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12. 4 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Political Analysis Dr Ron Weiser AM Hon Life Pres of the Zionist Council of NSW It’s quite amazing how the State of Israel at this moment in time, has become a mirror image of the two sides of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s operating styles. Internally, whilst the raison d’etre for the formation of this coalition government was to fight Covid 19, it has descended into a shambolic series of policies and u-turns that have directly harmed the physical health of Israel’s citizens as well as their economic viability. Externally, we are witnessing this week’s historic statesman like actions with the signing of normalisation agreements between Israel and not just one, but now two Arab countries. This of course, dramatically improves Israel’s security and future prosperity. In and of themselves— and for what they portend. It’s like we are looking at two different Israel’s—at her best and worst. Netanyahu has proven what he has always maintained. That peace with Arab countries was possible prior to a deal with the Palestinians. He has untied the Gordian Knot which is now unravelling even further. President Trump, deserves large amounts of credit for both the deal with the UAE and Bahrain. Decades of activity has been going on in the background, but it appears as if Jared Kushner being in the right place at the right time and with his long family history of friendship with the Netanyahu’s and his ease with Arab leaders, has sufficient trust banked with both to have been a successful go between and negotiator bringing it all to the overt and warm normalisation we are witnessing. It has long been said that whilst Israel can stand firm against her harshest critics, she cannot resist a warm embrace—in this case, such as that of Trump. There are likely to be some conditional agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain that we are unaware of and which may or may not become apparent in due course. One Israeli concession seems to have been the possible sale by the USA of sophisticated fighter planes to the UAE. It should be noted that in the past, sales of advanced weaponry have sometimes occurred in varying degrees to certain Arab countries in any case. And the Trump administration has restated US policy and remains committed to Israel’s technological and security qualitative edge in the region —something Defence Minister Gantz is flying to the US to discuss. Another policy issue being discussed in Israel in regards to these normalisation treaties is that it appears to include Netanyahu’s formal agreement in principle to a Palestinian State. Or at least to allow the offer of one, for the ‘near future’. As well as the ‘temporary suspension’ of any extension of sovereignty plans. Now none of this appears in the public written agreements. However, the first thing to note is that whether declared or otherwise, settlement building approvals and any new settlement activity over the past few months has virtually ceased in some sort of unstated freeze. Clarity on what the ‘near future’ and ‘temporary’ mean seem to be emerging. The US intention for this period is to potentially allow more normalisation deals to occur and at the same time, to give the Palestinian leadership the opportunity to decide between its historical pattern of outright rejectionism, or to finally embark on serious negotiations in regards to a state of their own. This being against the background of two dawning realisations for the Palestinians: • that waiting for mor e generous offers in the future is an unlikely dream and they would be better advised to negotiate on the basis of this plan • and to note the changing situation ar ound them, particularly as potentially more Arab countries decide that their own interests can no longer take second place to that of the Palestinians. For now, Trump is fully committed to pursuing some form of a two state solution. It is instructive to listen to what Jared Kushner, the most central US figure in these deals, has to say. On Wednesday the 9th of September Kushner said: “What we did with our plan was we were trying to save the two state solution, because... if we kept going with the status quo... ultimately, Israel would have eaten up all the land in the West Bank And so, right now, you have a situation where there is land that could become a Palestinian state. It is possible to connect it, but the land that Israeli settlers are in right now is land that Israel controls, and the odds of them ever giving it up is unlikely. That’s why the map that we drew was what we thought was a realistic map... we played the ball as it lies, right? We took the realities in the world today and we drew a map based on that, knowing what was achievable and what was not achievable.” And in a warning to the Palestinians Kushner said: “My fear for the Palestinians is that if they do what they’re very good at doing, which is figure out how to not make a deal and play the victim card, then what’s going to happen is, you know, more time is going to go by and the situation is just going to get worse and worse for them.” In a realpolitik explanation for the failure of previous Israeli/Palestinian peace deal attempts, Kushner added: “The reason why they never accomplished anything was because both parties were getting what they wanted. Every time a negotiation failed, Israel took more land and the Palestinians got more money from the international community.” And on Friday the 11th of September after the Bahrain announcement Kushner said: “This will reduce tension in the Muslim world and allow people to separate the Palestinian issue from their own national interests and from their own foreign policy, which should be focused on their own domestic priorities.” Of course, all of this ran parallel with the Arab League’s refusal on the 9th of September to endorse a Palestinian draft resolution condemning the UAE for its normalisation agreement with Israel. The Palestinians have a lot to think about. The course of history is largely in their hands now. Israel and the USA will in the main react to what they decide. Over the coming days around the Jewish New Year, our prayers will include the welfare and future of the Jewish State and all who identify with her. Shana Tova U’Metuka ________________________________________________________ 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. Will the Palestinians Finally Give Peace a Chance? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with White House adviser Jared Kushner, at a press conference in Jerusalem about the Israel-UAE accords, on August 30. Credit: AFP Photo

18. 10 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Biblical Insights On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), when the High Priest would enter the holy of Holies, he did not dress in his usual clothing for serving the Lord. He laid aside all the precious stones set in gold, the gold crown and special hat, the colourful ephod and blue robe with the bells and pomegranate ornaments; and he dressed, humbly, in a white robe. (Lev 16:4) That day he would do all the work or duties on his own without help. ‘There shall be no person in the Tent of Meeting when the high priest goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place [within the veil] until he comes out, so that he may make atonement for himself (his own sins) and for his household and for all the congregation of Israel.’ (Lev 16:17) He had to take from the congregation of the Israelites (at their expense) two male goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering, and present the two goats before the LORD at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. He had to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the LORD, the other lot for the scapegoat. He would then bring the goat on which the LORD’S lot fell and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell for the scapegoat had to be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement on it. That goat was sent into the wilderness as the scapegoat. The high priest had to enter the Holy Place with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and the blood of a ram as a burnt offering. He had to present the bull as the sin offering for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household (the other priests), and he had to kill the bull as the sin offering for himself. Then he had to take a censer full of burning coals from the sacrificial altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and take it inside the veil, into the Holy of holies. He put the incense on the fire in the censer before the LORD, so that the cloud of the incense covered the atonement cover (mercy seat) on the ark of the Testimony, and so he would not die. He had to take some of the bull’s blood and sprinkle it with his finger on the east side of the mercy seat, and in front of the mercy seat, seven times. Then he had to kill the goat of the sin offering for the people, and take its blood within the veil into the Holy of holies, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat, and in front of the mercy seat. (Lev 16: 3; 5-15) After this, he had to make atonement for the Holy place; sprinkle the blood on the items: the table, menorah and incense altar, to cleanse the place from the sins of the nation. (Lev 16:16) He continued into the courtyard to cleanse the altar of burnt offering with some of the blood of the bull and the goat. With his finger, he would sprinkle some of the blood on the horns of the altar, and on all sides of the altar, seven times to cleanse it and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the Israelites. When he had finished atoning/cleansing the Holy Items, he laid both of his hands on the head of the live goat (the scapegoat/ the sin-bearer) and confessed over it all the sins of the sons of Israel. He sent it, away into the wilderness to be released, with a man who was prepared for the task. The goat carried on itself all the people’s sins into infertile land. (Lev 16:18-22) The High priest then took off his garments in the Tent of meeting, washed and changed into his High priests robes, came out and offered the rams as burnt offerings; one for himself, and one for the people, to make atonement. He also burnt the fat of the sin offering on the altar. The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was taken in to make atonement in the Holy of Holies, were taken outside the camp; their skins, their meat, and their waste was burnt in the fire. (Lev 16:23-28) This was a permanent, once a year statute/ command. (Lev 16:29-34) Yeshua laid aside His glory and came humbly in human form, to do the will of the Father, and He did all the work of redemption on His own, without any help. ‘Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility], who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]. After He was found in [terms of His] outward appearance as a man [for a divinely-appointed time], He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross.’ (Phil 2:5-8) He did not need to bring a bull for Himself as He was the pure sacrifice, and He completed the atonement once and for all time. Hebrews 9:6-10 and Hebrews 10. He also cleansed the Heavenly things. (Heb 9:22-24) As the High priest humbly went in with blood to atone for sin; out, sprinkling blood to cleanse; sent the scapegoat to take away sin; appeared in his glorious robes to complete Yom Kippur. So Yeshua has come humbly and poured out His pure blood to atone for our sin; to cleanse us from all sin; to take away our sin (as far as the east is from the west, Ps 103:12) and is now in the Holy place in Heaven; and will next appear in all His glory, to complete our salvation; to take us home to be with Him. (Gal 1:4; 1 John 1:7 and 9; John 1:29; Heb 8:1-2; Mat 24:30; John 14:1-6; 1 Cor 15:50-57; 1 Thes 1:10 & 4:13-18) ________________________________________________________ Alison Marshall is a New Zealand born believer in Jesus and has been a Tour Guide for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness since 1999 at Timna Park in Israel. www.berean-to-berean.com The Holy Plan Completed — An Overview of the Tabernacle - Part 6 Alison Marshall Tour Guide for the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at Timna Park in Israel Photo of inside the Tabernacle in the Wilderness with mannequins of what the High Priest may have looked like with the full priestly garments and with the simpler white robe. Photo: taken by Ian Worby on a past tour to Israel.

30. 30 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Aliyah 14 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Aliyah – the return of Jews to Israel - is not limited to a particular region of the world. Jews come home to Israel from around the world: Ukraine, Ethiopia, Yemen, France, India, to name a few. And, for the first time, a charter flight with Jews from Mexico arrived in Israel in August. A first-of-its-kind charter flight from Mexico carrying 230 olim (immigrants), Masa Israel Journey volunteers and Israelis returning home landed at Ben Gurion Airport at the end of August. Dubbed “Operation Home,” the flight was organised by The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hanoar Hatzioni, with support from Keren Hayesod and a special gift from C4I (Christians for Israel). Taking off from Mexico City, the special flight carried 50 new olim and 150 Hanoar Hatzioni graduates who will take part in Masa, a project co-founded by The Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel which today is the international leader in connecting young adults with immersive, long-term experiences in Israel. Additionally, “Operation Home” brought back dozens of Israelis who have been stranded due to the limited availability of flights during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Aliyah has never stopped, even during the most difficult crises the State of Israel has experienced,” said Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog. “Even now, during a global crisis, Jews from all over the world are realising the Zionist vision and making their new home in Israel. This is a story that touches all Israelis, as most of us are part of our family’s first, second or third generation here in Israel.” Mexico is home to the third-largest Jewish community in Central America (after Argentina and Brazil) with approximately 50,000 Jews, most of whom live in the country’s capital of Mexico City. The Mexican Jewish community is highly organised, maintains close ties with the State of Israel and has an extensive education system featuring Jewish day schools and Zionist youth movements. Yet since the outbreak of coronavirus, many of Mexico’s synagogues and other Jewish institutions have closed, while schools and youth movements have moved to virtual operations. The Corona pandemic has deeply shocked all of Mexico, and the Jewish community is suffering from a double blow – not only are most Jewish households suffering economically, with many Jewish businesses seeing a decrease of 70% in their income – but they are also the increasing target for abduction and anti-Semitic threats. From the beginning of 2020 through July, The Jewish Agency has facilitated the Aliyah of 2,269 olim from Latin America compared with 1,839 during the same period last year, an increase of 23.3 per cent. For Mexico in particular, The Jewish Agency has opened 493 Aliyah cases since January, an increase of 32 per cent from last year. “Today we’re seeing the beginning of a wave of immigrants to the State of Israel that will absorb about a quarter of a million new immigrants over the ne xt five years, including young people, academics, entrepreneurs and professionals,” Herzog said. “This will be a diverse Aliyah from around the world that can also help spur e conomic growth. The State of Israel must seize this opportunity. I call on the Government of Israel to meet with The Jewish Agency and other bodies involved with Aliyah to prepare a national plan to capitalise on this golden opportunity.” After landing today, the new immigrants from Mexico began the required two-week quarantine, and are operating in compliance with Israel’s Ministry of Health guidelines and other coronavirus regulations. At the end of their quarantine, the olim will be integrated into local communities and absorption centres throug hout the country. The members of Hanoar Hatzioni will begin Masa’s Israel Challenge and Shnat Hachshara programs, during which they will volunteer on kibbutzim and for Magen David Adom, among other sites and organisations. The Mercado family, parents Carlos and Miriam as well as their four children, arrived on the August flight from Mexico City. After visiting Israel last year, they knew they wanted to make Aliyah. “Here, I feel truly at home,” said Miriam Mercado. “In Mexico, we are always viewed as ‘those Jews’ and never felt safe to go out with a kippah. We knew we would always be a minority.” Nevertheless, the Mercados initially hesitated to take the final step and move far away from their family to a country where they barely spoke the language. Yet the Covid-19 crisis led them to understand how they would be able to be comfortable in Israel and enrich their lives there. They began the Aliyah process in May, and have at last made their way to their new home city of Ra’anana. “While we were in lockdown in Mexico City, we understood that we’d do just fine on our own in a new country,” Miriam said. “Being at home alo ne for three and a half months taught us that we’re a strong family, and a family capable of making this change. I want to thank The Jewish Agency, its Global Center and the Israeli Embassy in Mexico; it’s hard to put into words their endless and incredibly moving efforts to make our Aliyah happen.” Return from all Nations Aliyah: Return Home Mercado family with Jewish Agency Chairman, Isaac Herzog (far right) and Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Sam Grundwerg (back).| Photos on this page: Dudi Salem, the Jewish Agency for Israel “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will brin g your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.” Isaiah 49:22 Children arriving in Israel on a charter flight. Young boy greeted by Isaac Herzog.

8. 24 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 8 Comments & News October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Johannes de Jong n Director | Sallux - the think tank of the European Christian Political Movement On 11 July 2020, the New York Times published the main points of a leaked version of a draft agreement between China and Iran. One may think that this is not really anything new. After all, there have been strong diplomatic and economic relations between communist China and the Iranian regime for a long time. However, this new deal sparked a debate even inside the Iranian regime as members of the Iranian Parliament expressed their fear that Iran would be sold out to China. The scope of the deal seems to justify that fear. It encompasses not just economic relations but also military cooperation and a strong Chinese presence in the Gulf. The agreement refers to joint military exercises, intelligence cooperation, joint research, and the development of weapons systems. One persistent story is that China will even build bases for their fighter jets on the Iranian islands in the Gulf. That would basically replicate the Chinese strategy for attempting to achieve dominance in the South China Sea (which actually stretches to far beyond China). The total amount of this deal is apparently worth $400 billion in 25 years. It is clear that this will be a serious problem for everyone else in the Middle East as well as the US and Europe. It will place China in a position to control access to a huge portion of the global oil and gas supplies as well as a very strategic position towards both the EU and the US. It would strengthen the Iranian regime significantly. All of this means the deal is a direct threat to Israel and the Arab world generally. This brings me to the core issue. The main reason that this Chinese – Iranian deal is so worrisome is that this almost unifies at the geopolitical level two authoritarian and aggressive regimes. These regimes oppress all those who fall under their sphere of influence and allow no freedom to their subjects. These regimes and their vassals (such as the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbollah or the Iranian militias in Iraq) are spreading oppression and end freedom wherever they go. This global trend can be seen in the fact that Russia, Iran, China and Turkey are operating more and more as one authoritarian block to keep these oppressive systems in power at the expense of the fundamental freedoms of billions of people. That is why recent attempts by the US to place sanctions on Iran are blocked in the UN Security Council, as Russia and China protect Iran. The increased aggression by Turkey in the region has to be seen in the same light. This is the reason the UAE recently sent jets to Greece and Cyprus to support them against Turkey. The Middle East is, once again, the fault line between freedom and oppression. And Israel appears to be an indispensable partner to maintain freedom in that region and the world. The UAE – Israel agreement has to be understood in that light. The slow reforms in the Arab world as well. There where one can detect slow change in the Arab world towards freedom, we see the reverse in Turkey, Iran and those areas that fall under Iranian or Turkish influence. One cannot imagine that freedom can keep a foothold in that part of the world without Israel. Actually, one representative of the Baloch people in Iran made exactly that point in the Jerusalem Post on 12 January 2019: “The reality of the world and the region dictates the need for more strategic cooperation and understanding between the oppressed nations of the Middle East and Israel.” In my opinion, it is important that those who are active in advocacy for Israel see this broader picture and adapt accordingly. That would also build on the Israel/UAE/ Bahrain agreements. If President Trump fails to win a second term, it is clear that pro-Israel advocacy will have to make an arg ument that reaches beyond the traditional constituency. Clarifying the position of Israel as an essential party in the global defence of freedom would communicate reality in a way that many more can relate with. The Future of Pro-Israel Advocacy | Photo: Shutterstock The Guardian n President warns against ‘finger-pointing’ as country asks why virus containment efforts failed. Israelis prepared to enter a second national coronavirus lockdown on Friday, 18 September, facing at least three weeks of tough restrictions that will upend a normally festive period filled with Jewish holidays. The cabinet released a full list of rules, setting out a return to stringent measures Israelis had hoped were behind them when they endured a similar lockdown in spring. As of Friday, 18 September, with a few exceptions, people were confined to a 500-metre radius around their homes, gatherings of more than 10 people inside were banned, and schools, nurseries, restaurants, malls, gyms, hairdressers and hotels were largely shuttered. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had said the move was essential after hospitals ‘raised the red flag’ following a steep surge in Covid-19 cases. However, anger has flared over whether he reopened the economy too hastily following the previous lockdown. In an address to the nation recently, the country’s president, Reuven Rivlin, admitted the country’s leadership had not done enough. “You trusted us and we let you down,” he said. “Tonight, I would like to say that I understand the feelings of confusion and uncertainty, the anxiety that many people are feeling,” he added, going on to apologise for breaking lockdown rules in April, when his daughter visited him. “My loneliness is no more painful than the loneliness that many of you – who were so careful to follow the word and the spirit of the instructions – experience.” On Thursday, 17 September, several hundred demonstrators in the coastal city of Tel Aviv protested against the lockdown amid the economic pressures. Resentment across the country has not just focused on government, but also on each other, with notable ire between secular and religious sections of society. Parts of secular Israel feel that Netanyahu – whose government is propped up by Jewish ultra-Orthodox politicians – is allowing businesses to perish while going to extreme lengths to allow religious gatherings. They point to lockdown exemptions allowing rituals and even gatherings of dozens of people in some synagogues. Meanwhile, earlier proposals to lock down only ultra- Orthodox areas with high infections were scrapped following pressure from rabbis. On the other hand, sections of religious Israel – notably the ultra-Orthodox communities who often live in poorer, cramped neighbourhoods – feel that they have been unfairly blamed for the spread of the virus, by which they have been disproportionately affected. “We will not prevail through finger-pointing and toxic accusations,” President Rivlin said in his speech. “Only together.” Israel has reported almost 170,000 cases and more than 1,150 deaths, a relatively low mortality rate, although ministers have warned that it could quickly jump as new infections have recently risen above 5,000 per day. Officials fear that the High Holy Day period could see a dangerous spread of the virus as families and friends normally congregate indoors; ministers have urged the public to adhere to the rules. Shoshana Chen, writing in the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, expressed doubt that Israelis, who she said were filled with resentment at the government’s and each other’s alleged failings, would comply with a national effort. “Anyone who strictly complies with those rules will be perceived, in their own eyes and by others, as being a sucker,” she wrote. “We will visit friends furtively and say that we’re going to the pharmacy... We’ll find a way to attend prayer services... We’ll shrug off the need to wear a mask. And the public’s voice will rise to the heavens, saying: ‘We showed you, you can’t tell us what to do’.” Israelis Face Second Covid Lockdown

