabbi of Efrat. And so the Centre for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) was born in 2008. David became the Executive Director, a function he still fulfils. Jews and Arabs – United in Covenant Ten years ago in Jerusalem, David invited Steven to accompany him to a meeting in the USA. A friendship was born. Today, David Nekrutman considers Steven Khoury, his best friend. “I love Steven as a brother. Who could have imagined, in his wildest dreams, that an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn would one day become best friends with a Palestinian Arab Christian from Bethlehem? God works in mysterious ways!” Nekrutman and Khoury are working closely together on many projects. CJCUC supports the Khoury’s ministry, which has grown into the largest, fastest-growing Christian Arab evangelical ministry in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Together, David and Steven travel the world to tell Christians and Jews about how God is bringing Jews and Palestinians together, in a bond of love. Nekrutman: “With a covenant land, comes covenant responsibility. We Jews have an obligation to help the non-Jews in the land. God called us, and brought us back to the land, in order to be a blessing to others. But it goes deeper than that. Steven Khoury has inspired me to be a better Jew. His willingness to sacrifice his own life has changed my life. I realise that together, we are fulfilling God’s divine mission to establish the Kingdom of heaven so that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Christians for Israel is proud to support the First Bethlehem Church and Holy Land Mission. Read the article on page 15. David Nekrutman Jews and Arabs Together - Hope for the Future Steven Khoury Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Israel’s Story in Maps Map 4 | Israel in the Middle East n An isolated democracy in a sea of totalitarian states Israel lies on the eastern Mediterranean Basin, and borders Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. There are 22 Arab countries surrounding Israel. In other words, there are 22 dictatorships or unstable regimes in the region and just one Jewish democratic state. Israel upholds democratic values, providing equal rights to Arabs and Jews, men and women. There are over 500 million Muslims and 7 million Jews living in this region. The Arab world is 500 times larger than the State of Israel. Map 5 | The British Mandate in Palestine n Current-day Israel is only a quarter of the size of the original territory of Palestine that was intended to become a Jewish homeland. 1917: The Balfour Declaration announces the support of Great Britain for the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish People in the territory known as ‘Palestine’. 1920-22: At the San Remo Conference in April 1920, in order to implement the Balfour Declaration, the Principal Allied Powers decided to create Mandates in the territories of the defeated Turkish empire. In 1922 the League of Nations appointed Great Britain as Mandatory of the Mandate for Palestine. Following Arab riots in 1920-22, British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill published the White Paper in 1922, dividing Palestine into east and west and retreating from the goal of creating a Jewish homeland in all of Palestine. 1923: The League of Nations approves the division of ‘Palestine’ into two parts: 76% east of the Jordan River renamed Transjordan and given to Emir Abdullah, and 24% west of the Jordan River designated for the Jewish homeland. Mediterranean Sea Syria (French Mandate) Iraq Eretz Israel British Mandate Palestine Egypt Transjordan Saudi Arabia Area separated and closed to Jewish settlement, 1921 Area ceded to Syria, 1923 Area remaining for Jewish National Home Analysis 9 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 James E. Patrick n Theologian | Israel & Christians Today UK The bitterness of the Holocaust will forever be tasted in Jewish memory with the sweetness of the re- establishment of the state of Israel three years later in 1948, the death and resurrection of a nation. Antisemitism and aliyah are unavoidably associated. But some will ask us, Why focus so much on Jewish aliyah to Israel? Isn’t this just the sort of colonialist settler approach that is said to be the cause of conflict with the indigenous Arabs? Or are we just trying to get all the Jews back to the land to be destroyed in Armageddon before Jesus returns, as some Christians believe? Surely the solution is to sort out antisemitism against Jewish people here in Britain, rather than trying to ship them all off to Israel? Answering Objections to Aliyah Far from being colonialists, the Jewish people are truly indigenous to the land of Israel, even before the land was first settled, according to the Bible. As father of all humanity, Noah granted Shem authority over Canaan under God’s supervision (Genesis 9:25-27). It was understood that Shem’s heirs would, therefore, have authority in whatever land Canaan’s family chose to settle after leaving Babel (Genesis 10:19; 11:1-9). This is the simplest explanation for why Abram’s father Terah, a direct descendant of Shem, had already set out from Ur to enter the land of Canaan (Genesis 11:31), even before God’s call to Abram to complete the journey. Despite various periods outside the land, Abraham’s descendants through his grandson Israel have always had an everlasting covenant promise from God of returning to that specific land (Genesis 35:10-12; Psalm 105:6-11; Jeremiah 32:37-41; Romans 11:28-29). Jewish return to the land is of course never without hardship, even simply in relocating to a new culture, let alone the surrounding political and military tensions. The prophets do recognise that only with the coming of Messiah will permanent peace be established (Micah 4:1-8; 5:1-5a). Even so, the prophets also speak of spiritual blessings for those who return, far outweighing any threat of opposition from other nations. More on this below. Yet belief in the benefits of the Jewish return to Israel does not excuse us from our duty to defend the Jewish people in our midst against antisemitism. Micah prophesied that ‘the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on vegetation’ (5:7). Jewish people have a divine gift of bringing fruitfulness and prosperity to any nation that hosts them. This happened to everything that Potiphar owned when Joseph served in his house (Genesis 39:5). It is also why Jewish exiles are told to ‘seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you... for in its welfare you will have welfare’ (Jeremiah 29:7). It is to Britain’s benefit that the Jewish people stay, but it is to their own benefit that they return to Israel. We have shared in their spiritual blessings, so we are indebted to serve them in material ways (Romans 15:27), first in Britain and also whenever they wish to return to Israel. In Britain as also across Europe, antisemitism is increasing – whether from far-right Muslims and fascist nationalists, or left-wing anti-Israel liberals and socialists, to the ongoing shame of the Labour party. Evidently this is creating a ‘climate’ in which some Jewish people are seriously considering leaving the country. But the present article has a far more literal meaning of ‘climate’ in mind, and one that relates to the land of Israel rather than to Britain. If God empowers the Jewish people to bring prosperity to lands in which they reside, what might we expect Him to do with the land to which they are returning? Rising Rainfall Anticipated Waves of Immigration In Israel this year, the winter has been particularly wet, and the hills have never looked so green, clothed in spring wildflowers. Even the dry wadis of the deserts are rushing with water – an image that the psalmist used for the vast quantities of exiles God will bring back to the land in the last days (Psalm 126). Although Israel has developed world-leading innovations in water technology, it still depends heavily on rain for its basic needs. As God said to Moses in ‘the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares...’ However, the land was a desolate, dry wasteland for many centuries, described by Mark Twain on his visit in 1869 as ‘a silent mournful expanse’; even Galilee was referred to as ‘these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness’. The Ottoman empire had decided to tax local Arab landowners not according to their actual harvest but according to the number of trees on their land. Over time, therefore, increasing deforestation led to infertile land and the occasional malaria-infested swamp. How then has such a land managed to sustain the many millions of additional Jews and Arabs who have arrived during the past century and a half? In the 1880s, early Jewish settlers planted eucalyptus trees widely, which can cope with dry conditions and can drain swampland. Yet even Israel’s remarkable achievements at reforestation cannot account for the complete transformation in climate since research shows that tree planting actually reduces available water. In 2016, a Tel Aviv scholar Assaf Hochman published an academic paper, showing for the first time that ‘the first Aliyah’ (immigration) to Israel during 1882-1904 initiated during favouring climate conditions (cool and wet) to establish an agricultural community in the region. These conditions were found to be exceptional compared to other periods since 1750.’ More and more people have been noting this unusual correlation between increased rainfall and the waves of aliyah. David Pawson’s 2015 book Kingdoms in Conflict recorded how he asked a meteorologist for Israel’s rainfall figures over the past 150 years, and plotted it against the political history. He found that ‘Every time there was an aliyah, a new wave of immigration of Jews to Israel, the rainfall went up’. In early 2018, two news websites reported on an unpublished study by Australian Gary Auld, whose data was provided and analysis approved by climatologist Hadas Saaroni of Tel Aviv University, even if she does not accept his idea of causal correlation. Auld concluded that ‘the annual rainfall in Jerusalem since the rebirth of the State of Israel, and the flow of the aliyah over the same period, have similar trends’. Evidently, the biggest spikes in rainfall coincided with or closely preceded 1948 and 1991, the periods of greatest influx of immigrants, as well as 1967, when the Six Day War opened up the formerly occupied Jordanian ‘West Bank’ to restored Jewish settlements. This ‘climate change’ is precisely what God prophesied to the land of Israel through Ezekiel the prophet (36:8-10) – ‘ O mountains of Israel, you will put f orth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel; for they will soon come. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown. I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, all of it.’ Even more significant, though, is how natural rain is a biblical sign for spiritual renewal, as Elijah the prophet realised (1Kings 18; Joel 2:23, 28-29). Later in Ezekiel 36, verse 24 onwards, God promises first to bring the exiles back, and only then to ‘sprinkle clean water on you’ and ‘put my Spirit within you’. This is the great spiritual blessing in store for those children of Israel who hear God’s invitation to return to the land, in this time of restoration of all things. So as Zechariah 10:1 urges us, ‘Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain... and He will give them showers of rain’. May He pour out His Spirit upon Israel abundantly in our days. A Suitable Climate for Returning to Israel View of the Meitzar Waterfall in the southern Golan Heights, on 31 March 2019. | Photo: Flash90 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 -100,000 -200,000 2000 1500 1000 500 0 -500 -1000 -1500 -2000 Annual Rainfall Cumulated Trend (mm) Aliyah Cumulated Trend Trends Aliyah vs Jerusalem Rainfall 1948 - 2014 Raw Data Aliyah Off-set 4 Years Early - Natural Standardised Rain - 4 Year Off-set Aliyah - Natural Standardised Aliyah ◄ 4 y ◄ 4 y ◄ 4 y ◄ 4 y ◄ 4 y 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 1944 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 1940