14. 6 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Hebraic Biblical Insights After a tour group returned from Israel having done a study tour, I asked several members of the group what the highlight was for them. I was very surprised when a number of them replied ‘our time in the desert’! I was so fascinated that I decided to spend some time researching Scriptures about the desert and found it was indeed a rich study. It also has many lessons for us now as we continue to grapple with restrictions and lockdown, especially in Melbourne, where I live. The Hebrew word for desert or wilderness is midbar . It means a rugged area, which is rough and uncultivated but not necessarily barren. It is uninhabited and therefore desolate and lonely. It is a place where people can easily become disoriented. Much of the land of Israel is desert—the southern Negev desert, the Zin and Paran deserts further south and the Judean desert to the East. In the Scriptures, the wilderness can be a physical place or can be used metaphorically to mean a dry place with the characteristics of a desert (Ps 106:9, 107:33, Is 35:1,6, Jer 13:24). It is often a negative, unfriendly place, barren, threatening and lonely (Job 38:26, Mk 8:4, Is 21:1, Ps 107:4, Jer 17:6, Lk 8:29). The Bedouin have learnt to survive there by moving around from place to place and staying in groups. One person alone will not last long in the desert. Like our aborigines, they know the waterholes and wells and where and when the food supplies flourish. However, in the Bible, it is not always negative. It is said that it took a few days to get Israel out of Egypt but 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel. God took His people, who had become accustomed to a lifestyle and mindset of slavery, into the desert to meet with Him and learn to trust and follow Him before they could enter the promised land and their destiny. I suggest that we are not much different. They had seen Him provide water from a rock and manna from Heaven, but were scared by the giants. They had to learn to rely on Him alone, trust His provision and obey His instructions. The route should have been relatively short, but because of their unbelief and rebellion, it ended up being much longer. A desert can be a place that seems to have no relationship to what we feel we are called to do. However, it may be the shortest route from the slavery that we are in, to arriving at the promised land God is wanting to give to us. It may also be that God is protecting us from danger, as in a pandemic (Rev 12:6,14). God delivered the Israelites from Egypt to meet Him at the mountain of God (Ex 4:27). The root of the word midbar is dabar meaning word, and from that comes medeber , to speak. There in the desert, God spoke to Moses and the people, gave His Word and made a covenant with them (Ex 19:1-6). This also reminds us of Hosea 2:14-23, where God allures his beloved into the desert to betroth her to Him and bring restoration. Before Jesus began His ministry He was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tested by the devil (Matt 4:1-11). He prayed and fasted and equipped Himself with the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, to use against the Satan’s wily temptations. He overcame and was then launched into His calling. Like Abraham, Moses, David, and John the Baptist before Him, He was trained in the desert before beginning His ministry. If you are in this place, you are not alone. Many of God’s key leaders have had the same experience. Throughout His life, Jesus chose to withdraw from the crowds and escape to a wilderness place to commune with His Father, pray (Mk 1:35) and fast (Matt 4:2). We are instructed to create a little wilderness place when we pray, by shutting the door and talking with our Father also (Matt 6:6). After my initial intrigue and study, when I got back to Israel, I was keen to get into the desert and experience the silence for myself. Once there, as the demands of the world faded into the distance, we lived for the here and now, and focussed back on the real basics of life. I found my perspective changed to being much more appreciative of the small things I normally would have overlooked. Friendships were born as we had to rely on one another for survival. In the silence of the wilderness God seemed much closer and undisturbed time with Him became a precious treasure. After many hours of camel riding, the chafing made it more pleasant to dismount and walk for a while. I learnt another trick— don’t then go and bathe in the Dead Sea. The chafing will heal quickly but the stinging can be intense! By the way, the setting sun on the desert mountains is a sight to behold as the colours change by the minute. We may be in a desert through our own foolishness or rebellion, have been banished there by the actions of others (like Hagar in Gen 16 or government lockdowns), or have been drawn there by God (Hos 2:14, Matt 4:1). In that place, make a choice to seek the mountain of God, set your mind to draw unto Him, enjoy the stillness and silence, and learn to trust the Lord, allowing Him to prepare you for the next move. God’s voice can be heard clearly in the desert, when all other voices are blocked out. Stand against the enemy’s arrows of discouragement and despair (I Cor 10:6-13). It is easy to become disoriented and wander in the desert, so call out to God for guidance (Ps 105:40-41). Do not grumble as Israel did (Ex 16:8), but look for the miraculous provision of God (Ex 16:4,12, Mk 8:1-9) and see Him transform your desert into a fruitful field (Is 35:1-6). How long we stay in the wilderness is often related to how teachable we are and how quickly we learn the lessons God is trying to teach us. When we conquer the desert, we will defeat the enemy for the enemy is not people or giants, it is the desert itself. The real enemy is within. ________________________________________________________ Jill Curry is author of ‘The Anzac Call.’ Jill Curry Jewish & Israel Prayer Focus Cooordinator In the Wilderness The root of the word ‘midbar’ is ‘dabar’ meaning word, and from that comes ‘medeber’, to speak. Photo: Tel Beersheva—the desert where the Australian Lighthorse charged and from where the New Zealand forces were captured.

6. 22 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 6 City of David October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 The ‘City of David’ is the location of the Biblical city of Jerusalem captured by King David over 3,000 years ago. Located to the south of the Temple Mount, here David built his first city, before the Temple was built by his son Solomon. And according to the Bible (1 Kings 2:10), David was buried in the City of David (not Mount Zion, where there is now a tomb of David). The original City of David basically lay hidden for many centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD, and began to be rediscovered in the th 19 century. Today it is still being excavated. As excavations are completed, the area is opened to tourism to further deepen visitors’ understanding of its past. One of the sites that has been recently rediscovered is the ‘stepped street’, as it’s known from academic works, or the ‘Jerusalem Pilgrim Road’ as it has been dubbed by the City of David administration - the Late Roman period street connecting the Temple Mount from its southwestern corner, to Jerusalem’s southern gates of the time via the Pool of Siloam. The Road is still being excavated, and is closed to the public; it is expected to be open within the next year. The Pool of Siloam became an important ritual bath, and source of water - King Hezekiah built the pool when he created an ingenious tunnel to divert water from the Gihon Spring, outside the city walls, to the Pool of Siloam (2 Chronicles 32). The Pilgrimage Road Going up to Jerusalem Above: A view of a stair structure on the street ascending from Siloam Pool in Jerusalem. Archaeologists speculate the finding, dated from the Second Temple time, may have been a podium for speeches. This could be the place where Peter preached the message at Pentecost. | Photo: Keshet Journeys Right: A worker walks at the Pilgrimage Road at the City of David. | Photo: Flash90 Construction of the Road National Geographic reports that historians previously thought it was the Roman-appointed King Herod the Great who approved most of the large construction projects that remade ancient Jerusalem into a major pilgrimage and tourist centre. But a recent analysis of more than 100 coins found beneath the stepped street point to the start and completion of the effort under Pontius Pilate, who ruled for about a decade starting in 26 or 27 AD. In other words, it was the Roman governor responsible for condemning Jesus of Nazareth to death by crucifixion, who ordered the construction of a street for pilgrims to follow to the Jewish Temple more than 2,000 years ago. The latest coins discovered beneath the paving stones date to around 31 AD. The most common Jerusalem coins from the first century were minted after 40 AD, “So not having them beneath the street means the street was built before their appearance, in other words only in the time of Pilate,” Donald Ariel, a coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, told the magazine. The Road took ten years for the Romans to build. When it was completed, it was about half a kilometer long and measured 10 meters wide. More than 10,000 tons of limestone were used in its construction. The Pilgrimage Road was travelled by Jewish pilgrims obeying the Biblical commandment to travel to Jerusalem three times a year for a Temple sacrifice – at Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost), and Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles). Zeev Orenstein, Director of International Affairs at the City of David Foundation: “For Jews in ancient days, their pilgrimage began at the Pool of Siloam, a giant mikveh, or ritual bath, the size of two Olympic swimming pools. Pilgrims would purify themselves here before going up to the Temple to offer their sacrifices.” Below: Moshe Gabay, director of Keshet Journeys, during filming of the Pilgrimage Road video. | Photo: Keshet Journeys Old coins found at various excavations

4. 20 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 News 4 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Yochanan Visser n Christians for Israel Correspondent | Israel On 4 August 2020, a huge blast destroyed almost half of Lebanon’s capital Beirut, leaving more than 300,000 people without a home. The death toll has now exceeded 200 people. Nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a hangar near the sea in Beirut’s port exploded. Within the next hour, Hezbollah and Israel came very close to a new war. Operatives of the Iranian- backed terror organisation thought that the Israeli military had something to do with the giant explosion. Two Hezbollah members told Sputnik News in Russia that “Hezbollah troops were immediately redeployed from the mountains to the coast in southern Lebanon, with rocket system operators ordered to their missile sites and told to be ready to fire”. The truth, however, is that Hezbollah itself spread the narrative that the giant explosion was an accident caused by extremely high temperatures in the hangar which had no air-conditioning, nor a ventilation system. Hezbollah has a track record of using and storing ammonium nitrate. Last year, it was caught storing the material in London and southern Germany, after Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, tipped off the authorities in both countries. Experts have pointed out that the blast in the port of Beirut could have been the result of work Hezbollah had conducted to produce missile fuel or explosives for the terror organisation to use in its attacks on Israel. A retired American weapons expert of the US Navy, who wished to remain anonymous, told me that the second explosion, which created a purple-red smoke cloud, was the result of exploding nitrogen triiodide - an inorganic compound used for the production of missiles and explosives. At the beginning of September, the Lebanese army found a new cache of the chemical agent near the port of Beirut. More than 4 tons of ammonium nitrate were found in containers near the port, but the Lebanese army said it had no idea who stored the material there. Anyone who may have thought that the anger of the Lebanese people over Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon - where the Shiite organisation dominates every aspect of life including the political system - would have a moderating effect on the Iranian proxy, got it dead wrong. Despite a huge economic crisis that has left almost half of the Lebanese people without enough income to buy basic foods and that already existed before the giant explosions in Beirut’s port, Hezbollah continues its belligerent activities aimed at Israel. Financial and Humanitarian Crisis Lebanon is facing a financial and humanitarian crisis of massive proportions. The World Bank estimates that more than 50 per cent of Lebanon’s population is now living below the poverty line while the Lebanese currency Lira has lost 80 per cent of its value against the US dollar since the end of 2019. Negotia tions with International Monetary Fund about a giant new loan failed after Lebanon defaulted on its debts to foreign investors last March. In addition, Lebanon also faces a food crisis, exacerbated after the government raised the price of bread for the first time in a decade. People in the Cedar country have recently been rushing to supermarkets to buy food essentials, leading Al-Makhazen Coop, the largest food retailer in Lebanon, to close its branches in Beirut. Then there is the energy crisis in Lebanon where citizens only get electricity for three hours per day and use candles to illuminate their homes at night. To make things worse, Lebanon is hosting over more than a million Syrian refugees who aren’t able to retu rn to their country of origin due to the continuous hostilities in Syria and due to the fact that their houses have been destroyed during the 10-year-long civil war in Syria. Hezbollah, which has taken over Lebanon in every respect, offers no solutions to the current economic and financial crisis in the country and is only focused on its conflict with Israel. Although the terror organisation has been targeted with sanctions by the US Administration of President Donald J. Trump, this hasn’t stopped Hezbollah from advancing its plan for the destruction of Israel. Iran Iran is financing almost all of Hezbollah’s activities, and the terror group also has income that comes from international criminal activities such as drug trafficking. Besides these criminal activities, Hezbollah also fills its coffers by stealing money belonging to the Lebanese people and controls most of Lebanon’s economy. The terror organisation is active in other countries such as Syria, where it helps Iran building the so-called Golan Liberation Brigade, which consists of Shiite fighters from countries as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hezbollah operatives are also helping the Ansar Allah (the Houthi militia) in Yemen which is constantly terrorising Saudi Arabia and tries to bring down the official Yemenite regime. Israel, however, remains Hezbollah’s main target, as we saw over the past months with several incidents between Hezbollah and the Israeli military (IDF and IAF). After the Israel air force launched an attack on a shared Iranian, Syrian, and Hezbollah base near Damascus and killed Hezbollah operative Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad on 20 July, Hezbollah retaliated by infiltrating Israel in the area of Har Dov eastward of the town Metullah in the upper Galilee. The infiltration attempt was prevented by the IDF who subsequently refrained from killing the Hezbollah terrorists to avoid a new war between Israel and the Lebanese terror group. But the ensuing tank fire on the location of the group of Hezbollah terrorists was enough to make them retreat to Lebanese territory. Several days later Hezbollah again tried to harm IDF soldiers when it fired shots at an IDF position near Kibbutz Manara. In this case, too, the Israeli army retaliated by using attack helicopters and warplanes which - for the first time since the Second Lebanon War of 2006 - bombed Hezbollah’s positions inside Lebanon. The IDF remains on high alert and is prepared for the possibility that Hezbollah could launch new attacks on Israel before or during the Jewish High Holidays. Hezbollah Continues Anti-Israel Campaign A view of damaged buildings after massive explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020. | Photo: Flash 90 Continued from page 3 ‘Full Normalisation’ Between Israel and the UAE There were demonstrations in Gaza, the West Bank and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Some factions spoke of a stab in the back by a supposed Arab ally. Economic Advantages All three countries involved in this ‘normalisation agreement’ - the USA, Israel and the UAE - hope to ‘mutually benefit’, especially with regard to investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, health, culture and the environment. From an Israeli perspective, an autocratic regim e with deep pockets that is able to make quick, unbureaucratic decisions on huge sums of money is of great economic interest. For some Israeli businessmen who have been in the Emirates for years, however, normalisation could also prove negative. Now business deals that could previously be done behind closed doors and ‘under the table’ will be brought to light. Is ‘Normalisation’ ‘Immoral’? So far the Jewish state of Israel has signed peace treaties with two Arab states: In March 1979 with Egypt and in October 1994 with Jordan. Both are, like the UAE, totalitarian regimes that sometimes brutally oppress their populations. In both cases, one can hardly speak of ‘normalisation’. It should also be noted that Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Jordan’s King Abdallah I both paid with their lives for their pragmatic approach towards the Jewish state. One can only guess what the peoples oppressed by these Arab regimes really think. ‘Normalisation of relations with the Jewish state of Israel’ has an immoral connotation in the Arab world. Years ago, an Arab once explained to me in private: “It is easier for me to say that my daughter is a prostitute than to admit that I live a normalisation of relations with Israel.” Will Other Arab States Follow the Example of the UAE? Both Americans and Israelis have enthusiastically expressed their hope “that more Arab and Islamic states will normalise their relations with Israel in the near future”. Now that Bahrain has also signed a normalisation agreement, Oman, Sudan, Morocco and perhaps even Saudi Arabia could be considering future normalisation. After all, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has already publicly conceded that Israelis have “a right to their own land”. The Palestinians are making every effort to prevent other Arab or Islamic states from following the UAE and Bahrain examples. When the US Embassy was moved to Jerusalem in May 2018, the Palestinians had still managed to convene an emergency meeting of the Arab League. Not this time.