25. 25 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Historical | Israel Today 13 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Letters of the Aleph-bet By Kees de Vreugd Tav The tav is the 22nd and last letter of the aleph-bet. The original sign consisted of two crossed lines, sometimes in the form of an x, sometimes of a +. From this, in several stages, not just the actual tav, but also our T developed. Tav means ‘mark’. Originally, it represented a softer t- sound than the tet (the ninth letter), though in modern Hebrew pronunciation there is no difference. In some dialects, however, in certain cases, it sounds like English th, or even, in Ashkenazi (Eastern-European Jewry) as an s. Instead of Shabbat, for example, they would pronounce Shabbos. In the prophecy of Ezekiel, we read that when God was about to destroy the temple, He ordered His angel to “put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed” in the city (Ez. 9:4). They literally received a tav on their foreheads. The numerical value of tav is four hundred. Abraham paid four hundred shekels of silver to Ephron to buy a grave for Sarah (Genesis 23). Interestingly, the numerical value of Ephron is four hundred, too. Tav is the last letter of the word emet, truth. The word emet is the seal of God, the Talmud (Jewish tradition) says, for “The sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). The word emet further consists of the aleph, the first, and the mem, the middle letter of the aleph-bet! So there is a large distance between the positions of these letters. Truth, the Talmud then explains, is difficult to find, as opposed to lie ( sheqer, see the letter shin). However, the letters of emet have a firm base, while those of s heqer all balance on one foot: truth stands firm, while lie does not. But why is the tav taken as a symbol for truth, and not the aleph? That is because you have to perceive the end. Very often, in the beginning, we do not see it. Only when we see the result, we discover that the way of emet was the only passable road. In this sense, the tav represents the final destination, the truth that will be revealed completely in the last stages of the coming of the Messiah. Courtesy of United with Israel n An excavational dig taking place in the Sharafat neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, where an elementary school is to be built, has uncovered the remains of a Jewish village dating back some 2,000 years to the Hasmonean period, says the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). The excavation is being carried out on behalf of the Jerusalem municipality, funded by the Moriah Jerusalem development corporation. The IAA says that the finds have included the remains of a large wine press containing fragments of many storage jars, a large columbarium cave (rock-cut dovecote), an olive press, a large ritual bath, a water cistern, and rock quarries. “It seems that this burial estate served a wealthy or prominent family during the Hasmonean period. The estate was in use for a few generations as was common in that era,” according to Ya’akov Billig, who is directing the excavations for the IAA. The most significant feature of the excavation is an extravagant burial estate, which included a corridor leading to a large courtyard chiseled into the bedrock, says the IAA. “Such quality craftsmanship of architectural elements is very rare, found mostly in monumental buildings or burial estates in the Jerusalem area,” it added. The entrance into the multi-chambered burial cave was through its facade, behind which oblong burial niches were carved into the stone walls. The earth covering the courtyard of the burial estate contained some large building stones, some of which are elaborate architectural elements associated with the Second Temple period. The current excavation is said to have exposed only a small part of a larger village that existed to its south. However, despite the limited exposure, the finds seem to indicate that the village was of an agricultural nature, and among other things produced wine and olive oil, as well as breeding doves. During the Temple eras, doves were needed for both a Temple offering and for food. Ancient Jewish Village Discovered Archeologists unearth Jewish community from Hasmonean period at construction site in eastern Jerusalem. | Photo: Arutz Sheva TV Marijke Terlouw n Christians for Israel Netherlands The Montefiore windmill in Jerusalem is a real tourist attraction, especially for Israelis. It is an amazing location to take beautiful photos, either of the mill or the Old City of Jerusalem. But now there is an extra reason to visit the windmill: a few months ago Jerusalem Wineries opened a Visitor Center inside. According to the manager, there is a lot of interest in the wines that are sold at the mill. You can do a tasting, browse and watch a film about the history and restoration of the windmill. The wines are all the same brand: Jerusalem. Vineyards Interesting, wine from Jerusalem? “Yes,” the manager enthusiastically replies, “This place, these hills around the windmill, used to be covered in vineyards. They were tended by the Christians from the Old City. No one lived outside the safety of the city walls, but the land was used. When the first Jews came to Jerusalem at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they bought grapes from the vineyards to make wine. No, they didn’t buy the wine because it wasn’t kosher. But they could use the grapes just fine. So from a historical point of view, it isn’t strange that wine is being sold here again.” Visiting The manager knows that the windmill was restored by Dutch donors through Christians for Israel. He quickly takes a bag of flour from the shelf. “This flour is from the mill; we grind flour regularly. Visitors can see the inside of the windmill. Every month we open the floors above the store to visitors for one week.” On the plaza at the windmill, there is an attractive wooden cart where you can buy coffee. Together with some tables and chairs, it makes the area around the windmill more inviting. Now you can take in the view of Jerusalem with a nice cup of coffee. Landmark Windmill in Jerusalem | Photo: Christians for Israel Sivan - Tammuz 5779 | Photo: Shutterstock | Photo: Christians for Israel

6. 18 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Biblical Reflection 6 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 A Cruel Assignment. Psalm 2 - Part 6a Worshippers praying at the Western Wall. | Photo: flickr Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author When God turns to a person in a special way, when He chooses him, He gives him special status and extraordinary talents, and a task always springs from this. The anointed may be the Judean king David, the nation of Israel, the Christ Jesus from Nazareth, his followers from Jews and Gentiles or also the eschatological messianic redeemer. But the election of the annointed one always carries an assignment with itself. The Son of God is always also the Servant of the Lord. Together with the inheritance, the heir will always also receive a commission. The ‘Yes’ to God’s Counsel In verse 7 of the second psalm, we have already seen that the Messiah agreed with ‘the Lord’s decree.’ He had decided to proclaim it. God expects the active consent of the one He has chosen to be His instrument. The Creator does not seek puppets without a will. He looks for children who consciously and resolutely want that “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10; 26:42; Luke 22:42). This is now emphatically underlined once more in verse 8. The Lord calls upon His Messiah: “Ask of me, and I shall give nations to you as inheritance, as your possession the ends of the earth.” This challenge comes from God. The parlance reminds of Solomon’s dream, where God tells the young king: “Ask me what I should give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Rashi phrases: “Pray to me all the time, if you come to fight against your enemies.” Exactly in this manner, the raised arms of Moses decided the fight against Amalek (E xodus 17:8-16). God wants to be asked by those who are active on His behalf. He seeks active prayer warriors. The Ends of the Earth God’s election may be exclusive, choosing just the Messiah or the anointed king or the anointed people or the spiritually gifted church, but the objective of God’s work is never a small circle of exclusives, but always ‘the ends of the earth’ (verse 8). The Creator hears the sighing of His unredeemed creation (Romans 8:22) – of the whole of creation! – And He suffers from it. God loves the world (John 3:16), not just one group of people. Though concentrating on the individual, the Father in Heaven always keeps in view the whole of the cosmos. Martin Luther connects Psalm 2:8 with Romans 15:8-9. There, Paul writes to the Gentile Christian church in Rome: “The Messiah has become a servant of circumcision for the sake of God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises that are given to the fathers; the Gentiles, however, shall praise God for His mercy’s sake.” With this connection, the reformer, consciously or unconsciously, first of all, underlines the lasting difference between Israel and the Gentiles. Luther concludes: “Therefore Zion will be given to Christ as His kingdom without Him asking for it; but the Gentiles are given to Him as inheritance as a result of His desire, as a gift of Christ, because nothing had been promised to them.” Luther then continues to develop a universal perspective: “Therefore, let us not accuse the word of this psalm of lying (so that we will not define the inheritance of Christ too tightly), neither because of the disgraceful behaviour (perfidiam) of the Turks, nor because of the multitude of others who are mistaken in error. For who else could know among us who are truly Christians? Are not even among us too many bad people, and only a few are good? The power (auctoritas) of the divine Word is greater than that we might comprehend it, how much more is it greater than our delusions (suspicio) and our imagination (phantasia) which are preoccupied with the appearance of external customs.” Impressive is the modesty of these statements with regard to ‘many bad people among us.’ At the same time, Luther recognises in this psalm’s words a hope for the Islamic world. The ends of the earth will bow to the claim of the power of the living God. That is not a question, but a certainty. It is not questionable if this will happen, but only when this will happen. Luther points out that the parallel between the ‘Gentile nations’ and the ‘ends of the earth’ had been observed before him: “St. Augustine thinks that here is a repetition of the same thing (tautologiam), for it is the same expressed by ‘the Gentiles as inheritance’ and ‘the end of the world as possession.’ This [repetition] is (as I have said) always an indication of certainty (firmitatis), by which our faith is strengthened even more.” A Claim of Exclusivity The God of Israel is not just the tribal god of some desert people. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is the God before whom every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He alone is Lord (Psalm 22:30; Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10). Before him, each and every human being will have to answer, whether he or she wants to or not. As much as God’s character is love, as much as He is driven by the will that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4), as much is He also holy. He cannot and will not leave the rebellion of the nations unanswered. Therefore, the Messiah not only has the task of self-sacrifice, as was the case with Jesus’ first coming and the fulfilment of Psalm 2 in the time of Pilate and Herod. The anointed of the Lord also has a judicial function: “You shall break them with an iron rod, dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (verse 9). Judge and Shepherd Luther writes concerning the Hebrew ְתּרֵֹﬠם (you shall break, smash), in which also the ‘shepherd’ רעה resonates: “‘You shalt smash them’ (reges eos) is in Hebrew ְתּרֵֹﬠם which St. Jerome translated: You shall tend them. Johannes Reuchlin, however, indicates in his ‘Foundations’ (rudimentis) many meanings of this word, namely: to tend, to govern, to take away, to beat, to dash, or even to smash and to crush. And this last meaning is, in my humble opinion, the most suitable for this post, first, because an iron rod, as everyone knows, is better for crushing and shattering than for grazing and governing. Secondly, for governing it would have sufficed to say, with a scepter (virga), but for grazing, one cannot properly speak of a scepter neither of an iron [scepter].” In four Hebrew letters, thus, a whole feature of the character of God’s Messiah is comprehended. We may see in these four letters the shepherd boy David, who takes care of his flock, but then definitely will become aggressive when a lion or a bear attacks (1 Samuel 17:34-36). We see the good shep herd going after a single lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), giving His life for the sheep (John 10:11). But we also see the judge of the world, who calls all nations to account, distinguishing between sheep and goats, in order to send away the one ‘to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life’ (Matthew 25:31-46). The Iron Rod Amos Hakham explains that the ‘iron rod’ ֵשֶׁבט ַבְּרֶזל is being used ‘to punish a rebellious slave. The Lord gives the king of Israel authority to subdue the rebellious Gentiles and punish them with all the severity of judgment.’ Rashi explains the ‘iron rod’ as ‘a sword.’ In Revelation 19:15, ‘a sharp sword’ and the “iron rod” stand side by side. The sword, carried by a government appointed by God, is to be feared because it “does not carry it in vain,” as Paul writes (Romans 13:4). For Luther, it is clear: “What is the rod (virga) of the mouth of Christ other than the Word of God, with which He smashes the earth, that is, those who are earthly- minded? What is the spirit of His lips other than the same Word of the Spirit, with which he kills the godless, that he may live in godliness after he died to godlessness? This is the scepter, to whose point in the hand of Joseph Jacob bowed, Genesis 47:31 [Hebrews 11:21]. This is the scepter whose head Saint Esther touched, Esther 5:2. ” Luther is aware that with his interpretation he leaves the ground of the simple wording of Scripture and slips into allegorical interpretation: “However, [the Gospel] is called a sceptre in metaphorical or rather in figurative speech.” Luther is not wrong when he states: “Just as the iron crushes and smashes everything, as is said in Daniel 2:40, so the Word of Christ crushes the great, that is, it humbles the proud, the crooked it makes just, that is, it chastises the disorderly, the straight it makes crooked, that is, it bows the haughty, the rough it makes smooth, that is, it makes the angry ones kind, the short it makes long, that is, it comforts the faint-hearted, the long it makes short, that is, it scares the presumptuous, the tightness it makes wide, that is, the stingy it makes generous, the width it makes tight, that is, the spendthrift it makes economical, the blunt it makes sharp, that is, the unlearned it makes learned, the sharp it makes dull, that is, the sages it makes fools, it takes away the rust, that is, it dispels laziness. In short, it destroys every flawed shape and changes it into another that pleases God.” The ‘iron rod’ in Psalm 2:9, however, is about more than just a figurative, symbolic function of the Word of God by which a believer is purified, sanctified and realigned. Just as the opening verses of the psalm describe a concrete situation that is visible today, the following verses are about concrete, global political events. Luther knows: “See what it m eans to govern them (regere) with an iron sceptre that is (as he says here) to smash many nations with an iron horn.” The comparison with the clay pot, which shatters into innumerable small pieces, is widespread in Holy Scripture (Rashi), up to the treasure that we have in ‘earthen vessels’, according to the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 4:7). “The Hebrew word ְתַּנְפֵּצם means, as Reuchlin affirms, you should disperse them, divide them, throw them apart.” Luther further observes, that ‘a broken pot is completely unfit for its former use, so that you see how the word of Isaiah 30:14 is fulfilled: ‘Not a shard of its pieces will be found, to get in it a fire from the hearth, or to draw water with it from a well. For a clay pot that has been broken, there is no restoration.” The ‘staff’ stands for the rule of God, which will someday be unmistakably intrinsically tangible. Psalm 45:7 says: “Your throne, God, is forever and ever. A straight rod is the rod of your kingship.” Psalm 2 points out what Hannah, mother of the Prophet Samuel, confessed in her praise (1 Samuel 2:6-7): “The Lord kills and makes alive. He leads down into the realm of the dead and up [again]. The Lord makes poor and makes rich. He humbles and exalts.” This article is the sixth instalment (split into 3 parts) in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. Psalm 2 - Part 6b will be published in the August issue. The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/