22. 14 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Political Commentary Israel’s planned “annexation” of territory was widely condemned when it was announced earlier this year. The issue is off the table for the time being, as a result of the recent “normalization~” agreements with the UAE and Bahrain. But it will come back at some time. So, what is the legal status of the ‘West Bank’? Does it belong to Israel? Israel was established in 1948, when the Mandate for Palestine came to an end. The Mandate committed the international community to the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland in Palestine—reflecting the historic, religious and cultural ties between the Jewish people and the territory of Palestine. This included Jerusalem and the area now known as the ‘West Bank’. The rights of the Jewish people to a national homeland in Palestine under the Mandate to “immigrate” and to “closely settle” the land were preserved by article 80 of the UN Charter. The Mandate for Palestine was part of the wider post WWI settlement of the former Ottoman and German territories. The Arabs acquired sovereignty (and ultimately statehood) in the overwhelming majority of the Middle East—at the expense of the national rights of minorities, such as the Jews and the Kurds, amongst many others. The day Israel after was created, war was launched by Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq to destroy Israel. Judea and Samaria was occupied by Jordan. In the Six Day war in 1967 Israel won back the West bank and much more territory. Israel unified Jerusalem, and tried to negotiate “land for peace”. It imposesd de facto occupation on the West bank and Gaza—a political and military compromise. This has created a complex matrix of legal regimes (Jordanian, Ottoman, Israeli...) that has satisfied no-one and resulted in an appalling degradation of the dignity of the Arab Palestinian people. Major Jewish cities and towns have been built, and a “dual” legal system has developed with different legal regimes for Israelis and non-Israelis. Unfortunately, the Israeli government over the last 50 years has not explained clearly on what basis it considers it has a valid claim to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, preferring to use language like sovereignty being “in abeyance”. In this apparent legal vacuum, since 1973 many countries have developed a policy that all the territories outside the 1949 Armistice Lines (the “Green Line”) are “Palestinian”, and none can (without the Palestinians’ consent) form part of the State of Israel. This “two state” policy was introduced after the Yom Kippur War. It is a policy based on political expedience. It distorts international law, and fails to take account of the facts. International law forbids acquisition of territory by force. But an act to incorporate territory is illegal only if (a) the affected territory belongs to another State; and (b) the acquisition results from use of force against the territorial integrity of another state. Neither of these conditions applies to the ‘West Bank’: The ‘West Bank’ is not “Palestinian territory” The Palestinian people have a right to self-determination, but they do not have a legal right to statehood or territorial sovereignty. There is no State of Palestine according to normal international law rules (even the ICC Prosecutor agrees with that). It is Israel that has the strongest claim to sovereignty over the territory of the West Bank. According to the normal rules of international law, this follows from the Mandate for Palestine (1922)—a treaty ratifed by all 51 League of Nations member states. Since 1948, Israel has never relinquished its sovereign rights, and no international tribunal has ever made a determination about the sovereign status of these territories (not even the International Court of Justice). Neither should the United Nations or anyone else. No illegal use of force Israel has also never used unjustified force in order to acquire territory from another State, nor to acquire territory claimed by the Palestinians. Israel’s use of force in 1967 (when it acquired control of the West Bank) was defensive and entirely justified. Israel’s obligation to negotiate is not open- ended. Arab states rejected land for peace offers since June 1967. The PLO has rejected several concrete offers of Statehood (eg. 2000 and 2008), while manipulating the international institutions (UN and ICC) to obtain political recognition of its claimed sovereignty over the whole West Bank territory, inciting terror and hatred of Jews, and denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State—all in breach of Israel’s territorial integrity and security and the Oslo Accords themselves. Israel’s extension of its civil laws would be a justified response to the PLO’s continuous and blatant non-implementation of the Oslo Accords. Applying Israeli sovereignty to parts of the ‘West Bank’ may or may not be a good idea. But, like it or not, Israel is also a sovereign state. Its territory is determined by the normal rules of international law. The international community simply doesn’t get to decide the borders of states on the basis of what they think is morally right or politically sensible. ________________________________________________________ Andrew Tucker studied law in Australia and The Netherlands, and has worked since 1988 as an adviser and consultant to private companies, governments and (semi-)public entities in various fields of international law. Andrew was a Fellow of the Law Faculty of the University of Melbourne from 1994 to 2001, and Research Associate at the TMC Asser Institute in The Hague from 1996- 1998. Based in The Netherlands, he is Principal of Tucker & Associates , and Legal Counsel to the E uropean Coalition for Israel. Andrew is co-author of ‘Israel on Trial’ , Soest (NLD), thinc. (2018). You can contact Andrew at: a.tucker@thinc.info Israel’s Planned “Annexation” Not Illegal Andrew Tucker Director, The Hague Initiative for International Cooperation Israel has also never used unjustified force in order to acquire territory from another State Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu presents a map of the Jordan Valley area to which he proposes to extend Israeli sovereignty. Credit aijac.com

21. 13 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Biblical Insights: A Series on Tabernacling with God Keith Buxton Former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia First Encouragement: God often uses our darkest times to reveal to us His deepest truths The Biblical feasts were given to God’s people to remind them of His gracious favour and blessing. In fact, each of the main Biblical feasts teaches us all as believers something unique and precious about our relationship with the Lord. We need to remember too that our Christian faith is all about relationship. The simple fact is that we are all prone to forget the goodness and faithfulness and protection and provision and mercy of the Lord. Life goes on, we are caught up in the busyness of our lives, we are distracted and so it goes on. And God gets left on the sidelines. Our relationship with the Lord loses its vibrancy and joy. We remember how Jesus, following the pattern of the Passover Feast, instituted what we often refer to as the Lord’s Supper. He said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me”..... “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25) We need to be reminded because quite simply we forget, and we take our salvation for granted. We need to be reminded that all we have comes to us because of the goodness and generous heart of our Father God. We are prone to think that the blessings we experience are the result of our own efforts. Think for a moment of the people of God as they left Egypt and set out for the Promised Land of Canaan. It was never in God’s plan that they take 40 years to get there, let alone lose a generation of people in the desert! They wandered around, in between periods of temporary settlement in the desert, all because of their own grumbling and complaining and rank disobedience. There in the desert they had no permanent dwelling—it was far from God’s best for them. Maybe some of you are conscious of experiencing far less than what you know is God’s best for you. You have been languishing in the desert, and as is true for most of us at such times, you cannot go around blaming it on everyone else. Perhaps you need a week (or more) of “tabernacling” with the Lord, to hear His voice! In Leviticus 23:42-43 we read how God told the Israelites to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in a particular way: “Live in booths for seven days: All native- born Israelites are to live in booths, so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt.” In this way they would remember that God had watched over and protected them in the desert. He had provided for them, as we read in Deuteronomy 8:4: “Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.” They were not to forget their God “who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you snakes and manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known...” (verses 14-16). God even confirmed His presence with His people, in the midst of their rebellion and unbelief, in a special way—Exodus 13:21-22: “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” God would often speak to His people out of that pillar—He is ever a God whose heart is to communicate with us, even— or maybe especially—when we try to do things our own way. He is always wanting to reveal Himself to us, wooing us, seeking to draw us back into intimate relationship. That, friends, is amazing grace! In Nehemiah 8-9 we read how the Israelites set aside a day of fasting, confession and prayer following an earlier celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles— it would seem that the reminder of God’s faithfulness as their ancestors’ protector and provider inspired them in a new way to seek His face. From Nehemiah 9:16-20: “They, our forefathers, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and did not obey Your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles You performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. “But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore You did not desert them, even when they... committed awful blasphemies... Because of Your great compassion You did not abandon them in the desert... You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them...” They had a fresh revelation of the God who had rescued their ancestors from slavery! And during Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jewish people today are reminded, as they live for a week in their frail and temporary sukkot, that God is ever-faithful, all-powerful and cares for His people - even when they least deserve it! The wonder of all this is that, in our many trials and troubles—whether self- inflicted or not—God seeks to draw near to us. And time and time again, as Israel continually discovered, the Lord answers when we cry out to Him. In fact, God often uses our darkest times to reveal to us His deepest truths. Do you see here one of the deep lessons for us all in the Feast of Tabernacles? God’s people often need in tough times to hold on to the revelation they have been given of the deepest truths of God’s nature and heart. It is in the tough times that those truths then become an awesome and joyous reality—truths about His: • sovereign ty and majesty • compassion and mer cy • forgiveness and grace • protecti on and provision • faithfulness and love When God l ed the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, all the way from the miracle of the Passover deliverance to the drowning of the Egyptian army in the sea, His people were in awe of His incomparable power and of His heart of compassion for the enslaved Israelites. You would never doubt Him again! But circumstances change, as they did for the Israelites. And doubt did in fact take root in their hearts, as can happen to us. Darkness set in. And the people of God turned away from God. They stopped trusting Him. I think sometimes that the sin that most breaks the heart of God is unbelief. But God would not give up on them. God loves us so much that He will go to any lengths to rescue us from the consequences of our rebellion and stupidity! In fact, He went to the extent of two lengths of wood joined to form a cross. The cross of Jesus. Tabernacles speaks of a fickle people— just like we can be—who yet could not shake off God’s love, even when in their unbelief they cast Him in the form of an animal shaped from molten gold—so they had something they could see! We really can learn so much about our God from this Jewish feast day, and in our darkest moments draw strength from the assurance of His forever love. ________________________________________________________ Keith Buxton is the former National Director for Bridges for Peace Australia. www.bridgesforpeace.com Keith Buxton reading scroll in Nazareth village synagogue

11. 3 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 this Land, his seed would bring blessing to all the families of the world. While all the land on which he walked was deeded to him, the Patriarch purchased just a single piece of property—for a family burial plot. In Hebron’s Cave of Machpelah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lie—still in the Land—awaiting the resurrection of the dead. The ‘Abraham Accords’ say nothing about the Land. Nothing. The Arabs only signed on condition that Israel would lay claim to no more of it. Intriguingly, it was at the Tomb of Abraham that, 10 years ago, a grassroots movement known as the Women in Green—formed in 1993 in response to ‘Oslo’—held the first Sovereignty Conference (I was privileged to attend) and entered the political realm. Back then, no one dared use the “S” word. It was an ‘extremist’ view - ‘anti-peace’. In the decade since, under the unflagging efforts of these women, the promise of sovereignty has gathered national steam and gained traction in government, featuring at the very top of Israel’s last three election campaigns. Through all the changes of administration in the White House and political upheaval in the Knesset, the Women in Green have remained true to the ideal of ‘ First, The Land ’. A recent, extraordinary, letter captured their clarity of vision: “The Land of Israel has warmly welcomed the returning Jewish people [as] is manifest in agriculture, industry, hi-tech, medicine, and countless other areas. If only we continue to adopt the ways of the Zionist return of the people to its land, we will receive an exponentially greater return from the yield of the land and from the yield of the ingathering of the exiles to it. “During this period,” they continued, “we must, to a certain extent and for a while, place our global aspirations on the back burner[and] focus on nationalism. ... We cannot skip this stage. We cannot expect that a people that does not appreciate its essence and does not invest in it will have the ability to stand as a lighthouse for the nations.” (Read the Women in Green’s just- published “basic principles of the aspiration for sovereignty” here: www.ribonut.co.il/BlogPostID. aspx?BlogPostId=501&lang=2 This is the vision—and it speaks to God’s promise that, in the final days of this age, as gentile lands fall into darkness, Israel’s Land is to serve as an Ark—a place of safety for the Jews, and a beacon of hope. The Enemy has long known this. In mortal fear of the King, and aware that Israel must first be restored for Him to come, Satan has tried everything to thwart it: He sought to destroy the Jews in the Diaspora (Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms, Holocaust) so that they could not return; to keep the Land from being returned to them before 1948; to drive them back out in successive wars since then; and, by hook or by crook, to try take back the Land via ‘the Palestinian cause’. Because the Land is destined to be a safe place for Israel, the ‘State of Palestine’ is designed to sink her. Palestine is a weapon. Tirelessly, like an army of white ants weakening beams and planks, ‘Palestinian’ groups are working from within to ensure that this Ark will never float. As documented by the organisation, Regavim, even as Israeli sovereignty has been suspended—with apparent settlement building freezes imposed in Samaria and Judea—a ‘reverse sovereignty’ is frenetically under way: the sovereignty movement for Palestine. ( www.regavim.org/sovereignty-in- reverse-palestinians-have-seized-30- percent-of-israeli-land-in-territories ) For years, there has been massive Arab construction in Area C—to which the Palestinian Authority has no permitted right. In my frequent traversing of Samaria and Judea (the ‘West Bank’) as tour guide, I have seen ‘Palestinian’ towns mushrooming throughout Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. Those who know that Europe has long hated the Jews will be unsurprised to learn that an enormous amount of the funding for this illegal land grabbing comes from the EU. Here; jpost.com/middle-east/eu- builds-for-palestinians-in-area-c-fms- speak-against-annexation-635051 The Abraham Accords will do nothing to stop this; will not even slow it. The Arabs’ devouring of Israel’s land is racing ahead as I write. Only the bringing of the Jews’ historically sovereign land under Israeli law will thwart the designs of those who hate Zion. The Jews, I wrote above, have been long dispossessed of peace. They have, likewise, been long dispossessed of their land. Way back in history, they lost first their peace, then their land. It is Scripturally axiomatic that, until they again possess their land, they will never again possess peace. The Abraham Accords have been signed. There is nothing more to be done on that front. Nothing to be done against it. It is really not our war. For me, the heart of this battle—the fiercest epicenter of this war—has always been about the Land and about Jerusalem. As Gentiles, we mostly cannot fight it in Israel, but we can fight it for Israel, in our lands. The battle is the LORD’s. He is fighting it (Isaiah 31:4). It is where I have chosen to stand and fight, too. ________________________________________________________ Stan Goodenough is an Evangelical (Gentile) Israel-accredited tour guide who for 30 years called Jerusalem home. After Covid-19 brought about the instantaneous collapse of Israel tourism, he moved with his family to the Czech Republic from where he will closely follow events tied to the unparalleled wonder of Israel’s ongoing restoration. When the borders re- open, he plans to return to guiding God’s Land. www.jerusalemwatchman.org and (coming soon) www.israelvirtualtours.org Stan’s Article continued... President Bill Clinton putting his arms around Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, 1993: National American Archives & Records Administration. Crowd gathered September 13, 1993 on the Whitehouse Lawn to witness the Oslo Accord signging: National American Archives & Records Administration.

25. 25 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Sondra Baras n Director | Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) Israel liberated Judea and Samaria in 1967, in response to Jordan’s unprovoked attack against Israel from that area. However, Israel did not apply sovereignty to this area at the time, unlike its immediate application of sovereignty in Jerusalem, liberated at the same time. Ever since Judea and Samaria have been the subject of negotiations between Israel and various Arab partners. And that, unfortunately, has created a sense among many that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is temporary. From the Oslo Accords to this very day, plans have been put forward to create a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria. This has created a hesitancy in both the Israeli and the international response to Arab terrorism, which, in turn, has created an even greater impetus for the terrorists to persist, believing that just a bit more pressure will produce the desired withdrawal. The settlement movement, in contrast, has always been predicated on the belief that history, law and Biblical considerations support Israel’s exclusive claim to Judea and Samaria. When Israelis re-established the Jewish community in Hebron in 1968, they were not only returning to an area where Jews had been brutally massacred and driven from the city in 1929, but they were renewing a Jewish presence in a city that had been a Jewish centre since Abraham’s time. And it is that notion of return that has fueled the establishment of more than 150 communities throughout Judea and Samaria, numbering close to 500,000 people today. The application of sovereignty over these areas, therefore, is vital because it is an accurate expression of a reality that already exists. Proposals that consider the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria ignore the reality on the ground, and create an alternative, dream world. But so long as Israel does not apply sovereignty, that dream world will still exist and it will, indeed, fuel ongoing terrorism. Sovereignty is a definitive statement on behalf of the State of Israel that this area will belong to Israel forever. Once that understanding penetrates Arab psyches, most will quit fighting. It will look for ways to live with this reality. Actually, to some degree this is already happening, as more and more Arabs in the area are openly advocating for Israeli sovereignty, believing their interests will be better served by a democratically-elected Israeli government, which guarantees fundamental human rights to its citizens, as opposed to the very corrupt and dictatorial Palestinian Authority. Clearly, the Sovereignty movement received an enormous boost by the Trump Administration, which announced its support for Israeli application of sovereignty in 30% of Judea and Samaria. In response, Netanyahu promised to apply sovereignty immediately but has not moved forward on this promise to date. Recently, upon the announcement of the UAE agreement with Israel, the United States declared that the sovereignty process was being put on hold. At the same time, Israeli political leaders have announced that the process is being delayed, not cancelled. Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria is not only the right and just thing to do, but it is the best way to promote true peace in the region. In addition, it will make it much easier to develop available land in the area and expand existing communities. The question is whether we have already squandered an opportunity that may never again return. Had Netanyahu proceeded with sovereignty as promised, it would never have been halted for the UAE agreement. The UAE agreement reflects the Gulf States’ strategic decision to prioritise an alliance with Israel over the Palestinian cause. The real risk lies with the American elections. If Trump is re-elected, sovereignty will likely move forward shortly after the election. However, Biden is opposed to the very notion of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. If he becomes president, it is unlikely that the Israeli government would move forward in the face of US opposition. If Biden does win, however, there may still be a window of opportunity. During the last days of Obama’s tenure as president, and knowing that Trump was about to reverse his policies towards Israel, he engineered Security Council Resolution 2334, declaring the settlements illegal under international law. If Trump loses the election, he may well rely on this Obama precedent and recognise Israel’s application of sovereignty, just before handing over the reins to Biden. While it is far from certain that sovereignty will be applied in Judea and Samaria, there is no question that it is a step that should be taken. Let us hope that the leaders of Israel and the US have the courage and the wisdom to do the right thing. 9 Analysis October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Rebecca Rebecca was a matriarch with a fascinating story. She was the wife of Isaac. They are the first couple of whom the Bible tells that they loved each other. Yet, it was not Isaac himself, but Abraham’s servant Eliezer who brought her from Haran in Mesopotamia, somewhere in today’s southern Turkey, near the Syrian border, where Abraham’s relatives dwelt, to Canaan. Rebecca consents to going with him to be married to Isaac. In Hebrew, the name is Rivqah. There are different explanations for this name. Some connect the name to the word baqar, ‘cow’, if the ‘r’ is removed. That is not impossible, however. That happens sometimes. In linguistics, it is called metathesis. In the family, the name ‘cow’ would not have been out of place. Her nieces have the same sort of names. Rachel means ‘sheep’, and Leah means ‘cow’, too. Another explanation of the name is that it is derived from an Arabic word Qirba (again a metathesis), which means ‘waterbag’. In the context of the story, this is also imaginable. Water is a necessity for human and animal alike. And did she not water Eliezer and his camels? The last explanation sees a link with the Aramaic word Ribqa, which appears in the Talmud. It means ‘fattening’, but is derived from the verb to tie. So you could also say ‘the captivating’. I would find this the most charming explanation. Rebecca is, in any case, fascinating, and certainly tenacious too, as appears from her role in the life of her son Jacob. Her relationship with Isaac is also fascinating. When she sees him for the first time, from afar, she immediately stands beside her camel to wait for him, covered in her veil. Isaac brings her in the tent of his mother Sarah and loves Rebecca. After the death of his mother, Rebecca helps him rediscover his joy of living. Rebecca at the well. | Image: Micheal Deas Biblical Names By Kees de Vreugd Sovereignty is Critical Had Netanyahu proceeded with sovereignty as promised , it would never have been halted for the UAE agreement . View of the Jewish settlement of Kamei Shomron, in Judea and Samaria. | Photo: Flash90

19. 11 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Fostering Christian/Jewish Relations We live in a time of unprecedented constructive Jewish Christian relationships. Never before in church history have Christians reached out to Jews with such unconditional love and with a heart to serve. Whether it be to help underprivileged Jews in Africa, the Middle East or the former Soviet Union make Aliyah (emigrate to Israel) or helping bring in the grape and olive harvest in Judea and Samaria, to name just a few of the many initiatives taking place currently. Getting the message out to the wider Jewish community that an increasing number of Christians are standing with them in solidarity, is one of the aims of our new weekly radio program being broadcast to the Jewish community here in Australia on a Jewish radio station J-Air. It is then seen more widely on podcasts. The program was the initiative of the late Peter Kentley of Beersheba Vision, who sadly suddenly passed this year, after only a few broadcasts. Peter was a member of the Australian Light Horse Association that took part in the much-publicised centenary of Beersheba event, that rode through the Negev with 100 horses following the steps of our horsemen in 1917. Peter, a former airline captain, was so impacted he felt that there was a need to “keep riding on” to further the relationship between our two countries that was birthed as a result of that momentous ride in 1917. Beersheba Vision was started with Tim Fischer AC. MP, the first patron and following his death, was succeeded by Barry Rodgers OAM and Neville Clarke OAM, MC. Barry, has now taken on the role of presenter for the “Beersheba Vision” weekly radio program to continue the legacy. Having a Christian presenter on a Jewish radio network is a new development and does expand the horizons for Jewish Christian dialogue. Wide Ranging Discussions Our program focuses on educating our listeners about the amazing shared history that Australia and Israel have had, in both war and peace. More importantly we share stories from some amazing bridge-building Christian organisations and individuals that are working tirelessly in support of Israel. Broadcasts, for Example, Include: • Items of histori cal interest from Kelvin Crombie on the battle of El Alamein in WW2 and how the Australian 9th division were instrumental in defeating the German thrust towards the Middle East, thus averting a second holocaust for the 700,000 Jews living there. • Pastor Ra y Minniecon and Mark Pollard sharing on the amazing and little known Indigenous Australian/Israel connection. • Associate Pr ofessor Dr. Jennie Bickmore-Brand talking on the Israeli Education system and what we can learn from them. • Ian Worby fr om C4I, Rabbi Riesenberg and an orthodox Jew Sondra Baras, sharing on Jewish and Christian relationships, to name a few. Enthusiastic acceptance by the Jewish community. These sessions have been accepted with enthusiasm by the Jewish Community. Barry, along with other members of the Beersheba Vision Committee, realise that although there are deep theological and historical issues that are stumbling blocks in Jewish Christian relationships, however, as we reach out in love with a no strings attached approach, we are building strong bridges of trust. This approach takes us to a place where we can have heart to heart transactions that transcend the theological divide and in that place, we can discover each other afresh as sons and daughters of our father Abraham. Although there is a long way still to go, hearts are being opened on both sides of the divide and we can only look in wonder at what God is doing in our day. _________________________________ The broadcasts can be heard on 87.8FM Melbourne every Wednesday at 2pm, or downloaded from our website, beershebavision.org by opening the ‘J-Air’ tag. You can get in touch via our website or contact Barry at barry@emugully.com.au New horizons for Jewish Christian relationships, on Jewish radio, J-AIR Barry Rodgers, OAM Australian Light Horse Association Having a Christian presenter on a Jewish radio network is a new development and does expand the horizons for Jewish Christian dialogue. Barry Rodgers OAM and Nathanael Lawrence training at Vision Christian Radio . Ian Worby and Vision were a great help in assisting us set up our own fully fledged studio.

1. 17 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 City of David - 6 7 2 Shifting Sands Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2020 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 12 Burning Bright 14 - 16 Aliyah Special President Donald J Trump, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords Tuesday, 15 September 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. | Photo: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead Changing Alliances in the Middle East On 15 September 2020, on the lawns of the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed ‘normalisation’ agreements with the Foreign Ministers of the small Gulf States United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The agreements have been brokered by President Donald Trump and his team at the White House led by the President’s Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Israel ’s two existing peace treaties with Arab states (Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994) were based on the ‘land for peace’ paradigm. They have created a cold, formal peace between these nations, but no real cooperation at the people-to-people level. The agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, on the contrary, are focused on security and economic and cultural development. Many commentators have hailed these agreements as a major break-through. Israeli intellectual Natan Sharansky described the UAE agreement is “the first real agreement about normalisation which doesn’t include any concessions to any dictator. It simply says that it is in our interest to co- exist, to co-operate, and to help one another. I believe the meaning of it is huge. It is much bigger than the size of Abu Dhabi and Israel.” Sharansky believes this development is “changing the paradigm of the last 50-60 years that has been dominant in the West, especially in Europe: that ‘we, the free world, have all these problems with the Moslim world, and specifically the Arab world , and have all these waves of terror because Israel is not willing to give the Palestinians what they want us to give.’ None of this was true, nor was it able to strengthen peaceful elements in the Arab world. Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace.” Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace. AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au

15. 7 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Biblical Commentary Through Jewish Eyes Enoch Lavender Pastoral leader of Shalom Israel and Assistant Pastor at Living Way Christian Network. A few years ago, I was asked to preach a message on the Hebrew Year 5779. I had never done a message on a number before—and felt quite challenged! After all, was there any real Biblical significance to its numerical value—and did it in any way relate to us as believers? As I delved into the topic, I was surprised firstly to see how extensively the Hebrew Bible uses plays on words and numerical symbolism to bring across multiple layers of meaning. Furthermore, as I investigated the meanings of the numbers for that particular year, I was amazed by their biblical links and clear practical applications for our lives today. As we have now entered the Hebrew Year 5781, let me therefore share with you some insights from the meanings I have uncovered for this year. The 80’s In the Hebrew calendar, we have just entered the 5780’s—a decade symbolised by the Hebrew letter ‘peh’. Peh is the letter for the number 80 and it simply means ‘a mouth’. It could therefore be said that we are in a decade that speaks to us about how we use our mouths. Enter 5781 The ‘1’ in 5781 is symbolised by the letter ‘aleph’ (roughly equivalent to our letter ‘A’). The first point to make about the letter aleph is that it is a silent letter. So as we start this decade of the mouth, one can say that we firstly need to learn the art of knowing when to keep our mouths shut. When confronted with conflict, it can be so tempting to give people a piece of our mind. Yet James warns us to ‘be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath’ (Jam. 1:19 NKJV). In other words, in this year of aleph, let us be slow to judge situations on face value and instead take the time to actually hear and understand. And only once we have learnt the art of keeping our mouths shut, are we in a position to speak when and how God wants us to speak. Another important aspect of being silent relates to how we handle criticisms and accusations. When Jesus was falsely accused by the Pharisees and was even threatened with death, Matthew tells us that He ‘answered nothing’ (Matt 27:12). We all have a strong built in desire to defend ourselves against such accusations—but there is a time when we are called to likewise be silent and let God Himself be our defence. Some may think that being silent in the face of accusation is a sign of weakness, but interestingly the ‘silent’ letter aleph actually carries the meaning of an ox—a classic sign of strength. In other words, it actually takes greater strength to be silent than to speak our minds. While there is definitely a time to speak up, let us in this year learn to watch our mouths and only speak as and when God directs. Our First Priority Aleph is the first letter in a number of God’s names—including El, Elohim, El Eyon (the Most High God), Adonai, Abba Father, “I am Who I Am” (each word of this phrase in Hebrew starts with aleph). Aleph itself can be broken down into three smaller letters (yod, yod and vav)—which when combined together have the numerical value of God’s sacred name ‘YHVH’. Each of these names related to aleph bring out different characteristics of God Himself. So in this decade of the mouth, having learnt firstly when to be silent, we need to get back to speaking about God. Speaking about Him rightly should be our first priority, but not out of a place of religious obligation. When we first became believers, so many of us could hardly contain ourselves and shared our newfound salvation with everyone who came across our paths. But as the years have passed, many of us find that we no longer speak so freely about Him. I would challenge you to take this year as a personal challenge to come closer to God and get to know Him afresh. For I know that as we experience fresh revelation and fresh encounters with Him, the enthusiasm and joy in sharing about Him will naturally follow. And in this way, we can start of this decade the right way—by speaking about Him! One is Like a Thousand While the letter aleph has the numerical value of one, the Hebrew word ‘eleph’ (spelt identical to ‘aleph’ in the biblical text) has the meaning of a thousand. Peter appears to allude when he says “do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet. 3:8 NKJV). In the context, Peter is speaking of those who mockingly ask ‘when is His return’? Peter’s answer is that we need to be ready! Speaking to his eager students, Rabbi Eliezer once said ‘repent the day before you die’. Looking at him with a puzzled expression, one of his young students replied ‘but how do I know which day I will die?” “All the more reason to repent today,” responded the Rabbi. Likewise, we might think His return is as far away as a thousand (eleph) years, but Peter warns us that it might only be one (aleph) day before He returns! So let us in this year make sure we are ready for the King! Entering 5781 As we enter this New Year, my prayer is that we will take with us these key lessons. May we learn to the art of being silent and being good listeners, and may we learn to let God defend us when we face accusations and criticism. May we have fresh encounters with the God of Israel and have fresh testimonies to share with family and friends. And finally may we live fully prepared for His return, for surely that day is coming soon. For teaching on the End Times from A Jewish perspective get the new DVD series ‘ The End times Through Jewish Eyes.’ See backpage to order your copy or go to www.c4israel.com.au/store Ps. Enoch Lavender Enoch is the Pastoral leader of Shalom Israel and serves as Assistant Pastor at Living Way Christian Network. Sarah is a graduate of the Caleb Company training program and has led a ministry tour to Israel and been involved in many aspects of local church ministry. The Prophetic Meaning of the Hebrew Year 5781

16. 8 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Commentary Israel Air Force Germany The German Luftwaffe and the Israeli Air Force made history last August. On Monday August 24 six Israeli F-16’s, two Gulfstreams and two Boeing 707 tanker jets arrived in Germany for combined exercises. Around 180 Israeli personnel were involved in the manoeuvre conducted over two weeks. “It was very emotional for us when the first Israeli jets arrived in German airspace,” a Luftwaffe spokeman said. He spoke of the new connection between Germany and Israel. This was a take-your-breath away moment. Israeli media rightly declared no one in the early 1940s would have thought it possible. How unlikely for them to envisage a prosperous Israeli state with its own air force? Now in this extraordinary assignment Israeli pilots flew over the Dachau concentration camp and over Fuerstenfeldbruck airfield as a tribute to the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by “Palestnian” Arab terrorists during the 1972 Olympics. Dachau was extremely symbolic. In 1933 after Adolph Hitler became chancellor of Germany Heinrich Himmler announced the opening of Dachau. Hilmer Wackerie an SS commander was the first commandant. Dachau the training camp for SS camp guards became the model for the murderous camps that followed. The activities in Dachau are infamous. Thousands died, many were subjected to excruciating medical experimentation. In 1942 Hitler introduced ‘The Final Solution’ by his order Jews were systematically exterminated. Thousands from Dachau were transferred to Poland and the gas chambers. In Israel it is common to meet descendants of concentration camp victims and survivors. Shira Pansky who writes for the Israeli Air Force website (iaf.org.il) links Dachau and the Israel 105th ‘Scorpion” Squadron. “Maj. Moshe Tadmor, a former commander of the 105th Squadron survived Dachau at the age of 20,” she wrote. The current commander of the Squadron met with Moshe’s family before the assignment in Germany. “We must focus on shaping the next generations, to ensure that such horrendous events never repeat themselves, and as peace-seeking nations, we are committed to working together to create a better future,” he told them. The daughter gave the commander a ring initialled MM worn by her father to be carried on the significant flight. “It is like closure for me. I feel as though the flyby is a personal salute to my father. I believe that the German-Israeli cooperation, in a flyby at such a terrible place where thousands of lives were erased, is what gives us the strength to continue”, she said. Hostages Israeli Air Force also flew over Fuerstenfeldbruck where the airfield are just kilometres from downtown Munich. This airfield became infamous during the Munich Summer Olympics Games specifically September 5-6, 1972. The so-called ‘Cheerful Games’ are remembered with bitterness and grief. Eight ‘Palestinian’ militants linked to the Black September movement broke into quarters housing Israeli athletes. The terrorists demanded the release of more than 200 ‘Palestinian’ prisoners held in Israeli jails. After a bloody exchange in the Olympic village, the Israeli hostages were ushered into buses and onto helicopters. When the choppers arrived at Fuerstanfelbruck airport German security failed miserably. Police snipers had not been formally trained. The Germany army was better trained but were forbidden to assist the civilian police. When the situation escalated police officers abandoned their posts. In the mayhem and confusion that followed eleven Israelis were killed, one Munich policeman died and five terrorists were dead. The significance of Operation ‘Greatest Revenge’ is powerful. But there’s more..... In August 2020 the director of the new Berlin Jewish Museum proudly declared “We are here, not in Israel!” Director Hetty Berg reopened the Museum in August after a coronavirus shutdown last March. In her interview with the Jewish Telegraph Agency Berg said: “After the war, it became the place where a lot of the work on memory and the “Vergangenheitsbewältigung” [coping with the past] also took place.” She added: “So there’s a lot going on here in Berlin because it also attracts many Jews from all over the place, and they have new ideas, and that makes it also a very exciting place to be. This is something that I would like for the museum to give a podium to—these new ideas and these new initiatives.”  ( jta.org ) In the 1950’s Israeli passports declared ‘valid in any country other than Germany.’ Trade with Germany was prohibited. Understandably tensions were tight. In 1952 German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israeli PM David Ben Gurion took the first courageous steps towards reparation. Adenauer a Catholic Christian had a long interest and respect for Judaism. The Germans agreed to the payment of $1.95 billion (US) and Adenauer won respect and trust by ensuring the money was paid on time. In his book ‘Unlikely Friendship: David Ben Gurion and Konrad Adenauer’ author Michael Borchard wrote: “Had it not been for the combination of these two forceful politicians it would certainly have taken far longer for Germany and Israel to come to terms with one another. It was anything but self-evident.” This was a first step up a very high mountain. Before leaving Israel for the historic flyover the IAF Commander Maj.Gen Amikam Norkin met with Holocaust survivors. “We are leaving for this exercise with a sense of mission, empowered by those who were there,” he said. The Israeli Air Force “Kheil HaAvar” in Hebrew, has played a major role in the confidence in Israel today. The national media applauded the Air Force flyover. Proudly they reported Israel was the nation the world thought would be broken and shattered. With wheels up over Germany they proved the critics wrong. _______________________________________ 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 Ron Ross Author and Middle East correspondent and commentator An Israeli F-16 fighter jet en route to an exercise in Germany in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