11. 3 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 JUL 17 TO AUG 13 Stan is planning a new speaking tour down- under from the July 17 to August 13. Most locations have been booked but we are still in the process of securing venues. STAN GOODENOUGH 6th Australian Speaking Tour 2019 HaYovel – Serving Israel’s farmers If you are looking for a way to put hands and feet to your love for Israel, you’ve found it! HaYovel is a non-profit organization that brings Christian volunteers from all over the world to serve Jewish farmers in Israel. Come to Israel with HaYovel, volunteer in the vineyards of Judea and Samaria, and connect to the place where prophecy meets reality. Volunteering with HaYovel is much more than just working the Land – an average week with HaYovel offers: • Volunteering 4 days per week in the vineyards and olive groves • Touring 2 days per week in the areas of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, meeting the local people and hearing their stories • Experience an Israeli-style Shabbat (rest day) every Saturday. Staying on Har Bracha (Mt of Blessing), nearly every evening, volunteers hear from influential speakers, like members of Knesset, rabbis, pioneers, and heroes of Israel’s history. By the time volunteers arrive back home, they are educated ambassadors, ready to be advocates on behalf of Israel and the restoration unfolding in the Heartland. The following opportunities are available in 2019: Summer Trip 3 Weeks, 16 July to 6 August Harvest Trips 2 Week grape harvest, 13-27 Aug 3 Week grape harvest, 28 Aug - 17 Sep 5 Week grape harvest, 18 Sep - 22 Oct 2 Week grape/olive harvest, 23 Oct - 6 Nov We welcome volunteers of all ages to join us for one of our many family- friendly volunteer trips. Go to www.HaYovel.com for photos, videos, and information about how to join us. HaYovel actively supports and advocates for Israel in a multitude of ways, including the Joshua and Caleb Report, a film series dedicated to telling the stories of the people and places of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Deon Van Baalen, HaYovel’s Advocate in Australia, would love to connect with you to tell you more about HaYovel’s work in Israel, or to speak at your church or congregation. Contact Deon at Deon@HaYovel.com or 0487 090 882 . Stan’s Article continued... in taking the next, correct steps: Recognise ALL Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and place your Embassy there.” In my understanding, Morrison’s win has granted Australia a divine reprieve. As Melbourne-based Jewish commentator Michael Burd pointed out, the ‘miraculousness’ of it may find its reason in the opposition party’s election campaign, which made its—Labor’s—foreign policy position on Israel very clear: a revocation of the Coalition’s recognition of ‘West Jerusalem’ as Israel’s capital; a unilateral recognition of the State of Palestine; millions of dollars in further funding for the UNRWA. In the light of all this, there is a strong spiritual and political case to be made for Aussie Christians to continue pushing forward the issue of Jerusalem, lobbying government to update and broaden its policy position on that city. The voters unmistakably chose a Coalition government, and this after Morrison weathered the firestorm against his initial compromising stand on Jerusalem when he tried to please everybody and ended up pleasing no-one. Now he has been given a second chance to strengthen Australia’s position as a ‘sheep nation’ by coming alongside the United States, whose president broke the logjam when he recognized a united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there. After all, when Messiah comes to establish the seat of His government on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount—raised high above the rest of the mountains—it is neither far-fetched nor unbiblical to anticipate that He might find, around that Mountain, the first clusters of buildings housing the ambassadorial representatives of other nations. As the Lord wondrously prepares this banquet table in Israel, for Israel, in the midst of all her enemies, will Australia say yes! to the invitation and by planting its own embassy in Jerusalem, help prepare the way for this feast? ________________________________________________________ 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 SOUTH-EAST QLD Wednesday July 17th , Bundaberg, 7pm, Church of Christ, 24 Simms road, Avenell Heights, Cheryl Nevin 0437552839 | 0437552839 Thursday July 18th , Nambour, 7pm Flame Tree Church, 27 Coes Creek Road. 07 54411028 Saturday July 20th Toowoomba 9.30am to 2pm Range Christian Fellowship, 15 Blake St, Wilsonton. Ken & Iris Ross 0484690261 Sunday July 21st Helensvale 9.30am, Kingdom Church, 37 Discovery Drive. Pastor Kyal Cumming 042338777 NSW and CANBERRA Monday July 22nd Sydney. 12pm-3.30pm, Jubilee Room, NSW Parliament, 6 Macquarie St. Hosted by Rev Fred Nile. Cost $20 (cash please). RSVP Judy Russell by July 17 on 0410403616 or judy.russell@iinet.net.au Newcastle, 7.30pm Hope Seedling Church, 107 Griffiths Road, Lambton. Dianne Imison 0421 154 013 Tuesday July 23, North Bondi 7.15 for 7.30pm Mizrachi Synagogue Hall, 339 Old South Head Road. (Note: there’s no parking on Old South Head Rd). Jane O’Neill 0405 237 029 RSVP essential: mizrachi@mizrachi.org.au Wednesday July 24th Burradoo, 11am-12.30pm, Capernwray Bible College, 596 Moss Vale Road. Canberra, 7.30pm, National Jewish Memorial Centre, 31 National Circuit, Forrest ACT 2603 RSVP ESSENTIAL: Jane O’Neill 0405 237 029 | janeoneill@iinet.net.au TASMANIA Contact Trish Cortizo 0421 638 453 for all meetings Saturday July 27th Hobart. 1.30-4.30pm, Citywide Baptist Church, 8 Goulburn St. Sunday July 28th Ulverstone, 2.30-5.30pm, Baptist Church, 60 Alexandra Road. VICTORIA Monday July 29th Geelong, 7pm City On A Hill Church, 230 McKillop St, East Geelong Nick Johnstone 03 5243 2090 Tuesday July 30th Colac, 7pm, South West Family Church, 516 Murray St. Chris Smith 0419351255 Wednesday 31st July , 7 for 7.15pm start, Melbourne Beth Weizmann Jewish Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield South. Cost $10 (Cash please) Peter Kentley peter@airborne.org Thursday August 1st – TBA WESTERN AUSTRALIA & FAR NORTH QLD Saturday August 3rd Perth, 2-4pm, Youth Hall, Lifestreams Church, 2 McNabb Loop, Como. David Kam, TAV Ministry, tavminsitry@gmail.com Sunday August 4th Perth – TBA | Cherilyn Moolman Tuesday August 6th Bakewell/Darwin 7pm Crossroads Palmerston, 9 Moorhen Circuit Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August inclusive: Cairns, Pastor Melissa Haigh 0439352465 Monday August 12th , Mackay 7pm Church of Christ, Beaconsfield Rd, Beaconsfield. Ps Peter Clegg admin@mackaychurchofchrist.org or 0417 855 095 Tuesday August 13th – TBA Stan’s Current Itinerary: If you would like to host Stan or make enquires about his current itinerary please contact Joy Heylen today: joyhey50@gmail.com or 0439661996 Date and Venue details are still being finalized and will be updated in the coming weeks/months on the Christian’s for Israel Australia website: www.c4israel.com.au

2. 14 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 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, Marijke Terlouw and Marie-Louise Weissenböck 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 Queensland, Australia 4127 T el: +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 James Patrick, National Representative 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 republish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Will Bibi Annex Judea and Samaria? Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu as he seeks to form a coalition government, and President Rivlin as he oversees this process. l Pray for the newly elected Knesset. Pray that the parliamentarians make good decisions and will expect help from the Lord. Pray for wisdom during the formation of the new government. l Pray for peace in the South of Israel. Pray that the ongoing threat from Gaza will stop and that the Israeli government will take appropriate decisions in its dealings with the governing authorities in Gaza. l ‘But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people – for they will be coming home again soon! See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be ploughed and your crops planted. I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people.’ (Ezekiel 36:8-10). Give thanks to God for the fulfilment of His promises which can be seen happening in Israel right now . Israel & the Nations l Thank God for bringing His people home. More Jews immigrated into Israel in 2018 than in the year before. 29,600 Jews moved to Israel in total last year. l ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for My sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.’ (Ezekiel 34:11-12) � l Pray that the anti-Israel attitude of the United Nations will change, that countries will decide to bless Israel instead of to curse Israel. Christians for Israel l Pray for progress in the work of Christians for Israel in Asia. There are teams working in various countries. Pray for the right people to start an Asian edition of Israel & Christians Today.� l The rise of anti-Semitism is clear and happens (also) at high levels. As Christians, we need to stand in the gap for the Jewish people through prayer and not be afraid to raise our voice. Pray that opposition to anti- Semitism will be clear and will make a difference. l Thank God for the opportunities we have in many countries to spread the message about God’s faithfulness to Israel. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Since the last edition of this newspaper, much has happened. “King” Bibi Netanyahu, the master of the art of turning defeat into victory, emerged as the clear winner in the elections held in Israel early April. With a remarkable shift towards the centre/right, the political landscape in Israel has been transformed. On 25 April President Trump announced that the US ‘recognises Israeli sovereignty’ over the Golan Heights - a statement that attracted global condemnation (see the analysis on page 12). In early May, as Yochanan Visser reports on page 1, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, this time resulting in casualties, and a strong Israeli response. Bibi now faces a huge challenge to form a stable coalition. One of the main issues facing the new government will be Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, especially the question of the status of settlements. Prior to the elections, Bibi had announced that if re-elected he would annex (i.e. extend Israeli sovereignty to) Israeli settlements in the ‘West Bank’ (i.e. Judea and Samaria), including ‘isolated settlements’. He also ruled out a Palestinian state as it would ‘endanger our existence’. In a recent tweet Netanyahu indicated he intends to fulfil that promise, referring to Judea and Samaria as ‘our patrimony’, and rejecting objections by some former Israeli security leaders that annexing parts of the ‘West Bank’ would endanger the security of Israel’s citizens. Bibi will, of course, not do anythin g until President Trump’s team has revealed its peace plan. The ‘deal of the century’ - a mastermind of Trump’s (Jewish) son-in- law Jared Kushner - is a highly-guarded secret (Kushner said recently even the President hasn’t read it yet). It is still being drafted as we speak and is due to be released mid-June at the earliest. Kushner has revealed enough of the plan already for us to know that it will constitute a radical departure from the one-dimensional ‘two- state’ paradigm – the model that has dominated diplomatic discussions for the last few decades but has so far failed to pr oduce an outcome acceptable to both Israel and the Palestinians. Basically, the Two-State Solution says that the Palestinians have a right to a state covering all of the so-called West Bank, including ‘East Jerusalem’ as their capital. The Two-State Solution has failed because it assumes the PLO is capable of governing the Palestinian people (as Mordechai Kedar argues, on page 4, the PA has practically no legitimacy amongst the Palestinians). But also because its main conditions are simply unacceptable to Israel. The vast majority of Israelis will not – and cannot - agree to the division of Jerusalem, creation of a Palestinian state without adequate security guarantees, and removal of all settlements. In addition, they cannot accept the Palestinians’ claim that Palestinian ‘refugees’ have a ‘right to return’ to Israel. To accept such conditions would be to sign their own death warrant. In true Trump style, the U.S. plan will be ‘out of the box’. It will provide detailed proposals addressing core issues (e.g. suggestions for the final borders of Israel, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Palestinian refugees, etc.), but it will not be about how to create a new negotiating process; rather, its goal is to offer ‘solutions.’ Above all, the U.S. plan will have proposals for attracting investment to improve the q uality of life for Palestinians, while dismissing their ‘political aspirations’. When asked to endorse the idea of demilitarised statehood that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself once proposed, Kushner said he was avoiding the term ‘state’ altogether: “If you say ‘two- states’ it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one thing to the Palestinians, and we said, let’s just not say it.” Many are skeptical about the plan’s chances of success and worried about the risk of unforeseeable consequences if it fails. And the chances of the plan being implemented are very slim indeed. The U.S. has no power to impose any solutions. The Palestinian leadership have already rejected the plan. European leaders are also vehemently opposed to any plan that replaces their cherished ‘Two-State Solution’. The plan is just one factor in a major shake up in the region, and it is impossible to predict how things will play out. Bahrain has an nounced its agreement to host a conference in June to launch the ‘economic’ aspects of the plan - yet another indication of growing acceptance of Israel in the Middle East, due in part to the deepening hostility between the (moderate) Sunni and more radical Shiite regimes. However Israel’s peace partners Egypt and Jordan are showing little willingness to support the plan, and it remains to be seen how far other moderate Arab states will go in sticking their necks out for a proposal that does not recognise Palestinian statehood or Arab sovereignty over East Jerusalem. Al l of this is complicated by the attempts to get Arab states to participate in MESA (Middle East Strategic Alliance), the US-Saudi initiative to establish an ‘Arab NATO’ to counter Iran. Several weeks ago Egypt announced it does not intend to participate in MESA. Plan or no plan, there is increasing pressure on the Israeli government to take action regarding Judea and Samaria. Many (former) IDF leaders have been warning for some time that the ‘West Bank’ is slowly becoming another Gaza. Israel must either completely withdraw or take back more control. The current polic y of maintaining the status quo is untenable in the long run. But Israel will face huge resistance if it seeks to take more control in Areas A and B, and/or annex Area C - not only in the diplomatic arena but more importantly on the ground, especially from radical elements within Palestinian society, Hamas, Hezbollah and other radical Islamic forces in the region, backed by Iran. It is also hard to see how Israel could unilaterally roll back the structures that have been put in place since the Oslo agreements in the early 1990s. One way or another, an escalation of conflict in the near futur e seems likely.