28. 28 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Archeology 12 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Kay Wilson n Israeli Tour Guide | Author | Cartoonist There is always construction going on in Israel, whether it be to house new Jewish immigrants coming from the four corners of the world, or infrastructure needed for a thriving economy. It was during the clearing of the ground to lay the foundations of a hotel that the ancient town of Migdal was discovered. Migdal that is mentioned in ancient Jewish sources is on the northwest side of the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). In Hebrew, it was called Migdal Nunya, meaning ‘fish tower.’ The Greek was ‘the place of salting the fish.’ These names were chosen because it was famous for a tower that stood in the middle of the town. Fish that had been caught in the lake were salted and stored in the tower before being exported as far away as Antioch and Alexandria. The Jewish residents of Migdal played an important role against the Romans during what was become to be known as the Great Revolt (66-73 CE). Josephus Flavius was based there. Also known as Yosef ben Matityahu, the controversial Jewish commander of the rebellion in the Galilee was taken prisoner by the Romans and in his new home in Italy, and as the adopted son of the Empire, chronicled the Jewish war against his former captors. The New Testament says that Mary came from Migdal. Hence she was named accordingly as Mar y Magdalene. But the archaeological excavations reveal that ancient Migdal is not just a town; it is a town with a synagogue. And not just any old synagogue: but one with a stone engraved with a seven-branched menorah. In the wilderness, God commanded the Israelites to make a menorah. They were instructed to make sure it burns night and day in the Tabernacle. When the Tabernacle ceased to exist, the Menorah burned in the Temple. There have been several impressions of menorahs discovered in Israel, whether it be in Sepphoris in the form of ancient graffiti etched into a Roman Road, or a huge stone carving in the Jewish catacombs of Beit Shearim, or on Mosaic floors in the likes of Beit Sha’an. The Menorah at Migdal is different. It is dated between 50 BCE-100 CE, meaning it is actually from the time when the Second Temple was still standing. The synagogue is only one of just six other synagogues in the world dating to what is known as ‘the Second Temple period.’ The Migdal menorah is depicted with what may be a three-pronged stand set on a square base. On either side are amphora jars the kind used to store water or wine. There is quite a lot of debate in Jewish circles as to what the stand of the Menorah actually looked like. What we do know is that it did not have a rectangular base, as seen in the Arch of Titus, which shows the cruel exile of the Jews to Rome. Incidentally, the plunder of the Jewish valuables from the Temple, was used to finance the building of the Colosseum. This image of a menorah with a square base was chosen as the national emblem of Israel, not because of a statement of historical accuracy as to how it looked. Still, instead, it was purposefully selected by the nascent state as a declaration to the world that that Jewish people have returned home after two thousand years of exile. Most exciting about the Menorah that appears on the stone at Migdal is its early dating, enable us to assume it was done by an artist who had made the trip to Jerusalem and had actually seen the Menorah with his very own eyes in the Temple in Jerusalem. Burning Bright The ancient Magdala stone with menorah relief found in the synagogue. | Photos: Shutterstock United Nations Resolutions Facts Speak The number of UN resolutions against Israel has reached absurd proportions in recent years. While countries that are known for not taking human rights very seriously have single or no condemnation, Israel is blamed time and again. These facts do not enhance the credibility of the UN. Russia Qatar Israel Pakistan United States Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey Source: UN Watch Database North- Korea Cuba V enezuel a UN Human Rights Council: 2006 - present UN General Assembly: 2015 - present UN Commission on the Status of Women: 2015 - present Ruins of Magdala (Hebrew: Migdal) near the Sea of Galilee. | Photos: Shutterstock Some UN Organs UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda (Itaem7) and the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes t hose actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review. UN General Assembly - decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority. The Assembly has adopted its own rules of procedure and elects its President and 21 Vice-Presidents for each session. UN Commission on the Status of Women is part of the United Nations, and works to promote women's political, economic, civil, social and educational rights. An annual meeting for the representatives of member States is held in New York to assess progress, identify what remains to be done and formulate new policies. When the Tabernacle ceased to exist, the Menorah burne d in the Temple.

10. 2 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Opinion Piece from the Jerusalem Watchman The Abraham Accords: A Christian Zionist’s View The promise of peace between Israel and two Arab states—the signing of the Abraham Accords—who would not exult? All who love the Lord God of Israel, who want their hearts to beat in time with His, and those who know about even a fraction of what the Jews have endured, yearn for this. Shalom aleichem! And all the glittering, potential fruits of it! Both sides comprehend what rich benefits are to be reaped from a ‘people-to-people’ peace. “So what about you,” I have been asked. “Where do you stand on all this?” I stand here: The strength of the Jewish response to the agreement is completely comprehensible to me. No nation has ever been more cruelly dispossessed of peace; none has prayed for it more—their collective cry ascending to Heaven from the ends of the earth, every day, for thousands upon thousands of years. What’s not to support? As a Christian living for more than half of my life in this loveliest of lands, with this most hated of people, I so much want to rejoice, to stream my deepest encouragement into their overflowing happiness of hope. But I cannot. I cannot rejoice, because I know what the Bible says about the course of Israel’s journey: By the time it is over, we will have seen the restoration of the People to their own Land (Isaiah 14:1), the restoration of the Land to its only People (Ezekiel 11:17), and the restoration of this physically reconstituted nation to her God. All this—as Scripture foretells, and as the media every day attests—while the nations all around grow in their hatred of her. I cannot rejoice, because the principality of Islam—Shia and Sunni—is an implacable foe of the God of Israel who will never permit a genuine, lasting peace between his adherents and the Jews. Expediting pilgrimage to ‘Al-Aqsa’ will only reinforce Islam’s hold on the Temple Mount. And I cannot rejoice, because I have been here before. From Jerusalem, 27 years ago, on the same Hebrew date (27 Elul) and at the same venue (the White House), I witnessed the heralding of a ‘new Middle East’. Multitudes of Israeli and other Jews acclaimed the ‘Oslo Accords’; Christians were impassioned; Evangelical teachers vied with each other over which major ‘End Times’ event it presaged. We know what it spawned: decades—and counting—of cyclical terror; multiple massacres of Jews; relentless pressure on Israel to surrender the concrete commodity of land for a conceptual pretend peace; the abject failure of the withdrawal from Gaza, where Jews wrenched Jews from their homes and Hamas moved in. ‘Oslo’ exposed the moral bankruptcy and total unworkability of ‘Land for Peace’. It also discredited the prophecy specialists whose predictions were shown to be ludicrous. Now ‘Abraham’ has arrived, like lightning from a clear sky. No one— no-one! — predicted this. Like ‘Oslo’, it was birthed behind closed doors. And after an initial stunned silence almost everyone— Jews, the press, general publics in many lands, and a new generation of eschatology ‘experts’—enthused. Between the August 13 announcement and September 15 signing of the agreement, Evangelical leaders (including high- profile Messianic Jews) hosted a rash of Zoom meetings to instruct Christians how we should interpret and respond to this. And urged our support of it. Apparently because their view is predominantly Church-centered, whereas the Bible’s is overwhelmingly Israel- centered, these teachers’ deductions often seem disconnected from God’s purposes and at odds with Scripture (as written , not as interpreted). Instead of clarifying, they confuse, misleading their sheep. (More about this another time...) I will not fault love-starved Israel for the way she has chosen to pursue peace. My heart, however, cannot cheer her on. My soul fears for her. I’m not saying I don’t trust God. He has gathered Israel to keep her (Jeremiah 31:10; 46:27; Ezekiel 34:28); as I trusted Him before ‘Oslo’ I trust Him now and my faith in Israel’s future is unwavering. But I am trepidatious about how the Abraham Accords, and others that may follow, will be played out. And it hurts—the price Israel has already paid, and paid this time. These accords are incomparable to ‘Oslo’ and to the cold peace agreements with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994). Those entities waged fierce and frequent war against Israel, while the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain never fought her. But that is not the heart of the matter. This is: Concerning Israel’s destiny, the vast weight of Scripture speaks to God’s zealous Zionism (Zechariah 8:2), to His rock-solid determination to bring His people home (Jeremiah 24:6; 32:41) and to restore the Land, with Jerusalem, to them. By glaring contrast, there are no prophecies predicting a nationally reconstituted Israel finding friendship from God-rejecting nations, and welcoming all religions to worship their gods in Jerusalem! How astoundingly close we were, just a few weeks ago, to seeing Israel return its sovereignty to more of its birthright. But then, to make these historic agreements, Israel’s leadership chose to bypass what is its central and most crucial calling: the calling back to The Land . As I watch and pray, the inner question that I cannot silence is this: would Abraham be in accord with the treaty that bears his name? His call, from the start, was to the Land: ‘Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.”’ (Genesis 12:1). God decreed the Land of Canaan exclusively and forever the inheritance of the nation that was begun in Abraham and multiplied into being through Isaac and Israel. (Genesis 50:24) More than 60 times in the Torah, the Almighty emphasizes the sole national ownership of the Land, and proclaims its purpose: The Land is the stage on which His plan to redeem mankind is being played out. The Land is the birthplace of the nation. Here He planted them, nurtured them, pruned them, established a king over them, and came to dwell among them in His Temple as their God. It was in this Land that Israel became “the head of the nations”, and from which dizzying heights she tragically fell, to become “the tail”. Through Moses and all the prophets, we learn how it was from the Land that God drove the nation, because of their unfaithfulness, and how it is back to the Land that He pledged to restore the surviving remnant of the Jews. Since 1882, God has been about this, gathering His scattered sheep from over 120 countries and, incrementally—through settlement and struggle; through victories in war—restoring their Land to them. God plans, with the nation’s replanting in the land and in Jerusalem , to raise up the fallen dynasty of David (Amos 9:11-15). Scorning global opposition, He will set His King on His Holy Hill in Zion. God had promised Abraham that, once in The Abraham Accords was jointly signed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, representing UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; US President Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, signed the accord on the directives of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain: Screen shot from White House Youtube. Stan Goodenough Journalist and an Israeli-accredited tour guide The Arabs only signed on condition that Israel would lay claim to no more of [the Land].

20. 12 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 New Book Reviews Foreword by Simon Rufus lsaacs: I was born on 18 May 1942 at the very time when the Nazi’s were implementing their plan to totally destroy all Jewish people in Europe – and elsewhere. At the Wannsee Conference of January 1942 the Nazi architects of the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’ presented statistics of where the Jewish people lived in Europe. Included was Great Britain. They had even compiled a list in 1940 of prominent Jewish people who lived in Britain. Obviously I was not aware of all these happenings. Later, however, this “Gestapo Arrest List for England’ came to the light. My family was on that Black-list! It is now clear what would have happened to me, even as a baby or small child, had the Germans got their hands on Great Britain—I would most likely have been murdered. Thank God they never did. Like any person of Jewish heritage the Holocaust is very much a part of me. It is important that we never forget what happened in Europe between 1933-45; that we honour those who suffered; and that we learn from the Holocaust so that we can never repeat that most horrible of historical events. This book by Kelvin Crombie is primarily about the fate of the Jewish people who were associated with the Church, officially classified as non-Aryan Christians. Kelvin has a reputation for rigorous research and leaves no stone unturned. He uncovers another dimension to the Holocaust and one that many have missed. The Nazi fury unleashed against non-Aryan Christians. Some people might dismiss the subject matter, viewing these people as mere apostates from Judaism and converts to Christianity and therefore not Jewish at all. That however was not how they were viewed by the Nazis and their sympathisers, who saw them as ‘racially’ Jewish. As such it is important that we learn about them and also give them honour as victims of the Holocaust. This book is relevant for the Jewish people and for the Christian Church. I recommend it to be read by all those who are keen to learn more about the Holocaust as well as this large community of Jewish people who were associated with the Church in Europe prior to and during the Second World War. ________________________________________________________ Simon Rufus lsaacs – The Most Hon The Marquess of Reading Greetings in the name of our glorious Lord. I’m delighted to let you know that the new book All Israel Shall be Saved (Rom 11:26), which replaces the annual Jewish & Israel Prayer Focus is in print in time for the Feast period (Sept 18-Oct 10). It gathers together 18 years of the Jewish Prayer Focus and includes articles from Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian ministry leaders and pastors from Israel who share their insights with us. It now covers the entire year from January to December and gives much more expansive information. ‘All Israel Shall Be Saved’ guides you in prayer for Israel and the Jewish people throughout the year and explains why and how to pray for the Jewish people. It introduces you to the Israeli Congregations and ministries and all the annual Biblical Feasts. It includes articles from Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian ministry leaders and pastors from Israel to give you monthly information for prayer and understanding of God’s plans for His people and modern Israel and daily prayer points with feast dates till 2030. God promises that ‘All Israel Shall be Saved’ (Rom 11:15). Our part of is to pray for and participate in this coming great revival. Web-based ministries in Hebrew are getting millions of hits. Despite opposition from some quarters, there is a curiosity and more openness to discuss who the Messiah may be. Jewish and Arab congregations are growing, with many youth amongst their ranks. Please join us in prayer, learn the GOOD news from Israel, and see how God is moving. ________________________________________________________ Jill Curry – Jewish & Israel Prayer Focus International Coordinator Bazyli & Anna Jocz: Jewish Christian Victims of the Holocaust Kelvin Crombie Australian Historian, Documentor and Founder of Heritage Resources All Israel Shall Be Saved: Praying for the Redemption of Israel Jill Curry Jewish & Israel Prayer Focus Cooordinator $30 (includes p+h) $30 (includes p+h) PAPERBACK | by Kelvin Crombie PAPERBACK | by Jill Curry ORDER YOUR COPIES TODAY: See back page or c4israel.com.au/store NEW! NEW!

9. Dear Precious readers and friends (Chavorim), Welcome to our bumper 32 page October- November edition of the Israel and Christians Today newspaper. That’s right, we added an extra 4 pages of exciting content to help inform and inspire you even more during these very challenging times. I’m writing this just after the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur as it is known by our Jewish brethren. Sadly, this too has been affected by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with the holiest day in the Jewish calendar being marred with political battles over openings of synagogues and limits on gatherings as Israel’s quietest day of the year is set to be quieter than ever amid tough nationwide lockdown. Normally every year, shops shut down, roads empty out and even radio and TV stations go silent as the faithful fast for 25 hours and hold intensive prayers of atonement on Yom Kippur. The holiday began at sundown on Sunday 28th of September. This year is 5781 on the Hebrew Biblical calendar—but could there be a hidden prophetic meaning to the number? Please read Pastor Enoch Lavender’s unique insight into this mystery on page 7 . The season started with Pentecost and then Rosh Ha Shana—the Jewish new year—which according to the Torah, starts at the beginning of the month of Tishrei. The people eat apples and honey and say “May your year be sweet and may your name be inscribed in the book!” This feast of trumpets is also referred to as the feast that “no one knows the hour or the day”, because it’s determined by the new moon, and requires two witnesses to confirm when it happen. Then the high priest declares it and the holiday begins. So in case there is cloud cover or smoke or some other reason the exact time of the new moon can’t be determined it’s held over two days just to be sure. This is why it’s the feast Jesus alluded to when He said “no one knows the hour or the day” of the Messiah’s return as recorded in Matthew 24. This then starts what is called the 10 days of awe. People are called to a time of introspection and repentance to fix their relationships with God in preparation of the coming of the King Messiah. Then at the end of this period we have the feast of trumpets where the Shofars are blown 100 times and finish with an extra long blast of the trumpet called the last trump. Paul speaks of this in chapter 4 of his letter to the Thessalonians—about being ready for the return of the Messiah. The trumpets are a call for Israel to gather for God’s redemption and mark the end of the agricultural harvest—also symbolising the final harvest of souls. Having come through a very interesting season of the feasts of the Lord during a crazy year of disruption and uncertainty, you hopefully can see God is faithfully at work. By the time you receive and are reading this newspaper we will be celebrating the feasts of Succoth or Booths where the Jewish people make little rustic tents or tabernacles and camp outside under the stars to spend time with their families— remembering the period of time when the children of Israel wandered through the Wilderness. This was a time when God married + looked after Israel in the desert—their honeymoon with God—where He provided their food and water, their clothes and shoes did not wear out, He provided a pillar of fire at night to keep them warm and to ward of wild beasts and a cloud during the day for shade. He looked after israel like this for 40 years—can you imagine that? For another interesting Hebraic insight check out Jill Currie’s article ‘In the Wilderness’ on page 6. Or for a study of what it means to tabernacle with God, read Keith Buxton’s first instalment of a 4 part series on how God encourages us even through these darkest of times, on page 13 . So while all of Israel is yearning for Messiah to come—blowing the shofars to herald and hasten his coming—we Christians should also be yearning and waiting for Him to return for us as His bride. These special appointments in God’s calendar are called ‘moadim’ or appointed times, and the Lord has placed signs in the heavens and the feasts of the Lord for these special times with the Almighty. Another perhaps significant sign of these times has been the recent peace agreements between Israel and the United Arabic Emirates and Bahrain. With other Arab nations also possibly poised to join them in this season of normalisation of relations with Israel. The US President, Donald Trump, and his son in-law have been very instrumental in coordinating these historic and unprecedented events. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Palestinian leadership and some European countries have not shared in celebrating or participating in this peace deal known as the Abrahamic Accords. We have a number of different perspectives on whether these agreements will be a good thing for Israel, the middle east and the western world in bringing long lasting peace and security between the Palestinians. And whether Israel will be able to extend its sovereignty over the Biblical heartlands of Judea and Samaria, other wise known as the West Bank. I’m sure you will enjoy reading these commentaries and opinion pieces and making up your own mind. And regardless of which side of the political or theological divide you sit, let us continue to watch and pray for the Peace of Jerusalem according to Psalm 122:6. Also we continue to pray for our leaders both here and around the world according to 1 Timothy 2:2 “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives as we worship and honour God.” We need to heed the warnings of Jesus, “not to be deceived or mislead.” (Matt 24:4-5) and instead be be like “ the men of Issachar who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (1 Chron 12:32) A practical way of being informed is of course by being Biblically aware; and a great way of doing that in the context of watching and understanding these signs of the times are through our great range of resources and teaching materials from trusted authors like Rev. Willem Glashouwer and his Why Israel? trilogy series still available in book, DVD and study book individually or as bundle sets. See www.c4israel.com.au/store to order. Popular historian Kelvin Crombie has a new book out as does Jill Currie and Fraser Harding. See details on these and others like Enoch Lavender’s ‘End Times through Jewish Eyes’ DVD in the pages of this paper or via our webstore. There are also a lot of great podcasts available for streaming or downloads, Like Mandy Worby’s foundations from Vision Christian Radio ( c4israel.com. au/foundations ). There’s also the weekly Beersheba Vision radio show on Melbournes J-air and online around the world with Barry Rodgers and his guests—see page 11 for more information on this new radio program initiative. Mandy Worby and I are also very pleased to announce a very special Vision Christian Tour next year starting 23rd September in Cairo Egypt. We’ll explore the wonders of the Pyramids, cruise the Nile, visit pagan temples in the Valley of the Kings and Elephantine Island (where legend holds the Ark of the Covenant was based before it was lost to history). We will follow the story of the children of Israel’s exodus into the wilderness of modern-day Jordan— including the Rose coloured city of Petra, Wadi Rum and Mt Nebo, where Moses could look into the Promised land but not enter. We’ll then journey from the Port city of Eilat on the Red sea, visit the copper mines of Solomon at Timna Park to explore a replica of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Then we’ll travel up through Beersheba where Abraham made the oath of the seven, and where thousands of years later 800 Australian light Horse helped deliver Israel from 400 years of occupation. Then we’ll travel up the coastlands past Jaffa where Jonah has his adventure with a whale, and up to the port of Caesarea where Peter would meet his first gentile convert, and where Paul appealed unto Caesar to go to Rome. We’ll travel further north to Carmel where Elijah called down fire from Heaven, we’ll visit the gates of hell where Jesus asked His disciples a very important question, and then to Nazareth where Jesus grew up. Together we’ll sail the Galilee and then head down to the lowest place on earth—the dead sea. Then we’ll go up to Jerusalem; the city of the great King, where Jesus died and rose again, from where the Gospel goes forth around the World, and, where Jesus will return as Messiah and King. We will see the gates of heaven, the empty tomb and lots, lots more! If you want to come on our Promised Land Tour , call and reserve you seat today! See page 9 for details. This will be our 20th tour—and it’s sure to be our best one yet! We have had a good response to our ‘sign up a friend to our free newspaper’ promotion with a number of our supporters getting their free ‘Israel 70 Years’ magazine or the ‘Signs of the Times’ DVD as their reward. There is no charge or obligation and your friends/family can cancel any time. Of course we appreciate your donations and gifts to continue the paper and to support our humanitarian projects which feed, clothe and comfort the Lords’ people or help bring them home. You can fulfil the Prophecy that says “...Behold,  I will lift up  My hand  to  the nations,  and raise  My banner  to  the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms  and carry  your daughters  on  their shoulders.... Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will never be put to shame.” – Isaiah 49:22-23 Thank you for your continued faithful prayers and support, even during these challenging times. May The Holy One of Israel bless you and keep you and your family safe as we serve and worship Him. _____________________________________ Ian Worby National Leader & Regional Director for Christians for Israel Australia & Oceania. October 2020 Report From Our National Leader Comforts Informs Inspires Ian Worby C4I Australia National Leader and Regional Director for Oceania Ian and Mandy Worby at the Western Wall, Jerusalem.

7. 23 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 6 City of David October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 The ‘City of David’ is the location of the Biblical city of Jerusalem captured by King David over 3,000 years ago. Located to the south of the Temple Mount, here David built his first city, before the Temple was built by his son Solomon. And according to the Bible (1 Kings 2:10), David was buried in the City of David (not Mount Zion, where there is now a tomb of David). The original City of David basically lay hidden for many centuries after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD, and began to be rediscovered in the th 19 century. Today it is still being excavated. As excavations are completed, the area is opened to tourism to further deepen visitors’ understanding of its past. One of the sites that has been recently rediscovered is the ‘stepped street’, as it’s known from academic works, or the ‘Jerusalem Pilgrim Road’ as it has been dubbed by the City of David administration - the Late Roman period street connecting the Temple Mount from its southwestern corner, to Jerusalem’s southern gates of the time via the Pool of Siloam. The Road is still being excavated, and is closed to the public; it is expected to be open within the next year. The Pool of Siloam became an important ritual bath, and source of water - King Hezekiah built the pool when he created an ingenious tunnel to divert water from the Gihon Spring, outside the city walls, to the Pool of Siloam (2 Chronicles 32). The Pilgrimage Road Going up to Jerusalem Above: A view of a stair structure on the street ascending from Siloam Pool in Jerusalem. Archaeologists speculate the finding, dated from the Second Temple time, may have been a podium for speeches. This could be the place where Peter preached the message at Pentecost. | Photo: Keshet Journeys Right: A worker walks at the Pilgrimage Road at the City of David. | Photo: Flash90 Construction of the Road National Geographic reports that historians previously thought it was the Roman-appointed King Herod the Great who approved most of the large construction projects that remade ancient Jerusalem into a major pilgrimage and tourist centre. But a recent analysis of more than 100 coins found beneath the stepped street point to the start and completion of the effort under Pontius Pilate, who ruled for about a decade starting in 26 or 27 AD. In other words, it was the Roman governor responsible for condemning Jesus of Nazareth to death by crucifixion, who ordered the construction of a street for pilgrims to follow to the Jewish Temple more than 2,000 years ago. The latest coins discovered beneath the paving stones date to around 31 AD. The most common Jerusalem coins from the first century were minted after 40 AD, “So not having them beneath the street means the street was built before their appearance, in other words only in the time of Pilate,” Donald Ariel, a coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, told the magazine. The Road took ten years for the Romans to build. When it was completed, it was about half a kilometer long and measured 10 meters wide. More than 10,000 tons of limestone were used in its construction. The Pilgrimage Road was travelled by Jewish pilgrims obeying the Biblical commandment to travel to Jerusalem three times a year for a Temple sacrifice – at Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost), and Succoth (Feast of Tabernacles). Zeev Orenstein, Director of International Affairs at the City of David Foundation: “For Jews in ancient days, their pilgrimage began at the Pool of Siloam, a giant mikveh, or ritual bath, the size of two Olympic swimming pools. Pilgrims would purify themselves here before going up to the Temple to offer their sacrifices.” Below: Moshe Gabay, director of Keshet Journeys, during filming of the Pilgrimage Road video. | Photo: Keshet Journeys Old coins found at various excavations 7 City of David October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Special Significance of the Pilgrimage Road for the Church According to Moshe Gabay, Director of Keshet Journeys, the Pilgrimage Road has special significance for Christians. “Gentiles also had access to the Temple, so they too would have cleansed themselves in the mikveh and climbed the Pilgrimage Road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple. It is important to remember: the Temple was a place where both Jews and Gentiles could worship the one God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” “By Jesus’ time, the City of David had become a poorer part of Jerusalem; richer people lived in what is now the Old City of Jerusalem. Because the Pool of Siloam was a public bath, it attracted many people. So it is no surprise this is the place where Jesus healed the blind man.” “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spits on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means ‘sent’). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. (John 9:4-7) Gabay: “The Pool of Siloam was also an important place during the Feast of Tabernacles. Here, the Jews took water up to the Temple, as the Feast of Tabernacles was the time when they started to pray for rain. They recited the words of Isaiah 12:3 - ‘With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation’. So it is very significant that when Jesus comes to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, He applies Isaiah’s words about physical water to Himself as spiritual water”: On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39). “The Pool of Siloam is also quite probably the place where 3000 people were baptised on the day of Pentecost – the day the church was born”, Gabay explains. “It is likely that the disciples spent the days after Jesus’ Ascension in the City of David. When Shavuot, the Day of Pentecost, came, the Jews were gathered near the Temple in huge numbers. They stayed up all night preparing themselves to go up to the Temple for the Feast. It is possible that when Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2, this would have been on the Pilgrimage Road. Many people would have been gathered in this area due to the ending of their Pentecost prayers, because the lower City of David is where the poor people lived. And Peter in his preaching specifically refers to David being buried there. The Pool of Siloam, at the bottom of the road, is also the only place where 3000 people could have been baptised at once. Then they would have ascended to the Temple via the Pilgrimage Road, singing the Songs of Ascent. Isn’t that beautiful? And now, after 2000 years, we will soon be able to walk these steps ourselves.” The excavations at the City of David are always ongoing. | Photo: Shutterstock The City of David The excavations south of the Temple Mount on the Ophel, where the City of David once was, are fascinating. Among other things, they show how t he inhabitants of the city got access to water by ingeniously moving the water from t he lower Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. King Hezekiah dug a tunnel through the mountain to secure the water, and tourists can still wade through there today. An encounter with Biblical times. The tunnel system that was used by the inhabitants of the city in Biblical times to reach the Gihon Spring, and through which the water from the spring flowed to the Pool of Siloam later on, guarantees an adventurous outing in Jerusalem. | Photo: Shutterstock Countless archeological treasures have been found in excavations in the City of David, including coins, statues, pots, bowls and an oil lamp as you can see right here. Below: A cameo from the time of Jesus. With Special Thanks To Moshe Gabay, Director of Keshet Journeys. Keshet Journeys offers quality educational tour programmes in Israel. Find out more at www.keshetjourneys.com

17. 9 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 First Time Ever: Tour Egypt, Jordan and Israel from $8990 * *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. Please contact us for all terms and conditions including details on refund. Sail the majestic Nile See the Pyramids ENQUIRE TODAY All fees are fully refundable if tour is cancelled due to COVID19 JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME TO THE PROMISED LAND 15 NIGHTS – DEPARTING 30 SEP 2021 Optional Extension 7 NIGHTS IN EGYPT (Pre-tour) See where God displayed His wonders through the patriarchs Joseph, Moses and Aaron— redeeming His people from bondage. FOR MORE DETAILS CALL 1300 550 830 ( Olive Tree Travel , our partner travel agency ) vision.org.au/tours “As a result of doing the tour I feel there is more of a richness to what I read in the Bible.” – Rosemary 2019 Tour Ride a camel at Petra Overlooking Magdala, Capernaum and the Galilee from Mt Arbel Visit the Garden Tomb Are you ready to travel?

31. 31 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Aliyah 14 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Aliyah – the return of Jews to Israel - is not limited to a particular region of the world. Jews come home to Israel from around the world: Ukraine, Ethiopia, Yemen, France, India, to name a few. And, for the first time, a charter flight with Jews from Mexico arrived in Israel in August. A first-of-its-kind charter flight from Mexico carrying 230 olim (immigrants), Masa Israel Journey volunteers and Israelis returning home landed at Ben Gurion Airport at the end of August. Dubbed “Operation Home,” the flight was organised by The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hanoar Hatzioni, with support from Keren Hayesod and a special gift from C4I (Christians for Israel). Taking off from Mexico City, the special flight carried 50 new olim and 150 Hanoar Hatzioni graduates who will take part in Masa, a project co-founded by The Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel which today is the international leader in connecting young adults with immersive, long-term experiences in Israel. Additionally, “Operation Home” brought back dozens of Israelis who have been stranded due to the limited availability of flights during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Aliyah has never stopped, even during the most difficult crises the State of Israel has experienced,” said Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog. “Even now, during a global crisis, Jews from all over the world are realising the Zionist vision and making their new home in Israel. This is a story that touches all Israelis, as most of us are part of our family’s first, second or third generation here in Israel.” Mexico is home to the third-largest Jewish community in Central America (after Argentina and Brazil) with approximately 50,000 Jews, most of whom live in the country’s capital of Mexico City. The Mexican Jewish community is highly organised, maintains close ties with the State of Israel and has an extensive education system featuring Jewish day schools and Zionist youth movements. Yet since the outbreak of coronavirus, many of Mexico’s synagogues and other Jewish institutions have closed, while schools and youth movements have moved to virtual operations. The Corona pandemic has deeply shocked all of Mexico, and the Jewish community is suffering from a double blow – not only are most Jewish households suffering economically, with many Jewish businesses seeing a decrease of 70% in their income – but they are also the increasing target for abduction and anti-Semitic threats. From the beginning of 2020 through July, The Jewish Agency has facilitated the Aliyah of 2,269 olim from Latin America compared with 1,839 during the same period last year, an increase of 23.3 per cent. For Mexico in particular, The Jewish Agency has opened 493 Aliyah cases since January, an increase of 32 per cent from last year. “Today we’re seeing the beginning of a wave of immigrants to the State of Israel that will absorb about a quarter of a million new immigrants over the ne xt five years, including young people, academics, entrepreneurs and professionals,” Herzog said. “This will be a diverse Aliyah from around the world that can also help spur e conomic growth. The State of Israel must seize this opportunity. I call on the Government of Israel to meet with The Jewish Agency and other bodies involved with Aliyah to prepare a national plan to capitalise on this golden opportunity.” After landing today, the new immigrants from Mexico began the required two-week quarantine, and are operating in compliance with Israel’s Ministry of Health guidelines and other coronavirus regulations. At the end of their quarantine, the olim will be integrated into local communities and absorption centres throug hout the country. The members of Hanoar Hatzioni will begin Masa’s Israel Challenge and Shnat Hachshara programs, during which they will volunteer on kibbutzim and for Magen David Adom, among other sites and organisations. The Mercado family, parents Carlos and Miriam as well as their four children, arrived on the August flight from Mexico City. After visiting Israel last year, they knew they wanted to make Aliyah. “Here, I feel truly at home,” said Miriam Mercado. “In Mexico, we are always viewed as ‘those Jews’ and never felt safe to go out with a kippah. We knew we would always be a minority.” Nevertheless, the Mercados initially hesitated to take the final step and move far away from their family to a country where they barely spoke the language. Yet the Covid-19 crisis led them to understand how they would be able to be comfortable in Israel and enrich their lives there. They began the Aliyah process in May, and have at last made their way to their new home city of Ra’anana. “While we were in lockdown in Mexico City, we understood that we’d do just fine on our own in a new country,” Miriam said. “Being at home alo ne for three and a half months taught us that we’re a strong family, and a family capable of making this change. I want to thank The Jewish Agency, its Global Center and the Israeli Embassy in Mexico; it’s hard to put into words their endless and incredibly moving efforts to make our Aliyah happen.” Return from all Nations Aliyah: Return Home Mercado family with Jewish Agency Chairman, Isaac Herzog (far right) and Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Sam Grundwerg (back).| Photos on this page: Dudi Salem, the Jewish Agency for Israel “See, I will beckon to the nations, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips.” Isaiah 49:22 Children arriving in Israel on a charter flight. Young boy greeted by Isaac Herzog. Aliyah 15 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Part of our mission is to comfort Israel and the Jewish people through prayer and action. If you would like to support one of our projects you can complete the coupon on page 16 or make an online donation. Thank you very much for your support! Aliyah Aliyah is the Hebrew word for the return of the Jewish people to Israel. We support Aliyah mainly from Ukraine (and the former Soviet Union), but also from India and France. Furthermore, we help new immigrants (in Hebrew: olim ) to integrate into Israeli society. Hineni Soup Kitchen We help the poor of Israel, by providing them with food. We do this in partnership with the Hineni Center in Jerusalem, headed by Benjamin Philip. Your gift for the soup kitchen goes directly to the purchase of food. Holocaust Survivors We support impoverished Holocaust survivors in Israel and Ukraine through various projects which provide assistance to survivors of the Holocaust. Those survivors are elderly and will not be among us for long, and there is a growing demand for practical assistance. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) You can support the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, the heart of Biblical Israel. The main purpose is to encourage the people in the Biblical Heartland and to show them that there are Christians throughout the world who support them and share the belief that the areas of Judea and Samaria are part of Israel’s inheritance. Food Parcel Campaign Ukraine We distribute food parcels amongst Jewish people in Ukraine. These parcels are handed out to Holocaust survivors, needy families, and the sick. Those food parcels are a sign of friendship that demonstrates your support for our Jewish brothers and sisters and that they are not alone. Arab Christians Life for Christians in Bethlehem is often not easy. Christians for Israel supports the First Baptist Church of Rev Naim Khoury in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The members of this church spread the gospel among Arabs and share their love and heart for Israel and the Jewish people. For country-specific or further information on our projects, go to our website, www.c4israel.com.au Overview of our projects Yemen Recently, a Jewish family from Yemen was able to leave the country and travelled through another country to Israel, where they were reunited with their families. They received he lp from an Israeli organisation, supported by Christians for Israel. This Israeli organisation is committed to preserving and promoting the culture and history of the Yemenite Jews. The Jewish community in Yemen has existed for 2500 years, but there are now less than one hundred people. The situation in the war-torn country has become increasingly hostile to the small Jewish population. It is, therefore, a risky operation to smuggle them out of Yemen. | Photos: Yigal Ben-Shalom Ethiopia Israel’s government has approved the airlift of 2,000 Ethiopians before the end of the year. Minister of Immigration and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata, Israel’s first minister of Ethiopian descent, has been warning the government that Ethiopians waiting to make Aliyah face a humanitarian disaster related to the coronavirus. “I thank the finance minister who saw eye to eye with me about the importance of this issue. As it is said, anyone who saves one person is as if they saved an entire world,” said Tamano-Shata. Ethiopian Jews arriving in Israel. | Photo: F lash90 France Jews from France continue to return to Israel. In 2018 there was a special charter flight with 300 new olim (immigrants), organised by the Jewish Agency. | Photo: Flash90 North America New immigrants from North America arrive on a special flight at Ben Gurion Airport. | Photo: Flash90 India Descendants of one of the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, the Bnei Menashe, reside in Northeastern India. Throughout their sojourn in exile, the Bnei Menashe continued to practise Judaism just as their ancestors did, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals and following the laws of family purity. And they continued to nourish the dream of one day returning to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel. In a recent meeting with Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund, the Minister of Immigration and Integration Pnina Taman o-Shata announced that she is moving ahead with plans for the imminent Aliya of 722 members of the Bnei Menashe community of northeastern India. The first group is anticipated to arrive in Israel after the Jewish High Holidays. | Photo: Flash90 Ukraine Photos of olim who departed from Kiev to Israel on 28 July with the help of our Aliyah team in Ukraine. They were part of a group of 46 people, and they will integrate via the programme ‘First Home in the Homeland.’ On 15 September 2020, another group of 145 olim left from Ukraine. In October, more olim will be able to leave for Israel. | Photo: Christians for Israel Ukraine