19. 11 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Speaking Events and Tours Prayer For Israel-Loganholme along with Beit Neitser Messianic Congregation From Galilee, Israel Tisha Michelle and from the Gold Coast and Brisbane Ps Greg Cumming & Ps Craig Hepplewhite Saturday July 6th 2019 WHERE: INTENCITI CHURCH, 287 PRESTON RD; WYNNUM WEST TIME: 9am to 5pm PHONE: Peter 0412 911 383 TO PURCHASE TICKETS: facebook.com/israelrestorationseminar israelsrestoration.wixsite.com/israel search: ‘ israel restoration seminar’ on eventbrite.com $50 LIMITED SEATING BOOK NOW Eventbrite PRESENTS: How to Register: Register online at: www.derekprince.com.au $40 per person Post to: Derek Prince Ministries 1 st Floor, 15 Park Road, Seven Hills NSW 2147 Phone: (02) 9838 7778 Email: enquiries@au.derekprince.com For other Dr Korman meeting dates and venues in Aus tralia please call the above number. How to Register: Register online at: www.derekprince.com.au $40 per person Post to: Derek Prince Ministries 1 st Floor, 15 Park Road, Seven Hills NSW 2147 Phone: (02) 9838 7778 Email: enquiries@au.derekprince.com For other Dr Korman meeting dates and venues in Aus tralia please call the above number. WILLEM J.J. GLASHOUWER The Signs of the Times Speaking Events CURRENT ITINERARY Friday 12 July, 7pm Flametree Baptist Church Nambour, 27 Coes Creek Rd, QLD 4560, 07 5441 1028 Sun 14 - Tue 16 July, Honiara, Solomon Islands Sunday 10am – SSEC Central Church Sunday 7pm – St Barnabas Cathedral Monday & Tuesday 8:30am – SSEC Central Church Tuesday 7pm – St Barnabas Cathedral Contact Edward Ronia rim@solomon.com.sb or +677 848 8687 Thursday 18 July , 11am Sydney, Israel Institute. Suite 3/37 Railway Pde Eastwood, NSW 2122 Paul Jung 0417430677 Saturday 20th July 10am to 5pm (Shalom Israel Seminar) New Hope Baptist Church, 3 Springfield Rd, Blackburn North, VIC. Entrance will be $20 including afternoon tea, the cafe will be open and eateries will be nearby. Registration can be made at www.shalomisrael.com.au or by calling 0491 114 506 Sunday 21 July , 10am Trinity Presbyterian Church, Caufield, 581 Riversdale Rd, Camberwell, VIC, 3124, 03 9882 8102 Special ANZAC Israel Trip September 16-30th 2019 Register online at: www.derekprince.com.au $40 per person Post to: Derek Prince Ministries 1st Floor, 15 Park Road, Seven Hills NSW 2147 Phone: (02) 9838 7778 Email: enquiries@au.derekprince.com For other Dr Korman meeting dates and venues in Australia please call the above number. Environmental disasters are looming. Sources of energy are diminishing. Weapons of mass destruction are being produced even by smaller nations and are ready to be used as weapons of war. Radical Islam is worldwide on the rise. Faith in a personal God is in Europe, rapidly declining. Anxiety and fear for the future are increasingly laming the lives of many, as a deadly stranglehold. Is planet earth heading for an all devastating Third World War? What is the message of age-old Biblical prophecies and do they have any meaning for today? Are we standing at the beginning of the end of mankind and planet earth? Is Israel a sign of hope? Hear Rev. Glashouwer share some of the fifty-two signs of the times mentioned in the Bible from his latest book ‘The Signs of the Times’. by Rev. Willem Glashouwer PAPERBACK The Signs of the Times: Looking at the future from a Biblical Perspective $12 Order on back page or www.c4israel.com.au/store An exciting trip to Israel that culminates in the unveiling of the full size statue at Semakh to commemorate the Aboriginal Troopers of WW1. This significant occasion is a result of a joint program between C4Israel and the Australian Light Horse Association. The itinerary will cover the ANZAC history in the land, as well as the sites of Biblical interest. Barry Rodgers OAM who has led the Australian Light Horse anniversary and Centenary tours, will be leading this most relaxed, informative and enjoyable experience. TOTAL LAND PRICE for the trip is an affordable $4,220 AUD airfares available from $1750 . Contact Barry at 0428 662 528 or email barry@emugully.com.au for a detailed itinerary.

7. 19 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Biblical Reflection 6 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 A Cruel Assignment. Psalm 2 - Part 6a Worshippers praying at the Western Wall. | Photo: flickr Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author When God turns to a person in a special way, when He chooses him, He gives him special status and extraordinary talents, and a task always springs from this. The anointed may be the Judean king David, the nation of Israel, the Christ Jesus from Nazareth, his followers from Jews and Gentiles or also the eschatological messianic redeemer. But the election of the annointed one always carries an assignment with itself. The Son of God is always also the Servant of the Lord. Together with the inheritance, the heir will always also receive a commission. The ‘Yes’ to God’s Counsel In verse 7 of the second psalm, we have already seen that the Messiah agreed with ‘the Lord’s decree.’ He had decided to proclaim it. God expects the active consent of the one He has chosen to be His instrument. The Creator does not seek puppets without a will. He looks for children who consciously and resolutely want that “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10; 26:42; Luke 22:42). This is now emphatically underlined once more in verse 8. The Lord calls upon His Messiah: “Ask of me, and I shall give nations to you as inheritance, as your possession the ends of the earth.” This challenge comes from God. The parlance reminds of Solomon’s dream, where God tells the young king: “Ask me what I should give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Rashi phrases: “Pray to me all the time, if you come to fight against your enemies.” Exactly in this manner, the raised arms of Moses decided the fight against Amalek (E xodus 17:8-16). God wants to be asked by those who are active on His behalf. He seeks active prayer warriors. The Ends of the Earth God’s election may be exclusive, choosing just the Messiah or the anointed king or the anointed people or the spiritually gifted church, but the objective of God’s work is never a small circle of exclusives, but always ‘the ends of the earth’ (verse 8). The Creator hears the sighing of His unredeemed creation (Romans 8:22) – of the whole of creation! – And He suffers from it. God loves the world (John 3:16), not just one group of people. Though concentrating on the individual, the Father in Heaven always keeps in view the whole of the cosmos. Martin Luther connects Psalm 2:8 with Romans 15:8-9. There, Paul writes to the Gentile Christian church in Rome: “The Messiah has become a servant of circumcision for the sake of God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises that are given to the fathers; the Gentiles, however, shall praise God for His mercy’s sake.” With this connection, the reformer, consciously or unconsciously, first of all, underlines the lasting difference between Israel and the Gentiles. Luther concludes: “Therefore Zion will be given to Christ as His kingdom without Him asking for it; but the Gentiles are given to Him as inheritance as a result of His desire, as a gift of Christ, because nothing had been promised to them.” Luther then continues to develop a universal perspective: “Therefore, let us not accuse the word of this psalm of lying (so that we will not define the inheritance of Christ too tightly), neither because of the disgraceful behaviour (perfidiam) of the Turks, nor because of the multitude of others who are mistaken in error. For who else could know among us who are truly Christians? Are not even among us too many bad people, and only a few are good? The power (auctoritas) of the divine Word is greater than that we might comprehend it, how much more is it greater than our delusions (suspicio) and our imagination (phantasia) which are preoccupied with the appearance of external customs.” Impressive is the modesty of these statements with regard to ‘many bad people among us.’ At the same time, Luther recognises in this psalm’s words a hope for the Islamic world. The ends of the earth will bow to the claim of the power of the living God. That is not a question, but a certainty. It is not questionable if this will happen, but only when this will happen. Luther points out that the parallel between the ‘Gentile nations’ and the ‘ends of the earth’ had been observed before him: “St. Augustine thinks that here is a repetition of the same thing (tautologiam), for it is the same expressed by ‘the Gentiles as inheritance’ and ‘the end of the world as possession.’ This [repetition] is (as I have said) always an indication of certainty (firmitatis), by which our faith is strengthened even more.” A Claim of Exclusivity The God of Israel is not just the tribal god of some desert people. He is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is the God before whom every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He alone is Lord (Psalm 22:30; Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10). Before him, each and every human being will have to answer, whether he or she wants to or not. As much as God’s character is love, as much as He is driven by the will that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4), as much is He also holy. He cannot and will not leave the rebellion of the nations unanswered. Therefore, the Messiah not only has the task of self-sacrifice, as was the case with Jesus’ first coming and the fulfilment of Psalm 2 in the time of Pilate and Herod. The anointed of the Lord also has a judicial function: “You shall break them with an iron rod, dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (verse 9). Judge and Shepherd Luther writes concerning the Hebrew ְתּרֵֹﬠם (you shall break, smash), in which also the ‘shepherd’ רעה resonates: “‘You shalt smash them’ (reges eos) is in Hebrew ְתּרֵֹﬠם which St. Jerome translated: You shall tend them. Johannes Reuchlin, however, indicates in his ‘Foundations’ (rudimentis) many meanings of this word, namely: to tend, to govern, to take away, to beat, to dash, or even to smash and to crush. And this last meaning is, in my humble opinion, the most suitable for this post, first, because an iron rod, as everyone knows, is better for crushing and shattering than for grazing and governing. Secondly, for governing it would have sufficed to say, with a scepter (virga), but for grazing, one cannot properly speak of a scepter neither of an iron [scepter].” In four Hebrew letters, thus, a whole feature of the character of God’s Messiah is comprehended. We may see in these four letters the shepherd boy David, who takes care of his flock, but then definitely will become aggressive when a lion or a bear attacks (1 Samuel 17:34-36). We see the good shep herd going after a single lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), giving His life for the sheep (John 10:11). But we also see the judge of the world, who calls all nations to account, distinguishing between sheep and goats, in order to send away the one ‘to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life’ (Matthew 25:31-46). The Iron Rod Amos Hakham explains that the ‘iron rod’ ֵשֶׁבט ַבְּרֶזל is being used ‘to punish a rebellious slave. The Lord gives the king of Israel authority to subdue the rebellious Gentiles and punish them with all the severity of judgment.’ Rashi explains the ‘iron rod’ as ‘a sword.’ In Revelation 19:15, ‘a sharp sword’ and the “iron rod” stand side by side. The sword, carried by a government appointed by God, is to be feared because it “does not carry it in vain,” as Paul writes (Romans 13:4). For Luther, it is clear: “What is the rod (virga) of the mouth of Christ other than the Word of God, with which He smashes the earth, that is, those who are earthly- minded? What is the spirit of His lips other than the same Word of the Spirit, with which he kills the godless, that he may live in godliness after he died to godlessness? This is the scepter, to whose point in the hand of Joseph Jacob bowed, Genesis 47:31 [Hebrews 11:21]. This is the scepter whose head Saint Esther touched, Esther 5:2. ” Luther is aware that with his interpretation he leaves the ground of the simple wording of Scripture and slips into allegorical interpretation: “However, [the Gospel] is called a sceptre in metaphorical or rather in figurative speech.” Luther is not wrong when he states: “Just as the iron crushes and smashes everything, as is said in Daniel 2:40, so the Word of Christ crushes the great, that is, it humbles the proud, the crooked it makes just, that is, it chastises the disorderly, the straight it makes crooked, that is, it bows the haughty, the rough it makes smooth, that is, it makes the angry ones kind, the short it makes long, that is, it comforts the faint-hearted, the long it makes short, that is, it scares the presumptuous, the tightness it makes wide, that is, the stingy it makes generous, the width it makes tight, that is, the spendthrift it makes economical, the blunt it makes sharp, that is, the unlearned it makes learned, the sharp it makes dull, that is, the sages it makes fools, it takes away the rust, that is, it dispels laziness. In short, it destroys every flawed shape and changes it into another that pleases God.” The ‘iron rod’ in Psalm 2:9, however, is about more than just a figurative, symbolic function of the Word of God by which a believer is purified, sanctified and realigned. Just as the opening verses of the psalm describe a concrete situation that is visible today, the following verses are about concrete, global political events. Luther knows: “See what it m eans to govern them (regere) with an iron sceptre that is (as he says here) to smash many nations with an iron horn.” The comparison with the clay pot, which shatters into innumerable small pieces, is widespread in Holy Scripture (Rashi), up to the treasure that we have in ‘earthen vessels’, according to the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 4:7). “The Hebrew word ְתַּנְפֵּצם means, as Reuchlin affirms, you should disperse them, divide them, throw them apart.” Luther further observes, that ‘a broken pot is completely unfit for its former use, so that you see how the word of Isaiah 30:14 is fulfilled: ‘Not a shard of its pieces will be found, to get in it a fire from the hearth, or to draw water with it from a well. For a clay pot that has been broken, there is no restoration.” The ‘staff’ stands for the rule of God, which will someday be unmistakably intrinsically tangible. Psalm 45:7 says: “Your throne, God, is forever and ever. A straight rod is the rod of your kingship.” Psalm 2 points out what Hannah, mother of the Prophet Samuel, confessed in her praise (1 Samuel 2:6-7): “The Lord kills and makes alive. He leads down into the realm of the dead and up [again]. The Lord makes poor and makes rich. He humbles and exalts.” This article is the sixth instalment (split into 3 parts) in a series of contributions to the interpretation of Psalm 2. Psalm 2 - Part 6b will be published in the August issue. The full text of this article, including extensive footnotes, can be found at www.c4israel.org/teaching-articles/ C4I Happenings 7 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Happy 71st Birthday Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, started 11 May and ended at sundown, 12 May. The original date corresponds to 14 May 1948. On that, the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel was signed. On 13 May, Israel observed Yom Hazikaron, a day of remembrance for the fallen soldiers of Israel and victims of terrorism. The message of the two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence to the people who sacrificed their lives. Yom Ha’atzmaut is celebrated by Jewish communities around the world. In Israel many people go to the parks and beaches to barbecue, attend events, concerts etc. | Photo: Flash90 Extinguishing Fire Members of the Israeli and Palestinian fire brigade practice together regularly. A while ago, there was a large-scale fire drill in the city of Jenin, where six Israeli fire-fighting planes were brought into action and six Israeli and two Palestinian pump vehicles. The joint drills result in good cooperation. During the forest fires near Haifa, at the end of 2016, the Palestinian fire-brigade teams hastened to assist their Israeli colleagues. Appeal for Peace Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, a billionaire from the United Arab Emirates posted a video on Twitter recently appealing for peace with Israel. ‘Israel is not our enemy. We need to accept them and they have to accept us.’ He states that cooperation would have a lot of benefits. Ancient Trash Reveals Downfall of Empire Once upon a time, there was a lot of trade and prosperity in the Negev. Villages and cities flourished some 1,500 years ago. Recently, archaeologists dug through ancient garbage dumps in the area. They believe they have discovered why the Byzantine Empire experienced a remarkable downfall. The urban waste management system –a sign of well- organised social life— ended abruptly in 550, probably because of a climatic disaster and disease. | Photo: Shutterstock Short News Rev Willem JJ n Glashouwer President | Christians for Israel International Honorary President | European Coalition for Israel We live in a modern world. Communication is the magic word. Electronic highways connect the world and make ‘planet earth’ into a global village. ‘Bluetooth’ connects your cellphone to other systems of communication! What is Bluetooth? Bluetooth is a short- range wireless communication technology that allows devices such as mobile phones, computers, and peripherals to transmit data or voice wirelessly over a short distance. Where Does ‘Bluetooth’ Come From? Believe it or not: from a Danish King in the 10th century AD! His name was Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormsson! And at Jelling in Denmark, one can see the old stones with ‘runen’-inscriptions ordered by King Harald! The Encyclopædia Britannica considers the runic inscriptions as the best-known in Denmark. The biography of Harald Bl uetooth is summed up by this runic inscription from the Jelling stones: “King Harald bade these memorials to be made after Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. The Harald who won the whole of Denmark and Norway and turned the Danes to Christianity.” Harald ‘connected’ the Danes with Christ. From their Nordic gods, myths and demons to the God of Israel Who revealed Himself in Christ. From Edda to Torah. And Denmark placed the cross of Jesus in their national flag. Each Danish passport to this very day shows the picture of Christ from the Jelling stone. Rescue of the Jewish Population The behaviour of the Danish nation about the Jews in their country during World War II was impeccable. The rescue of the Danish Jews occurred during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Denmark during World War II. On 1 October 1943, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered Danish Jews to be arrested and deported. Despite great personal risk, the Danish resistance movement, with the assistance of many Danish citizens, managed to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews, plus 686 non-Jewish spouses, by sea to nearby neutral Sweden. The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark’s Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis and is considered to be one of the largest actions of collective resistance to aggression in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. As a result of the rescue, and the following Danish intercession on behalf of the 464 Danish Jews who were captured and deported to the Theresienstadt transit camp in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, over 99% of Denmark’s Jewish population survived the Holocaust. Recent Speaking Tour For four days (26-29 April) I had the privilege to preach and teach at various locations in Denmark about Israel and the Jewish people – and the Coming of the Lord and of His Kingdom. We met with groups of young people, held seminars in several churches and finally we had a meeting with the Danish Board. So Christians for Israel Denmark (‘Kristne for Israel’) is moving – publishing among other things a beautiful Danish newspaper! And they host a website as well. May the Holy Spirit function as the heavenly communicator to open today the hearts and minds of many Christians and churches in Denmark for Israel and the Jewish people as Harald Bluetooth did, over 1000 years ago for Christ! ‘Bluetooth’ and Denmark National Viking museum in Jelling, Denmark, situated west of Vejle and it is a fascinating Unesco world heritage site. | Photo: Shutterstock Emergency Appeal Emergency Assistance Southern Israel You can donate by completing the coupon on the back page or online on www.c4israel.org Pray for the families of the victims and the people who were injured. On the first weekend of May 2019, there was widespread unrest in southern Israel. In less than 48 hours over 700 missiles were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It was one of the worst rocket attacks in recent years and aimed at random Israeli civilian targets around the Gaza strip. Four people were killed and dozens wounded. Once again, a major trauma for the residents of southern Israel. Through our partner organisations in Israel, we offered to provide first aid to families in southern Israel who were directly affected by the rockets. Also, we hope to be able to contribute to the reconstruction and protection of the population of southern Israel. There has already been an amazing response to our online emergency appeal, for which we thank all our faithful supporters. Until now, we have received more than 61,000 euros for emergency aid in southern Israel! That sum will be used one hundred per cent for emergency aid. We feel it necessary to continue raising funds for emergency aid, because, despite relative calm at the moment, we unfortunately, expect new violence to flare up again. Therefore, your donations remain welcome! Your gift is not only a financial contribution but also an enormous encouragement for our friends in Israel. It strengthens the people in Israel to know that they have loyal friends around the world, who stand beside them! Pray that innocent men, women and children in southern Israel and Gaza can live in peace. A missile hit at the entrance of an apartment building for elderly people and Holocaust survivors. Your donation will be used to help repair the damaged apartments of this vulnerable group. | Photo: Jewish Agency