5. 21 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Biblical Reflection 5 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Short News Football: Emirates Invited to Israel The rapprochement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is also reflected in sport. The Israeli football cup winner Hapoel Beer Sheeva invited the winner of the corresponding title from the Emirates, Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai, to a friendly match. These are historic times for Israel and the Emirates, the club from Israel wrote on Twitter. | Photo: Twitter 3000-Year-Old ‘First Temple-Era Palace’ Excavated in Israel Magnificent and rare remains of a royal building from the time of the kings of Judah have been discovered during an excavation on the Jerusalem Promenade. Archaeologists report: “The column heads identified with the royal building from the time of the First Temple are the most beautiful ones found to date”. The owner of the lavish Jerusalem mansion — which would have enjoyed a monumental view of the Old City and the Temple — remains a mystery. Still, archaeologists were able to date the finds back to the era of the Judean kings, due to the proto-Aeolic features of the soft limestone architecture. The finds include three complete medium-sized limestone ‘capitals’ and items from elegant window frames. The column head design will appear strikingly familiar to Israelis — it adorns the five- shekel coin of the modern State of Israel in tribute to the First Temple era. Japan Helps Lithuania A small but valuable museum in Lithuania was facing bankruptcy. The museum tells the story of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped fleeing thousands of Jews from the Holocaust. Usually, mostly Japanese visit the museum, however because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were almost no visitors anymore. Without income, the museum was facing the risk of having to close its doors permanently. Inhabitants of the province of Gifu in Japan, from which Sugihara came, donated thousands of euros so that the museum can survive the crisis. All Israel? Rev Willem Glashouwer n President | Christians for Israel International Romans 11:25-27 says, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My Covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Compare with Jeremiah 31:33-34 about the New Covenant. Much has been written in theological contemplations about Paul’s words, all Israel . What does Paul mean by this? Will every Jew who ever lived be saved? Or will the last generation of Jews alive at Christ’s return be saved, by an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Zachariah 12:10-14)? Or does he mean for us to understand ’all Israel’ to mean that the believers from Israel (believers in Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world) plus the believers from the gentiles (who believe the same) together form all Israel , and in fact are the true Israel that will be saved? This perspective can be heard among Messianic Jews as well. I recently heard one of the leaders of a Jewish Christian congregation in Jerusalem say the following: The ‘root’ in Romans 11 is Christ. We Jews who believe in Jesus are the true branches of this noble olive tree that grows out of this root and you gentiles are grafted in, you have received a share in Christ and have joined us as the Jewish-Christian congregation and together with us form the true Israel. The ‘natural’ Israel is finished. God has broken it off, and we hope to save as many Jews as possible through evangelisation to see them added to the true Israel. You, Christians from the Gentiles, and we, Christians from the Jews, form all Israel together. This puts the nation of Israel and the Jewish people at large in a precarious position. In this line of thinking, one can use this to distance oneself from the Jewish state of Israel, as the protestant churches in the Netherlands are busy doing. It allows you to maintain a much vaguer, more general solidarity with ‘the Jewish people’ and ‘Judaism’ and the ‘Holy Land’, without any solidarity with the current Jewish State of Israel or Israeli politics - whether left-wing or right-wing or middle of the road. With this theological concept the ‘natural’ Israel is finished as the specially chosen people of God and the State of Israel, and the Israelis become a state and a people like any other state and like all other nations in the world. And so Israel must carry the yoke of the United Nations like every other nation and every other state or else they be labelled as a “racist nation with an ‘apartheid state’”. There is no understanding of the fact that Israel is a nation you are born into. So in a way, it is a ‘race’, although the members of the Jewish people display all of the racial features of the world. There are ‘white’, ‘black’ and ‘yellow’ Jews, along with many other variations, because anyone with a Jewish mother is considered to be a Jew and because gentiles (of any race) can convert to Judaism and become fully Jewish by faith and conviction. The ‘natural’ and ‘biological’ Israel was created by the Lord out of Abraham and Sarah, who, although she was beyond child- bearing years, received Isaac as a ‘miracle- baby’, created by God Himself. His firstborn son, Hosea 11:1; Exodus 4:22-23. And yes, it is a separate state, because Israel will dwell alone and not be counted among the nations, according to Numbers 23:8-9 KJV: “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks, I see him, and from the hills, I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” The nations – and many in Christian theology – are revolting against God’s election. In Scripture, you come across three groups of Jews: Ÿ Firstly a ‘faithful’ Israel that follows God’s Commandments. Ÿ Secondly, a ‘worldly’ Israel that goes along with the cultures and religions of the world around them. Sometimes even merging with them, assimilating and secularising. Consequently, they are warned repeatedly by the prophets and repeatedly encounter God’s wrath. Ÿ And thirdly a part of Israel that believes in Jesus the Messiah. Many of them today are looking for and seeking to experience ever more intensively their own Jewish roots. Yet they also find a growing unity with gentile Christians, including Christians from the Arab world. Photo: Shutterstock There are ‘white’, ‘black’ and ‘yellow’ Jews, along with many other variations, because anyone with a Jewish mother is considered to be a Jew and because gentiles (of any race ) can convert to Judaism and become fully Jewish by faith and conviction. Nitai Eliash

23. 15 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Community News Peter Schupter Host of regular Tours to Israel and the yearly ‘Israel in Focus’ Brisbane seminar New Leadership at ‘Prayer for Israel, Australia’ In July 2020 Peter and Sandra Schuptar of Brisbane assumed the role of Administrators of Prayer for Israel-Australia . Peter and Sandra have been involved in Israel ministry since 2008, not long after their first visit to The Land. They have been holding monthly Prayer for Israel meetings in their home since 2015. You may also know them from their “Israel Restoration Seminars” held annually since 2017 in the Queensland capital, Brisbane. They have also been taking small intimate tours of Israel since 2013, (6-8people) but recently had to cancel their largest tour (16 people) due to the Covid-19 virus. “It’s truly amazing” says Peter, “We started with 6 people, and within 2 weeks we had another 10, even without advertising!” Sandra continues, ”In every place where we travel, we discover Christians who have received a love for Israel from the Lord, giving them a burden to visit and more importantly Pray for Israel which they cannot even explain.” Some Important History ‘PRAYER FOR ISRAEL’ founded by Ken Burnett (UK) and now led by Paul Smith (UK), received its call in England in 1969, to nurture the Body of Christ in Israel, by prayer and by giving. Prayer for Israel’s primary function is to support and encourage through prayer and giving, the ever emergent ‘Body of Messiah’ in Israel. The main thrust in prayer and purpose, is for the salvation of the re-gathered nation. This is the main distinguishing feature of Prayer For Israel – Australia Inc. That this is close to the Lord’s heart is evident, for the small number of born- again believers in Israel in 1969 comprised only two fellowships; now (in 2020) 51 years later, there are many thousands, with over 100+ fellowships having been established. The number of born-again believers in Israel is greater today than at any time since the first century! Richard and Shirley Jones of Toowoomba (Qld) were the first Australian Administrators. Richard and Shirley gathered a supportive team around them and established the Incorporated Association of Prayer for Israel Australia in 1991. Faithfully promoting the work so as to gain prayerful and financial support for the Messianic believers in Israel. They continued to maintain and develop this support until in 2004, when Richard became ill, necessitating them to seek the Lord’s wisdom for someone else to undertake this responsibility. Rev. Fraser and Jayne Harding were approached with the view of taking over the reins in July 2005. However that turned out to be a momentous year for Rev Fraser and Jayne, as Jayne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May. Consequently this delayed the timing for them to fully take over the responsibility until the first Prayer for Israel Conference in June 2006. Such conferences became an annual event and were a great encouragement and blessing to local Australian supporters. Sadly, on the 7th of September 2008, Jayne Harding succumbed to her illness and went to be with the Lord. While Rev. Harding remained on the board of Prayer for Israel for some years after Jayne’s death, it was understandably difficult to carry on as Administrator without his life’s partner so, Patrick and Joan Sheehan, also from Brisbane, were approached by Fraser to undertake the responsibility of leading this vital work. Since 2008, Patrick and Joan have faithfully undertaken the responsibility of this ministry as well as the administration of Prayer for Israel Australia . So after 12 years of faithful service, they have stood down (although still serving on the board) and Peter and Sandra Schuptar have taken up the Administration of this vitally important work. What we are, who we are and what we offer We offer a monthly Prayer Bulletin subscription for the small price of $35 per year, which brings news from the believers in Israel, both Jewish and Arab, a teaching segment, and details of new materials available on CD and DVD. We also support “Light for the Last Days” prophetic magazine from Tony Pearce (UK) including quarterly magazine style updates for a subscription of $25 per year, 4 Issues. Prayer for Israel-Australia is a non-profit organisation, administered by volunteer workers, with all the above-mentioned proceeds going towards the needs of the believers in Israel. Every donation is forwarded by Prayer for Israel-Australia in its entirety, to whatever area of ministry the giver designates including: Distribution of food, clothing, household and medical supplies, refugee relief, transportation, housing and assistance, pregnancy support, orphans and programs for needy children, Holocaust survivor health, medical support along with educational and cultural activities. Peter and Sandra will also visit your congregation by invitation to share on “Why it is important to Pray for Israel” (See contact details below) Our monthly Prayer for Israel bulletin keeps you in touch with most of the fellowships and ministries, providing news of them along with their needs. God has raised up faithful and humble shepherds as pastors in Israel, as He promised, for this end-time. Because the Land is so small, they are able to work in many areas of ministry, such as pro-life, drugs and alcohol deliverance, evangelism, together preparing to fulfil God’s purposes. Groups from Prayer for Israel frequently visit the many fellowships in the Land, and keep in close touch with them. Prayer for Israel is also involved in ‘comforting’ God’s people and bringing them home to Israel. Anti-Semitism is growing throughout the world, and we at Prayer for Israel are called to pray and assist in bringing the Jews home to Israel. In the book of Jeremiah (Jer 16: 14-16) God said that He would first send the fishers to fish for them, and then He would send the hunters, for it is His determination to them back to Israel and to Himself. We ask that you prayerfully consider supporting this ministry simply by taking out an annual subscription to our monthly newsletter and magazine for the small sum of $35 per year. That’s less than $3 per month! The information enclosed is invaluable and often not printed anywhere else. _______________________________________ To Donate or subscribe to Prayer for Israel Australia Inc: BSB: 638 070 Acc: 8091854 | Heritage Bank or Please contact Peter and Sandra at the address below:  PO Box 3438, Loganholme QLD , 4129, Australia  +61 431 324 123  pray er4Israelaus@yahoo.com  Pray er for Israel-Australia _______________________________________ Peter Schuptar is Brisbane based. He and his wife Sandra lead small and large groups to Israel on a yearly basis and hold an annual Israel in Focus seminar in Brisbane. For more information email israelsrestoration@gmail.com or call 0412911383 . Peter and Sandra Schuptar-Dead Sea near Arad

13. 5 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 New Book by Fraser Harding Rev Fraser J Harding Founder/Director of Good News for Israel The Biblical Eternal Triangle... The Middle East Arab-Israeli Conflict One of the most discussed and divisive subjects both religious and political on an international scale, is the Middle East Arab-Israeli conflict . Most people don’t understand the dynamics, but it is inescapable because of the immense media attention. Political tensions continue over this conflict. Since the restoration and rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, there have been eight major wars as well as insurgencies, conflicts, intifadas, operations and airstrikes that have occurred in the area. In all, well over 100,000 lives have been lost on both sides. During the past 70 years, various attempts have been made to end the conflict politically. Each US President from Harry Truman to Donald Trump has endeavoured to bring it to some level of satisfactory conclusion. But none has succeeded. Some contend that the core of the problem is ownership of land; while others say it is the problem of religion and offer an opinion on one side or the other. It is true that both land and religion are certainly involved in this conflict. The Source of the Conflict This ongoing debate happens also among the churches. Christian people, Pastors, teachers in Theological Colleges, sometimes vocalise personal views that are formed on the basis of social issues, media reports and/or second-hand beliefs. Mark Twain wrote: “In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing”. It is important to go to the source of the Middle East conflict which was not about either religion or politics. It began over 4,000 years ago and was the outcome of what is now commonly called ‘an eternal triangle’. The incident was the beginning of a conflict, which thus far, has had no ending. It commenced with fractured relationships between three people— one man and two women. It was all too human. We know their names—Abraham, Sarah and Hagar. The Foundational Covenant But even prior to this breakdown of relationships, God had already made a decision to reach into humanity and specifically save a people for Himself. To do this, He chose one man—Abram (later called Abraham), who at that time was living in the midst of an idolatrous society. While Noah had found “grace in the eyes of the Lord” , only ten generations later, Abram was apparently the only person in the then known world “to have faith” in the one true God. With Abram, God established an everlasting unconditional covenant known as “The Abrahamic Covenant” which still has relevance to every person, every race, every colour in every country living on planet earth today. Although that covenant was made with one who became the first ‘Hebrew’, the specific elements of this covenant outlined in the book of Genesis, are foundational and momentous. They include: • Peop le (Abraham, his son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob and his descendants); • Land ( specifically the land of Canaan); • Blessings (Abraham who would become a great nation; those who blessed him would also be blessed, and likewise in him all the families of the earth); • Curses (for those who cursed Abraham and his great nation). The details are profound, impacting not only Abraham and his family, but all the families of the earth...not just Jews, but also Gentiles including Arabs. What is so fascinating in this interesting development of events, God chose imperfect human vessels in a dysfunctional family, to accomplish His perfect eternal plans. There are, however, two important considerations about the events which occurred with the three people in this “triangle” . First, the specific terms of the covenant were to be passed down to Isaac — Abraham and Sarah’s son. Second, there were promises (distinct from the covenant) made to Ishmael —Abraham and Hagar’s son. Those promises were that Ishmael would be blessed, his descendants would include twelve princes and he would be made into a great nation. In both cases, it was God who initiated them. Personal Impact At 18 years I was dramatically confronted with the reality and existence of father God. Gradually but deliberately I became aware that the God of the Bible was a covenant making and covenant keeping God . Although having preached my first sermon at the age of 20, it took another 30 years, which included serious study and involvement in Christian ministry as Evangelist and Pastor, before I became aware of the importance of the A brahamic Covenant . Strangely, no Pastor or Theological Lecturer had ever previously mentioned that particular subject. It has taken me another 30 plus years to complete this writing...which needless to say is all about the Abrahamic Covenant. The truth is, that this particular covenant is the key to understanding the covenants that follow, including the Mosaic, the Davidic, and the New Covenant. It commenced with God’s decision to save the world; it got side-tracked and complicated by fragmented humanity; although yet finally unresolved, there are exciting developments in the Land of Israel, where hatreds are being healed between peoples who have previously been enemies. Sadly you will never hear this from mainstream media. The content of this latest book “The Biblical Eternal Triangle” provides insights about the Abrahamic Covenant which will enable discernment and understanding with respect to the current potent Middle East Arab-Israeli Conflict . The solution has already been provided by God and will ultimately be resolved by the “Sar Shalom” (the Prince of Peace) the Messiah, also called the son of Abraham, and Mediator between God and man. To receive Fraser’s latest book ‘The Biblical Eternal Triangle’ for a gift of $25 (including p+h) simply use the form on the back page or go to: c4israel.com.au/store ________________________________________________________ Rev Fraser J Harding is Founder/Director of ‘Good News for Israel’ , an Australian based Charities and Not-for-profits organisation which commenced operations in 2002. Originally an Accountant, Fraser also completed theological Studies and was ordained into the Baptist Ministry. He has served full time pastorates in NSW and in the UK, as well as pioneering the Evangelistic movement ‘Ambassadors for Christ’ in Britain for seven years and has conducted ministry in 40 countries worldwide. Artists depiction of Hagar and Ishmael being sent away. NEW!

24. 16 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Engage With and Help Grow C4I in Australia Sign up a friend to ‘Israel & Christians Today’ Newspaper and receive the ‘ Israel 70 Years Magazine ’ or the new ‘ The Signs of the Times DVD ’ FREE * ! Your Full Name: ____________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ Postcode: __________ Friends Full Name: _________________________ Address: _________________________________ _________________________________________ State: ________________ Postcode: __________ Number of Newspapers Bi-monthly: c 1 c 2 c 5 c Other: __________________ *1 Magazine/DVD per person. limited offer. while stocks last. SEND DETAILS TO: Christians for Israel, Australia , PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD, 4127 Israel 70 Years Commemorative Magazine Please choose ONE of the below gifts to receive upon successfully signing up a new friend to ‘ Israel & Christians Today’ Newspaper. The Signs of the Times DVD ( 7+ Hours Teaching) The friend/church you nominate to receive the Israel & Christians Today Bi-monthly Newspaper will also receive a complimentary copy of ‘The Signs of the Times’ DVD as well. Have you downloaded the FREE C4I app yet? • Read the latest editions of Israel & Christians Today, as well as past editions. • Easily access all current and past topical articles. • Listen and watch teaching resources about Israel and the Church from a Biblical perspective . • Access current and past prayer calenders , so you know what and how to pray for our ministry . • Make secure online donations towards Israeli Projects, C4I Australia and teaching resources. • You can also stay in touch by sending us secure messages via an easy-to-use form. SEARCH: ‘C4I’ in your app store DOWNLOAD TODAY! Inspiring and informative content, wherever you are.