23. 23 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Theology 11 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia In the early centuries of church history, the Hebrew foundations of Christianity were removed due to anti- Jewish biases, and the cost to both Jews and Christians was huge. Context and culture are incredibly important for understanding the Bible correctly. Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper was painted in 1498, and over half a millennia later it was in a terrible condition. Some paint was flaking, it was damaged from pollution and humidity, and was in such disrepair that, in 1977, Pinin Barcilon was tasked with restoring the masterpiece. She had to tackle nearly 500 years’ worth of dust, grime, deterioration, mould, candle soot and several appalling attempts at restoration from the eighteenth century. Heavy coats of varnish, glue and poor efforts by painters filling in the gaps with their own interpretations needed to be removed. Every square centimetre of the painting was photographed, and months of preparation work undertaken before it was even touched. Once the work commenced, a good day may have revealed a section the size of a postage stamp; it took 22 years to restore The Last Supper, finishing in 1999. The essence of the scene was unchanged, but the gloomy shadows were gone. Andrew was no longer sullen, Jesus’ face glowed, Matthew had blond hair not black, Peter’s beard and nose were finally clear, Thomas had his left hand restored, and the vibrant colours of the master were revealed after being hidden for centuries. The ‘before and after’ photos online show the difference the restorers made. It was the same picture but with far greater clarity and vibrancy. I use this example to make my point about the Hebrew foundations of Christianity. The Bible is Jewish; the words in it come from Jewish thought, mind and cultural contexts. The language of the Scriptures Jesus used is Hebrew; the prophets were Jews; the apostles were Jews; our Messiah Jesus was, and remains, a Jew. If you want to understand the words of Jewish prophets, kings, priests, apostles and the Messiah Himself, then you need to understand Hebrew culture and custom, and the environment in which those words and events took place. The picture you already have won’t necessarily change, but the details, clarity, significance and the message will absolutely take on greater meaning and depth. Some things will absolutely be very different—but the goal is to know the truth. This new series will focus on the Hebrew basis of our Christian faith. I hope that the segments will enrich your life and reignite your passion for Scripture. 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. www.vision.org.au/radio/night-vision. Some elements and content in this article are taken from the book ‘Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus’ by Lois Tverberg. www.ourrabbijesus.com Lessons from Following Our Rabbi Mosaic of Last Supper of Jesus by Giacomo Raffaelli in the Minoriten church as a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting. | Photo: Shutterstock Rev Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International “You shall count seven weeks (...) Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 16:10) Our Pentecost has amazing roots in the Old Testament. Pentecost comes from the Greek word ‘pentekosta’, which means 50. On the day that the Holy Spirit was poured into the hearts of those people in Jerusalem, the Feast of Weeks was being celebrated in the city. Thousands of people from different countries had come to Jerusalem for the feast. Not for Pentecost, as we know it, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was yet to come. They celebrated the ‘Feast of Weeks’. ‘Shavu’ot’ means ‘Weeks’. As described in Exodus 34 and Deuteronomy 16. After c elebrating Passover in the night before the exodus, the people of Israel started on their journey through the Sinai desert. After seven weeks of seven days, they arrived at Mount Horeb. The next day Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, the visible sign of God’s Covenant with His people. Fifty days after liberation from deathly slavery they received the sign of the Covenant from God Himself. Shavu’ot is an exuberant f east da y: “And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 16:11). How wonderful to realise that exactly fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead we also received a sign of God’s faithfulness: The Holy Spirit as ‘the earnest of our inheritance’ (Ephesians1:14). Pentecost is also a feast of joy. In Israel, the Feast of Weeks is also called the Feast of the Firstfruits. It coincides with the harvest of the wheat. A part of the harvest, the firstfruits, was sacrificed to the Lord (Leviticus 23:10). Now it becomes even more special. For in the New Testament we, as Christians who receive the Holy Spirit, are also called firstfruits: “God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Just as the firstfruits of the harvest were consecrated to God, so we as believers are consecrated to God as firstfruits. That is why, as Christians, we no longer live for ourselves, but have become disciples of Jesus, followers of Him. Jesus is God’s only begotten Son: His firstborn. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us. Through the Holy Spirit in our hearts - we may believe in Him, and we ourselves become ‘firstfruits’. Isn’t it wonderful that both God’s teachings on Mount Horeb and the Holy Spirit of Pentecost do not come from within us, but are given to us from above, by God? It is all a gift of grace to the Jewish people as well as to Christians. We both live by grace. In Israel, Shavu ’ ot is celebrated with flower parades and feasts. We also celebrate our Pentecost with joy and music as a sign of the Christian church’s connection and solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. The Feast of Shavu’ot A field of wheat. | Photo: Unsplash Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Theology 11 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia In the early centuries of church history, the Hebrew foundations of Christianity were removed due to anti- Jewish biases, and the cost to both Jews and Christians was huge. Context and culture are incredibly important for understanding the Bible correctly. Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper was painted in 1498, and over half a millennia later it was in a terrible condition. Some paint was flaking, it was damaged from pollution and humidity, and was in such disrepair that, in 1977, Pinin Barcilon was tasked with restoring the masterpiece. She had to tackle nearly 500 years’ worth of dust, grime, deterioration, mould, candle soot and several appalling attempts at restoration from the eighteenth century. Heavy coats of varnish, glue and poor efforts by painters filling in the gaps with their own interpretations needed to be removed. Every square centimetre of the painting was photographed, and months of preparation work undertaken before it was even touched. Once the work commenced, a good day may have revealed a section the size of a postage stamp; it took 22 years to restore The Last Supper, finishing in 1999. The essence of the scene was unchanged, but the gloomy shadows were gone. Andrew was no longer sullen, Jesus’ face glowed, Matthew had blond hair not black, Peter’s beard and nose were finally clear, Thomas had his left hand restored, and the vibrant colours of the master were revealed after being hidden for centuries. The ‘before and after’ photos online show the difference the restorers made. It was the same picture but with far greater clarity and vibrancy. I use this example to make my point about the Hebrew foundations of Christianity. The Bible is Jewish; the words in it come from Jewish thought, mind and cultural contexts. The language of the Scriptures Jesus used is Hebrew; the prophets were Jews; the apostles were Jews; our Messiah Jesus was, and remains, a Jew. If you want to understand the words of Jewish prophets, kings, priests, apostles and the Messiah Himself, then you need to understand Hebrew culture and custom, and the environment in which those words and events took place. The picture you already have won’t necessarily change, but the details, clarity, significance and the message will absolutely take on greater meaning and depth. Some things will absolutely be very different—but the goal is to know the truth. This new series will focus on the Hebrew basis of our Christian faith. I hope that the segments will enrich your life and reignite your passion for Scripture. 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. www.vision.org.au/radio/night-vision. Some elements and content in this article are taken from the book ‘Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus’ by Lois Tverberg. www.ourrabbijesus.com Lessons from Following Our Rabbi Mosaic of Last Supper of Jesus by Giacomo Raffaelli in the Minoriten church as a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting. | Photo: Shutterstock Rev Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International “You shall count seven weeks (...) Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 16:10) Our Pentecost has amazing roots in the Old Testament. Pentecost comes from the Greek word ‘pentekosta’, which means 50. On the day that the Holy Spirit was poured into the hearts of those people in Jerusalem, the Feast of Weeks was being celebrated in the city. Thousands of people from different countries had come to Jerusalem for the feast. Not for Pentecost, as we know it, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was yet to come. They celebrated the ‘Feast of Weeks’. ‘Shavu’ot’ means ‘Weeks’. As described in Exodus 34 and Deuteronomy 16. After c elebrating Passover in the night before the exodus, the people of Israel started on their journey through the Sinai desert. After seven weeks of seven days, they arrived at Mount Horeb. The next day Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, the visible sign of God’s Covenant with His people. Fifty days after liberation from deathly slavery they received the sign of the Covenant from God Himself. Shavu’ot is an exuberant f east da y: “And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 16:11). How wonderful to realise that exactly fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead we also received a sign of God’s faithfulness: The Holy Spirit as ‘the earnest of our inheritance’ (Ephesians1:14). Pentecost is also a feast of joy. In Israel, the Feast of Weeks is also called the Feast of the Firstfruits. It coincides with the harvest of the wheat. A part of the harvest, the firstfruits, was sacrificed to the Lord (Leviticus 23:10). Now it becomes even more special. For in the New Testament we, as Christians who receive the Holy Spirit, are also called firstfruits: “God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). Just as the firstfruits of the harvest were consecrated to God, so we as believers are consecrated to God as firstfruits. That is why, as Christians, we no longer live for ourselves, but have become disciples of Jesus, followers of Him. Jesus is God’s only begotten Son: His firstborn. He gave His life as a sacrifice for us. Through the Holy Spirit in our hearts - we may believe in Him, and we ourselves become ‘firstfruits’. Isn’t it wonderful that both God’s teachings on Mount Horeb and the Holy Spirit of Pentecost do not come from within us, but are given to us from above, by God? It is all a gift of grace to the Jewish people as well as to Christians. We both live by grace. In Israel, Shavu ’ ot is celebrated with flower parades and feasts. We also celebrate our Pentecost with joy and music as a sign of the Christian church’s connection and solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people. The Feast of Shavu’ot A field of wheat. | Photo: Unsplash Sivan - Tammuz 5779 SEE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF OUR PAST TOURS: facebook.com/visionchristiantours  EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST TODAY! PHONE ............... 1300 550 830 Call Olive Tree Travel , our expert travel agents EMAIL ............... info@olivetreetravel.com.au WEB .................... visiontours.org.au    13 NIGHTS IN ISRAEL & JORDAN YOU WILL NEVER FORGET! *Twin share. Includes return economy airfares+airport taxes, 4 star plus hotels, buffet breakfast and dinner each day and some lunches, site entry fees, luxury coaches and much more. Conditions apply . See the pages of your Bible come alive on this unique deluxe tour, as you praise Jesus in the places He... • calmed the storm • walked on water • fed 5000 • wept for the lost • healed, preached, prayed, died and rose again. Great Value for Money! $8590 * Per Person 24 FEB TO 10/17 MAR 2020

3. 15 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 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, Marijke Terlouw and Marie-Louise Weissenböck 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 Queensland, Australia 4127 T el: +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 James Patrick, National Representative 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 republish any articles or materials appearing in Israel & Christians Today. www.facebook.com/c4israel Will Bibi Annex Judea and Samaria? Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l Pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu as he seeks to form a coalition government, and President Rivlin as he oversees this process. l Pray for the newly elected Knesset. Pray that the parliamentarians make good decisions and will expect help from the Lord. Pray for wisdom during the formation of the new government. l Pray for peace in the South of Israel. Pray that the ongoing threat from Gaza will stop and that the Israeli government will take appropriate decisions in its dealings with the governing authorities in Gaza. l ‘But the mountains of Israel will produce heavy crops of fruit for my people – for they will be coming home again soon! See, I care about you, and I will pay attention to you. Your ground will be ploughed and your crops planted. I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people.’ (Ezekiel 36:8-10). Give thanks to God for the fulfilment of His promises which can be seen happening in Israel right now . Israel & the Nations l Thank God for bringing His people home. More Jews immigrated into Israel in 2018 than in the year before. 29,600 Jews moved to Israel in total last year. l ‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for My sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.’ (Ezekiel 34:11-12) � l Pray that the anti-Israel attitude of the United Nations will change, that countries will decide to bless Israel instead of to curse Israel. Christians for Israel l Pray for progress in the work of Christians for Israel in Asia. There are teams working in various countries. Pray for the right people to start an Asian edition of Israel & Christians Today.� l The rise of anti-Semitism is clear and happens (also) at high levels. As Christians, we need to stand in the gap for the Jewish people through prayer and not be afraid to raise our voice. Pray that opposition to anti- Semitism will be clear and will make a difference. l Thank God for the opportunities we have in many countries to spread the message about God’s faithfulness to Israel. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Since the last edition of this newspaper, much has happened. “King” Bibi Netanyahu, the master of the art of turning defeat into victory, emerged as the clear winner in the elections held in Israel early April. With a remarkable shift towards the centre/right, the political landscape in Israel has been transformed. On 25 April President Trump announced that the US ‘recognises Israeli sovereignty’ over the Golan Heights - a statement that attracted global condemnation (see the analysis on page 12). In early May, as Yochanan Visser reports on page 1, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, this time resulting in casualties, and a strong Israeli response. Bibi now faces a huge challenge to form a stable coalition. One of the main issues facing the new government will be Israel’s relations with the Palestinians, especially the question of the status of settlements. Prior to the elections, Bibi had announced that if re-elected he would annex (i.e. extend Israeli sovereignty to) Israeli settlements in the ‘West Bank’ (i.e. Judea and Samaria), including ‘isolated settlements’. He also ruled out a Palestinian state as it would ‘endanger our existence’. In a recent tweet Netanyahu indicated he intends to fulfil that promise, referring to Judea and Samaria as ‘our patrimony’, and rejecting objections by some former Israeli security leaders that annexing parts of the ‘West Bank’ would endanger the security of Israel’s citizens. Bibi will, of course, not do anythin g until President Trump’s team has revealed its peace plan. The ‘deal of the century’ - a mastermind of Trump’s (Jewish) son-in- law Jared Kushner - is a highly-guarded secret (Kushner said recently even the President hasn’t read it yet). It is still being drafted as we speak and is due to be released mid-June at the earliest. Kushner has revealed enough of the plan already for us to know that it will constitute a radical departure from the one-dimensional ‘two- state’ paradigm – the model that has dominated diplomatic discussions for the last few decades but has so far failed to pr oduce an outcome acceptable to both Israel and the Palestinians. Basically, the Two-State Solution says that the Palestinians have a right to a state covering all of the so-called West Bank, including ‘East Jerusalem’ as their capital. The Two-State Solution has failed because it assumes the PLO is capable of governing the Palestinian people (as Mordechai Kedar argues, on page 4, the PA has practically no legitimacy amongst the Palestinians). But also because its main conditions are simply unacceptable to Israel. The vast majority of Israelis will not – and cannot - agree to the division of Jerusalem, creation of a Palestinian state without adequate security guarantees, and removal of all settlements. In addition, they cannot accept the Palestinians’ claim that Palestinian ‘refugees’ have a ‘right to return’ to Israel. To accept such conditions would be to sign their own death warrant. In true Trump style, the U.S. plan will be ‘out of the box’. It will provide detailed proposals addressing core issues (e.g. suggestions for the final borders of Israel, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Palestinian refugees, etc.), but it will not be about how to create a new negotiating process; rather, its goal is to offer ‘solutions.’ Above all, the U.S. plan will have proposals for attracting investment to improve the q uality of life for Palestinians, while dismissing their ‘political aspirations’. When asked to endorse the idea of demilitarised statehood that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself once proposed, Kushner said he was avoiding the term ‘state’ altogether: “If you say ‘two- states’ it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one thing to the Palestinians, and we said, let’s just not say it.” Many are skeptical about the plan’s chances of success and worried about the risk of unforeseeable consequences if it fails. And the chances of the plan being implemented are very slim indeed. The U.S. has no power to impose any solutions. The Palestinian leadership have already rejected the plan. European leaders are also vehemently opposed to any plan that replaces their cherished ‘Two-State Solution’. The plan is just one factor in a major shake up in the region, and it is impossible to predict how things will play out. Bahrain has an nounced its agreement to host a conference in June to launch the ‘economic’ aspects of the plan - yet another indication of growing acceptance of Israel in the Middle East, due in part to the deepening hostility between the (moderate) Sunni and more radical Shiite regimes. However Israel’s peace partners Egypt and Jordan are showing little willingness to support the plan, and it remains to be seen how far other moderate Arab states will go in sticking their necks out for a proposal that does not recognise Palestinian statehood or Arab sovereignty over East Jerusalem. Al l of this is complicated by the attempts to get Arab states to participate in MESA (Middle East Strategic Alliance), the US-Saudi initiative to establish an ‘Arab NATO’ to counter Iran. Several weeks ago Egypt announced it does not intend to participate in MESA. Plan or no plan, there is increasing pressure on the Israeli government to take action regarding Judea and Samaria. Many (former) IDF leaders have been warning for some time that the ‘West Bank’ is slowly becoming another Gaza. Israel must either completely withdraw or take back more control. The current polic y of maintaining the status quo is untenable in the long run. But Israel will face huge resistance if it seeks to take more control in Areas A and B, and/or annex Area C - not only in the diplomatic arena but more importantly on the ground, especially from radical elements within Palestinian society, Hamas, Hezbollah and other radical Islamic forces in the region, backed by Iran. It is also hard to see how Israel could unilaterally roll back the structures that have been put in place since the Oslo agreements in the early 1990s. One way or another, an escalation of conflict in the near futur e seems likely. News 3 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Living in Gaza The port of Gaza offers a colourful image of a lively city. All the reports about the conflict with Hamas may give the impression that the Gaza Strip is one big terror nest, but the reality is, of course, more nuanced. In the densely populated Gaza Strip is home to almost two million people. Not all of them sympathise with Hamas. Not all of them hate Israel. People live their daily lives to the best of their ability and try to provide for their livelihoods. | Photo: Flash90 Old City Name Discovered In the Negev desert, during an excavation, an extraordinary discovery was made: chiselled in stone it said in Greek the name of the city, Halutza. The text itself was chiselled into the stone some 1,700 years ago. This discovery is not an isolated case. Only a short while ago the remnants of a public bath and a Byzantine church were recovered out of the dust. Dates Conquer the World The Israeli avocado has already found its way abroad. Now dates are next. With this plan the chairman of the board of Osem is taking formal leave of his position. In the meanwhile investors are approached so that date plantations can be bought in the Jordan Valley. The plan is ambitious. Because the team wants to invest in computer systems so that the irriga tion and fertilization are ideal. The date is one of the Majhoul varieties. With an increasing interest for healthy snacks the team expects that the juicy Majhoul date has an excellent chance to conquer the world. | Photo: Flash90 Germany Defines BDS as anti-Semitic A majority of Germany’s Bundestag legislators have voted for a motion to label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as an entity that uses antisemitic tactics against Israel. Short News Continued from page 1 Sivan - Tammuz 5779 3eW 8illeN (lashouwer n 1resident ] Christians for Israel ‘...I will surely gather them from all the lands (...) I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety (...) I will give them singleness of heart and action (...) I will make an everlasting covenant with them (...) I will assuredly plant them in this land with all My heart and soul.’ Jeremiah 32:37-41 NIV In August 1997, the Jewish World Congress in Basel, Switzerland, celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the first Jewish Zionist Congress which took place in Basel under the leadership of Theodor Herzl. Zionism was the Jewish movement which started with only one goal: going home, to Israel, to Zion. Zionism is the longing that the Most High worked into the hearts of Jews all over the world. It is not a political movement as such. But it the longing for Zion, for Jerusalem, for Israel, for the Promised land. And Jews began to come. From the pogroms in Tsarist Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. From the countries of Central Europe. From Poland and the Balkans. Herzl predicted in 1897 that it would take fifty years at most before there would be a Jewish State of Israel. Well, it took exactly fifty years: 1947 was the year in which the United Nations General Assembly decided that Jews could have their own homeland, and in 1948 the independent Jewish State of Israel was proclaimed. When Ezekiel prophesies about the return of the scattered Jewish people, when he sees how the valley of dry bones comes to life, how the bones come together and tendons and flesh appear on them and skin covers them, and when he gets to prophesy breath, spirit, life into them, then the Lord says in the explanation of this vision: “(...) My people, I am going to open your graves (the Jews being like buried among the nations) an d bring you up from them (from the ‘graves’ of the nations in which Jewish people were like dead), I will bring you back to the land of Israel.” Who is bringing the Jews home? It is the Lord Himself. The time has come when the Lord will be merciful to His people and will fulfil all His promises to Israel. He is committed to this with His all His heart and with all His soul. As far as I know, there is only one verse in the Bible that speaks about the heart and soul of God. Many verses speak about the heart and soul of us human beings. But only one that tells us what’s in the heart and soul of the Most High right now. Jeremiah 32:37-41 says: “(...) I will surely gather them from all the lands (...) I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety (...) I will give them singleness of heart and action (...) I will make an everlasting covenant with them (...) I will assuredly plant them in this land with all MY heart and soul (...)”. In order that soon from Jerusalem, peace will cover the whole earth, and the nations will never train for war any more. “(...) I will come to give rest to Israel.” (Jeremiah 31:1-2) If HIS heart and HIS soul are fully committed right now to bringing HIS people home to HIS land, shouldn’t our hearts and souls be committed to that process as well? Heart and Soul Protester waving Palestinian flag. | Photo: Unsplash Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah later confirmed that his organisation had delivered the Kornet missile to the Palestinian terror organisations in Gaza. At the beginning of May 2019, the same scenario came into play when Islamic Jihad snipers wounded two Israeli soldiers who were guarding the border with Gaza. That incident set off a new missile mini-war after the IDF responded by targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad related targets in Gaza. When the parties reached an unofficial ceasefire in the early hours of 7 May, 690 missiles had been fired on Israeli cities as far as Beit Shemesh 20 kilometres west of Jerusalem and the port city of Ashdod south of Tel Aviv. It later became clear that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala had ordered the missile onslaught at the very time they were in Cairo to discuss a new long-term Hudna (tactical ceasefire) with Egyptian mediators. Both leaders h ave strong ties with Iran and reportedly take their orders from Qassem Soleimani, the shrewd commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Quds Force is tasked with exporting the Islamic Revolution to other countries in the Middle East and beyond and is supporting and directing a number of proxies such as Ansar Allah (Houthis) in Yemen and the Hashd al- Sha’abi umbrella organisation of predominantly Shiite militias in Iraq. Sinwar was also responsible for reconciliation between Hamas and Iran in October 2017 and later openly confirm ed Iran was the main sponsor of the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. The reconciliation became necessary after the Iranians significantly reduced their aid to the terrorist organisation over Hamas’ initial backing of Sunni Islamist rebels in Syria who tried to overthrow the Assad- regime. Egypt has a vested interest in calm in Gaza since it is still struggling with an insurgency by ISIS-inspired Islamists in the Sinai Peninsula. Iran, on the other hand, has no interest in a lasting ceasefire in Gaza since it wants to drag the IDF into the Gazan mud to open a multi-front missile war against Israel. Former Israeli national security adviser Ya’acov Amidror later confirmed that Iran was behind the serious escalation in southern Israel at the beginning of May. For this reason, the IDF decided to assassinate the so-called ‘money man’ Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudari a Hamas terrorist, who was responsible for the transfer of Iranian funds to the various Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. It later became clear that Iran’s proxy Islamic Jihad in Gaza – also called Quds Brigade- had tried to drag Israel into a new Gaza-war and that its operatives formed the bulk of the terrorists killed by the IDF. The more than 290 Israeli airstrikes on terrorist targets in Gaza during the two- day war, between 6-7 May, were enough to ensure a new period of relative quiet. Iran is, however, expected to pressure the Palestinian groups to keep up the current war of attrition, and it continues to work on its plan for a multi-front missile war against Israel. For this reason, the Quds Force has supplied Hezbollah with more than 140,000 missiles and has created the so-called Golan Liberation Brigade in Syria, an 80,000 men-strong Shiite fighting force, while attempting to build missile factories in both Lebanon and Syria. Israel has so far deterred the Quds Force from engaging in a new confrontation with the IDF, such as the one on 10 May 2018 when the Israeli air force destroyed much of the Iranian military infrastructure in Syria after 32 Iranian missiles were launched in the direction of northern Israel. This is the wider picture of the current conflict with the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza, and it explains why the Israeli government of PM Netanyahu decided not to launch a large ground operation in Gaza in November 2018 and May 2019.

28. 28 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today Sivan - Tammuz 5779 2 3 Our Projects 16 June 2019 | Israel & Christians Today 43 Years of Prayer Sivan - Tammuz 5779 Koen Carlier n Christians for Israel Ukraine Every Jewish family who goes to Israel leaves for different reasons. That’s why we always ask them what motivates them to go. So we put that to sixty-year-old Edick, who recently left for Israel with his 84-year-old mother Schindla, a Holocaust survivor. On arriving at Edick’s apartment, just before leaving for the airport, we were let in by Alona, the caretaker who has cared for Schindla these past two years. We introduced ourselves to Schindla, but she didn’t say a word and looked at us very suspiciously. It was a typical Soviet apartment: two small rooms. Edick came in from the other room, gave us a friendly smile, and we started talking. He said he’d been praying to be able to go to Israel with his mother for either seven or seventeen years - I did not understand exactly what he said. Either way, he had been praying for a long time. Edick had been reading the Bible a lot, especially scripture verses that talk about the return, and would often say to his mother: “Let’s do what the Bible says and go to our homeland”. But Schindla was a bit stubborn and would always say: “Let’s wait a little longer”. Edick eventually considered going by himself, but he didn’t want to leave his mother alone. “Your Wish Will be Fulfilled” One day, a few months ago, Schindla said to her only child: “Your wish will be fulfilled. I am ready to leave Ukraine indefinitely.” Edick looked at his mother in unbelief, but she really meant it. The official papers were quickly taken care off. An interview at the Israeli embassy in Kiev, exit visa and date of departure were arranged by the Jewish Agency. Schindla has difficulty walking, but she was very determined. Slowly but surely she walked to the bus without saying a word. Two other families were also going. Saying Goodbye When everyone was on the bus, we introduced ourselves and shared how Christians for Israel helps people to return practically, in collaboration with the Jewish Agency. Once at the airport, we helped everyone with their luggage, seventy kilograms per person. After everyone was checked in, we gave them instructions as to what to expect on their arrival in Tel Aviv and also gave them a calendar showing the Jewish holidays. Right before saying goodbye, I asked Edick whether he’d been praying for seven or seventeen years. He laughed and said: “From the age of seventeen, I have prayed regularly to be able to return to my homeland.” I did the math and said: “Edick, you have prayed for 43 years?” He smiled and nodded. “Yes, I have”. I was amazed. Right before going through security, Schindla suddenly grabbed my hand, looked at me kindly and said: “Thank you very much, may the Almighty bless your work!” God is Faithful On the way back, I kept thinking of those 43 years. Truly, God is faithful and answers prayers. Not in our time, but in His time. Edick and Schindla at the airport with Koen, right before departing for Israel. | Photo: Christians for Israel 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) $___________ Semakh Statue Memorial (Matching dollar for dollar appeal) $___________ Hineni soup kitchen & Holocaust survivor support $300 One Person* $5000 One Busload (25 persons) $1350 Bnei Menashe - Asian Jews (1 person) $___________ $___________ First Home in the Homeland ($350 pp) Emergency Fire Fighting Appeal $1000 One Family (5 persons)* $______ ___________ Israel and Christians Today Paper (free or by donation) Riding Into History (BOOK - NEW ) by Barry Rodgers Light Horse History Bundle (BOOK + DVD - NEW ) by Barry Rodgers $50 each ___________ $100 each Adi Watches (Mens) (Ladies) ___________ $12 each The Signs of the Times (BOOK NEW ) by Willem J.J. Glashouwer ___________ ___________ ___________ The Light Horse Century (DVD - NEW ) by Barry Rodgers $25 each ___________ 70 Questions About Israel (BOOKLET - NEW ) by Chan Siew Fong $30 each ___________ Anti-Israel Agenda (BOOK) by Alex Ryvchin $___________ ($15 per parcel) Food Parcels $12.50ea ___________ Israel 70 Years Magazine (Special Discounted Price) $46 each ___________ Israel on Trial (500p Reference BOOK) by Andrew Tucker Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer and Author The people of Israel will vote on 9 April to elect the 21st Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel since its establishment in May 1948. About six million Israelis are eligible to vote. Israel has a proportional representation system. Inevitably it will be necessary to form a coalition government, so all the main contending parties are preparing for possible partnerships. According to the website of the Central Electoral Committee of the Knesset 43 political parties are standing for election. For the first time, Labor is no longer a serious contender, and may not even meet the threshold of 3.25% of the votes required to have a seat in the Knesset. Two new parties have recently been established challenging Likud’s dominance of the political scene. The first is the New Right Party (HaYamin HeHadash), a right-wing political party established in December 2018 by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The party has recently been joined by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, author of the book ‘The Israel Solution’, who advocates Israeli annexation of the West Bank. The other main rival to Likud is the new ‘Blue-White’ party led by former Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya’alon. ‘Blue-White’ has been joined by former journalist, former finance minister and leader of the centrist-party Yesh Atid, Ya’ir Lapid. Israelis may also vote for parties with names such as ‘New Horizon with Dignity’, ‘Responsibility for Founders’, ‘Social Security’, ‘Social Justice’, ‘Real Democracy’, ‘Hope for Change’, ‘Unity of the Sons of the Covenant’, ‘Eternal Covenant’, ‘the Pirates’, ‘Bridge’, ‘Identity’, ‘Education’, ‘Reform’, ‘Human Dignity’, ‘Protective Shield’, ‘Simply Love’ and ‘You and I’. For months the main media platforms in Israel have been occupied primarily with one question: who can oust Benjamin Netanyahu? At 69 years of age, Benjamin Netanyahu is vying for his fifth term as Prime Minister. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the modern state of Israel, and the most popular head of government Israel has ever had. Allegations of corruption and breach of trust threatened to topple Netanyahu but are barely an issue any more. Although the Attorney-General has announced that Netanyahu will be charged, a final decision on indictment has been postponed until after the elections. To the chagrin of all Netanyahu-doom- prophets, all coalition partners of the Likud have announced that they would be ready to continue the coalition even if Netanyahu were charged. Under Israeli law, a Prime Minister who is charged is not obliged to resign. Interestingly, the issue that Europeans, in particular, find so important – the relationship with the Palestinians and the two-state solution – is not really an issue in this election campaign. The positions of those parties likely to be part of a coalition government are virtually indistinguishable in this regard. One Nation 2 Israel Goes to the Polls Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au & Christians Today ISRAEL AUSTRALIA April 2019 nissan 5779 Amazement at C4I Forum 8 Passover - A Joyful Time 11 Exodus from India 16 Workers prepare ballot boxes for the upcoming Israeli election. | Photo: Flash90 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel AUSTRALIA Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer and Author The people of Israel will vote on 9 April to elect the 21st Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel since its establishment in May 1948. About six million Israelis are eligible to vote. Israel has a proportional representation system. Inevitably it will be necessary to form a coalition government, so all the main contending parties are preparing for possible partnerships. According to the website of the Central Electoral Committee of the Knesset 43 political parties are standing for election. For the first time, Labor is no longer a serious contender, and may not even meet the threshold of 3.25% of the votes required to have a seat in the Knesset. Two new parties have recently been established challenging Likud’s dominance of the political scene. The first is the New Right Party (HaYamin HeHadash), a right-wing political party established in December 2018 by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The party has recently been joined by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, author of the book ‘The Israel Solution’, who advocates Israeli annexation of the West Bank. The other main rival to Likud is the new ‘Blue-White’ party led by former Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya’alon. ‘Blue-White’ has been joined by former journalist, former finance minister and leader of the centrist-party Yesh Atid, Ya’ir Lapid. Israelis may also vote for parties with names such as ‘New Horizon with Dignity’, ‘Responsibility for Founders’, ‘Social Security’, ‘Social Justice’, ‘Real Democracy’, ‘Hope for Change’, ‘Unity of the Sons of the Covenant’, ‘Eternal Covenant’, ‘the Pirates’, ‘Bridge’, ‘Identity’, ‘Education’, ‘Reform’, ‘Human Dignity’, ‘Protective Shield’, ‘Simply Love’ and ‘You and I’. For months the main media platforms in Israel have been occupied primarily with one question: who can oust Benjamin Netanyahu? At 69 years of age, Benjamin Netanyahu is vying for his fifth term as Prime Minister. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the modern state of Israel, and the most popular head of government Israel has ever had. Allegations of corruption and breach of trust threatened to topple Netanyahu but are barely an issue any more. Although the Attorney-General has announced that Netanyahu will be charged, a final decision on indictment has been postponed until after the elections. To the chagrin of all Netanyahu-doom- prophets, all coalition partners of the Likud have announced that they would be ready to continue the coalition even if Netanyahu were charged. Under Israeli law, a Prime Minister who is charged is not obliged to resign. Interestingly, the issue that Europeans, in particular, find so important – the relationship with the Palestinians and the two-state solution – is not really an issue in this election campaign. The positions of those parties likely to be part of a coalition government are virtually indistinguishable in this regard. One Nation 2 Israel Goes to the Polls Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au & Christians Today ISRAEL AUSTRALIA April 2019 nissan 5779 Amazement at C4I Forum 8 Passover - A Joyful Time 11 Exodus from India 16 Workers prepare ballot boxes for the upcoming Israeli election. | Photo: Flash90 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel AUSTRALIA Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer and Author The people of Israel will vote on 9 April to elect the 21st Knesset (Parliament) of the State of Israel since its establishment in May 1948. About six million Israelis are eligible to vote. Israel has a proportional representation system. Inevitably it will be necessary to form a coalition government, so all the main contending parties are preparing for possible partnerships. According to the website of the Central Electoral Committee of the Knesset 43 political parties are standing for election. For the first time, Labor is no longer a serious contender, and may not even meet the threshold of 3.25% of the votes required to have a seat in the Knesset. Two new parties have recently been established challenging Likud’s dominance of the political scene. The first is the New Right Party (HaYamin HeHadash), a right-wing political party established in December 2018 by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The party has recently been joined by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick, author of the book ‘The Israel Solution’, who advocates Israeli annexation of the West Bank. The other main rival to Likud is the new ‘Blue-White’ party led by former Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz, Gabi Ashkenazi and Moshe Ya’alon. ‘Blue-White’ has been joined by former journalist, former finance minister and leader of the centrist-party Yesh Atid, Ya’ir Lapid. Israelis may also vote for parties with names such as ‘New Horizon with Dignity’, ‘Responsibility for Founders’, ‘Social Security’, ‘Social Justice’, ‘Real Democracy’, ‘Hope for Change’, ‘Unity of the Sons of the Covenant’, ‘Eternal Covenant’, ‘the Pirates’, ‘Bridge’, ‘Identity’, ‘Education’, ‘Reform’, ‘Human Dignity’, ‘Protective Shield’, ‘Simply Love’ and ‘You and I’. For months the main media platforms in Israel have been occupied primarily with one question: who can oust Benjamin Netanyahu? At 69 years of age, Benjamin Netanyahu is vying for his fifth term as Prime Minister. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of the modern state of Israel, and the most popular head of government Israel has ever had. Allegations of corruption and breach of trust threatened to topple Netanyahu but are barely an issue any more. Although the Attorney-General has announced that Netanyahu will be charged, a final decision on indictment has been postponed until after the elections. To the chagrin of all Netanyahu-doom- prophets, all coalition partners of the Likud have announced that they would be ready to continue the coalition even if Netanyahu were charged. Under Israeli law, a Prime Minister who is charged is not obliged to resign. Interestingly, the issue that Europeans, in particular, find so important – the relationship with the Palestinians and the two-state solution – is not really an issue in this election campaign. The positions of those parties likely to be part of a coalition government are virtually indistinguishable in this regard. One Nation 2 Israel Goes to the Polls Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au & Christians Today ISRAEL AUSTRALIA April 2019 nissan 5779 Amazement at C4I Forum 8 Passover - A Joyful Time 11 Exodus from India 16 Workers prepare ballot boxes for the upcoming Israeli election. | Photo: Flash90 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel AUSTRALIA NEW! NEW! NEW! Please post cheque or money order to: Christians for Israel Australia Inc (don’t use staples) INTERNET BANKING: BSB: ANZ BANK – 016-464 Account No: 454158806 Ref: Your name & donation purpose. Please confirm be emailing info@c4israel.com.au MY DETAILS Name: _________________________________________ Address: ________________________________________ Phone: _________________ Email: __________________ Christians for Israel Australia ABN: 79 941 819 693 *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 Heartland

Views

  • 166 Total Views
  • 122 Website Views
  • 44 Embeded Views

Actions

  • 0 Social Shares
  • 0 Likes
  • 0 Dislikes
  • 0 Comments

Share count

  • 0 Facebook
  • 0 Twitter
  • 0 LinkedIn
  • 0 Google+