2. 18 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 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, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Queensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 (7) 3088 6900, 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 - South Korea Tel: +61 410 430 677 email: wijung@gmail.com www.c4israel.org/korea Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 usa-info@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/c4israelAUS Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Like ever-shifting sand dunes, the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East is changing rapidly. We’re seeing two trends. Iran and Turkey are more aggressively pursuing their expansionist and Islamic extremist objectives. The recent alliance between China and Iran underlines those concerns. Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah (in Lebanon) and Hamas (in Gaza), as well as its nuclear ambitions, present an existential threat. Israel appears to be the only state in the region willing to use force to oppose Iran. An opposite development: over recent weeks Israel has started to formalise diplomatic relations and ‘warm’ cooperation with some Arab allies in the region. With the US playing the role of broker, the UAE and Bahrain have agreed to ‘normalise’ relations with Israel. Other nations, such as Oman and Morocco, may well follow. To some extent, these agreements just confirm the strong relations between these countries already for several years. Some critics pass off the White House ceremonies as a PR stunt. These agreements are significant because they challenge the myth that Arab states cannot have strong relations with Israel unless and until the demands of the PLO are met. That is the logic of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. These smaller (Sunni) states no longer wish their positive relations with Israel to be dependent on the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Similarly, in relation to Jerusalem. The consensus view is that Israel’s ‘reunification’ of the city in 1967 and its declaration in 1980 of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel are illegal, and therefore no embassies should be located in the city (not even ‘West’ Jerusalem). President Trump challenged the historical, legal and strategic assumptions underlying this position when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018. Several other states followed his example. A few weeks ago, Serbia and Kosovo signed documents in the Oval Office in which both agreed to move their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem. The EU responded by warning Serbia and Kosovo (both aspiring EU members) that this could undermine their EU membership bids. The EU position has always been that Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem is illegal. It is an irrational position which shows Europe’s deep ideological resentment of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership continues to condemn the normalisation of Israeli- Arab relations as a ‘stab in the back’ and a betrayal of Islamic beliefs. No-one seems to be listening – except Iran and Turkey. Palestinian leaders are missing the opportunity to improve the well-being of their people. Israel is paying a price. Netanyahu’s highly-publicised proposals earlier this year to ‘annex’ Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley have been shelved. Israel has made clear it will not do so without US support. The Administration has indicated no consent will be given for four years – giving the Palestinians time to accept the Trump Peace Plan, which envisages the establishment of a (very limited) Palestinian state within part of the ‘occupied’ territories provided the Palestinians agree to certain conditions. If they do not come to the table (and assuming Trump is re-elected), this would potentially enable Israel in 2024 to implement sovereignty plans. Of course, if Biden wins the election, the Trump initiative will no longer be on the table. The ‘normalisation’ agreements are to be welcomed as a foretaste of the peace that will come when the Messiah has returned and ‘the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem’ (see, e.g. Isaiah 2). But until then, they are no guarantee for peace. Allies today can become enemies tomorrow. Israel must be on the continual alert to defend itself against those who are bent on its destruction. And there is another challenge facing Israel. In June 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank – the heartland of the Jewish national home. With the exception of Jerusalem, it chose to treat Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied’ territories, refraining from asserting sovereignty. This challenge cannot be put off forever. The Bible tells us that the Lord God is planting His people back in Jerusalem and the mountains of Judea and Samaria, never to be uprooted again. Their calling is to govern the land of which they have been given control. This includes equal treatment of the ‘strangers’ in the land (provided, of course, they accept the Jewish people). Shifting Sands Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l From 3 to 10 October the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, followed by Simchat Torah (rejoicing of the Torah). This is the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles. Because of Covid-19, the celebrations will be different from usual. Pray that it will still be a blessed and joyful feast under the protection of God. l There is hostility against the Jewish people, lies and agitation, danger of war and terrorist attacks, false accusations and falsification of history. But the miracle remains: Israel lives! Give thanks according to Lamentations 3,22.23: “Yes, the mercies of the Lord are not finished, yes, His mercy does not cease; it is new every morning: great is your faithfulness”. Israel & the Nations l Several special steps towards peace have been taken recently. For example, a peace agreement has been reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and between Israel and Bahrain. There are plans in both Serbia and Kosovo (a country with a Muslim majority) to move their embassies to Jerusalem. Give thanks for these special steps towards peace. l “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8) Israel is the apple of God’s eye. Pray for the protection of Israel while many enemies still want to wipe Israel off the map. Christians for Israel l “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. In this time of Covid-19 Christians for Israel cannot organise Israel conferences and meetings like usual. Pray for the work to continue online. Pray for new opportunities to spread our message digitally. l Pray that Christians with a vision for Israel may inspire their pastors and fellow Christians so that they too will understand that Israel is a sign of hope and that the return of the Jewish people is a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Ceremony at the White House 15 September 2020. | Photo: Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

26. 26 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Theology 10 Jewish Festivals Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles 3-9 October 2020 Sukkot (Hebrew: sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three Biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.’ Sukkot begins at sundown on Friday, 2 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 8 October 2020. Shmini Atzeret Eighth Day of Assembly 10 October 2020 Shemini Atzeret - the Eighth Day of Assembly is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei (first month of calendar). In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah . In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably. Shmini Atzeret begins at sundown on Friday, 9 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 10 October 2020. Simchat Torah Day of Celebrating the Torah 11 October 2020 Simchat Torah, Simhath Torah or Simkhes Toreh, ‘Rejoicing with/of the Torah,’ is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah begins at sundown on Saturday, 10 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 11 October 2020. Yom HaAliyah Recognises Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish State of Israel 25 October 2020 Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to commemorate the historic events which happened on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan . The holiday was established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honour the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. Yom HaAliyah begins at sundown on Saturday, 24 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 25 October 2020. | Photo: Shutterstock Harsh Words of Jesus Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44) How should you read such a text? Is this not pure anti-Semitism: the Jews have the devil as their father? There are some Bible expositors who pose that the roots of anti- Semitism and anti-Judaism lay already in the New Testament. Others say that, in the first instance, the harsh words that are written and spoken in the New Testament about Jews reflect an internal Jewish dispute, whereby tough words are spoken between Jew and Jew. We have to realise, that, in later times, readers have applied such texts to support their own negative approach to the Jews, even though this may be contrary to the plain meaning of the text. It is for sure that such texts have been applied in (church) history to legitimate hatred and persecution of Jews. For example, it has often been remarked that Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, with an appeal to Martin Luther, called the Jews ‘the people of the devil’. Context While these words were in the first instance directed at J esus’ Jewish audience, Jesus did not intend them as a general condemnation of the Jewish people as a whole, for all time. We have to consider these words in their immediate context. Who is Jesus talking to? It is remarkable, even astonishing, to realise that John, the evangelist, is recording what he heard Jesus say to “the Jews who had believed [in] Him” (verses 30-31)! So, the ones whom Jesus is addressing in these verses are not those scribes who were trying to lure Him into a trap. He is probably speaking to spiritual leaders: those Jews (Judeans) from Jerusalem who ‘believe in Him ’. When He speaks about Himself being ‘lifted up’ (verse 28), He is referring to His impending death, and when He points to His heavenly Father, He appeals to their belief (verse 30). But while these Jews did believe in Him, apparently it was a belief that was content with just superficial obedience, that would not cost their lives. Jesus seems to be saying: the ‘truth’ (verse 32) that a true son of the Father will learn when fulfilling the Torah, goes much further and even leads to death. It is precisely for people immediately surrounding Him that Jesus often has such sharp words. Peter had a similar experience. ‘Satan’, Jesus called him once (Matthew 16:23). And so, these words also say something very important to those who profess to believe in Jesus today (Jews and Gentiles): we may speak beautiful words about Jesus, but do we really know Him? Are we willing to follow Jesus’ example as the Son of God and hold to His teachings, even to the point of death? Instead of provoking us to condemn the Jews as a people, as many Christians have read these words over the centuries, Jesus’ harsh words should urge us to self- examination and a deeper commitment to follow His example. Book Review By Kees de Vreugd In 1950, Martin Buber’s book Zwei Glaubensweisen (Two Types of Faith) was published. Buber wrote it in Jerusalem during the days of the battle for Jerusalem (1947-1948). Writing it helped him, as he wrote in his foreword, get through the war ‘in faith’. Buber was a Jewish philosopher, born in Vienna (Austria) to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was raised, in Lvov (Ukraine) by his grandfather Solomon Buber, a scholar of Midrash and rabbinic literature, but he returned to Vienna to study philosophy, history and philology. He joined the Zionist movement and was one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, founded in 1925. In 1938, he made aliyah and went to live in Jerusalem, where he became a professor at the Hebrew University. Buber is known for his philosophy of existence as an encounter, which he developed in his book “ I and Thou”. In cooperation with Franz Rosenzweig, he undertook the translation of the Hebrew Bible in German, a project they called Verdeutschung’ (’Germanification’), as they tried to preserve as much as possible the Hebrew style in German. As a Jewish thinker, he also showed great interest in the New Testament, and he became one of the foremost intellectuals in the Jewish-Christian encounter. This was already visible in I and Thou, but is also evident in Two Types of Faith. Which are these two types of faith? Buber discerns them in the Hebrew word Emunah and the Greek word Pistis . Emunah (which is related to the word amen) means to trust somebody, whereas Pistis means to believe something. Emunah means to trust the other (or: the Other) without any other motivation outside the Other. Buber describes this as the basic attitude of ancient Israel in the Old Testament and of Jesus. Pistis means to accept truth without any other motivation outside that truth. This characterises Greek thinking which influenced early Judaism and is, according to Buber, a basic tenet in Paul, as well. Thereby, it became characteristic of Christianity. While Buber’s view of Jesus as fully Jewish is definitely a critique of pre-World War II German critical New Testament studies, it is a pity that he did not untangle Paul from this frame. Today, we only start to learn to understand Paul from his distinctly Jewish background. Yet, Buber also implies that both types of faith need each other . As he concludes: an Israel that strives for renewal of her faith by personal rebirth and a Christianity that seeks for renewal of her faith by the rebirth of the nations could tell each other unspoken things. Buber’s works remain a recommended read and are still available and reprinted in English translation. Available from Amazon. Syracuse University Press; ISBN 978-0815630340 Two Types of Faith by Martin Buber October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781

29. 29 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Archeology 12 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Kay Wilson n Israeli Tour Guide | Author | Cartoonist There is always construction going on in Israel, whether it be to house new Jewish immigrants coming from the four corners of the world, or infrastructure needed for a thriving economy. It was during the clearing of the ground to lay the foundations of a hotel that the ancient town of Migdal was discovered. Migdal that is mentioned in ancient Jewish sources is on the northwest side of the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). In Hebrew, it was called Migdal Nunya, meaning ‘fish tower.’ The Greek was ‘the place of salting the fish.’ These names were chosen because it was famous for a tower that stood in the middle of the town. Fish that had been caught in the lake were salted and stored in the tower before being exported as far away as Antioch and Alexandria. The Jewish residents of Migdal played an important role against the Romans during what was become to be known as the Great Revolt (66-73 CE). Josephus Flavius was based there. Also known as Yosef ben Matityahu, the controversial Jewish commander of the rebellion in the Galilee was taken prisoner by the Romans and in his new home in Italy, and as the adopted son of the Empire, chronicled the Jewish war against his former captors. The New Testament says that Mary came from Migdal. Hence she was named accordingly as Mar y Magdalene. But the archaeological excavations reveal that ancient Migdal is not just a town; it is a town with a synagogue. And not just any old synagogue: but one with a stone engraved with a seven-branched menorah. In the wilderness, God commanded the Israelites to make a menorah. They were instructed to make sure it burns night and day in the Tabernacle. When the Tabernacle ceased to exist, the Menorah burned in the Temple. There have been several impressions of menorahs discovered in Israel, whether it be in Sepphoris in the form of ancient graffiti etched into a Roman Road, or a huge stone carving in the Jewish catacombs of Beit Shearim, or on Mosaic floors in the likes of Beit Sha’an. The Menorah at Migdal is different. It is dated between 50 BCE-100 CE, meaning it is actually from the time when the Second Temple was still standing. The synagogue is only one of just six other synagogues in the world dating to what is known as ‘the Second Temple period.’ The Migdal menorah is depicted with what may be a three-pronged stand set on a square base. On either side are amphora jars the kind used to store water or wine. There is quite a lot of debate in Jewish circles as to what the stand of the Menorah actually looked like. What we do know is that it did not have a rectangular base, as seen in the Arch of Titus, which shows the cruel exile of the Jews to Rome. Incidentally, the plunder of the Jewish valuables from the Temple, was used to finance the building of the Colosseum. This image of a menorah with a square base was chosen as the national emblem of Israel, not because of a statement of historical accuracy as to how it looked. Still, instead, it was purposefully selected by the nascent state as a declaration to the world that that Jewish people have returned home after two thousand years of exile. Most exciting about the Menorah that appears on the stone at Migdal is its early dating, enable us to assume it was done by an artist who had made the trip to Jerusalem and had actually seen the Menorah with his very own eyes in the Temple in Jerusalem. Burning Bright The ancient Magdala stone with menorah relief found in the synagogue. | Photos: Shutterstock United Nations Resolutions Facts Speak The number of UN resolutions against Israel has reached absurd proportions in recent years. While countries that are known for not taking human rights very seriously have single or no condemnation, Israel is blamed time and again. These facts do not enhance the credibility of the UN. Russia Qatar Israel Pakistan United States Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey Source: UN Watch Database North- Korea Cuba Venezuela UN Human Rights Council: 2006 - present UN General Assembly: 2015 - present UN Commission on the Status of Women: 2015 - present Ruins of Magdala (Hebrew: Migdal) near the Sea of Galilee. | Photos: Shutterstock Some UN Organs UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda (Itaem7) and the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes t hose actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review. UN General Assembly - decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, require a two-thirds majority. Decisions on other questions are by simple majority. The Assembly has adopted its own rules of procedure and elects its President and 21 Vice-Presidents for each session. UN Commission on the Status of Women is part of the United Nations, and works to promote women's political, economic, civil, social and educational rights. An annual meeting for the representatives of member States is held in New York to assess progress, identify what remains to be done and formulate new policies. When the Tabernacle ceased to exist, the Menorah burned in the Temple. Walk through the land 13 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Short News Kameel Majdali n Director | Teach All Nations Inc. We began this series, Walk through the Land , by looking at different regions, starting with the Sea of Galilee. However, an overview of the entire land, though belated, would be appropriate, so we offer it in this edition. The regional approach will continue in the next edition. A Good but Thirsty Land For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat, and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron, and you can dig copper out of the hills. When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Deuteronomy 8:7-10 Yes, the land of promise is a good land. The land is also a small one - 420km by 110km, topographically diverse, and strategically located. Its waters are modest - in brooks and underground sources - not mighty rivers. Yet it is a fertile land with a variety of wonderful foods - grains, fruit, olive oil and honey - if only you can bring water to the crops. The ancients were dependent on rain, while modern Israel also uses the National Water Carrier. Crossroads The land of promise is unlike any other. It literally sits at the crossroads as a land bridge between Africa and Eurasia. You literally cannot go from one landmass to the other without crossing through this tiny land. Other crossroads include: 1. Geography: The Mediterranean is pitted against the largest mass of desert imaginable, including Arabia and Sahara. 2. Weather patterns: Cool air comes from the Atlantic in the West and Russo-Siberia in the East. Song of Songs 4:16: “Awake, O north wind; and come, you O south wind; blow upon my garden, let its spices flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” While the north wind is moist and life- giving, the wind from the desert is not. It is hot, dry, and extracts all moisture. We know it as the east wind, which blows around 50 days out of the year. In Arabic, it is called Khamsin (50) and sharav in Hebrew. The east wind deposits fine dust on everything, denudes the trees of vegetation, dries out the air, and causes mild-mannered people to become irritat ed. Jonah 4:8: God allowed hot sun and east wind to buffet Jonah, and he wished to die! 3. Highway: The name of the highway from Egypt to Mesopotamia is unknown in antiquity, though Isaiah 9:1 refers to it as ‘the way of the sea’ or Via Maris. We call it the Afro-Eurasian highway. Its length is 2,850km from Thebes in Egypt to Ur in southern Iraq. In the Old Testament, it was unpaved, worn down by travel, no weeds, with either donkeys or camels pounding their hoofs on the hardened pathway. Camels were particularly robust, handling 180kg of goods. 4. The Roman Road: There was a marked improvement in the roads during the Roman times: paving stones, prepared roadbeds, ground levelling, and drainage made travel across the land and the empire much easier. 5. The route of the Afro-Eurasian Highway: From Egypt and Northern Sinai, the highway went about 15km inland of the Mediterranean as it went northward along Israel’s coastal plain, cut through a natural gap in Mount Carmel, entered the Armageddon Valley at Megiddo, then on to Galilee, Golan, and Mesopotamia. Since Israel’s independence in 1948, the highway has been closed, though Isaiah 19:23-25 predicts its glorious reopening from Egypt to Assyria (northern Iraq) via Israel. Diverse Topography Despite the diminutive size of this land west of the Jordan River, it has amazingly multi-faceted topography. You name it - it has it. Moonlike wilderness in the south and alpine high snow-topped mountains in the north (with a ski resort). Below sea level is the Rift Valley sector which also is varied, including a freshwater lake and a saltwater lake in the same country, the same valley, and fed by the same river. The coastal plain is relatively straight, and solid limestone mountains are in the centre. On the eastern side of the watershed is dry desert; on the western side, it is green and forested, thanks to the cool, moist Mediterranean air and an energetic tree-planting programme. Regions We will travel from north to south, east to west. If you have access to a holy land map (the back of your Bible will do), join me on this quick overview. East of the Rift Valley Going north to south, we have the Golan Heights (Bashan), held by Israel, the Yarmouk River separating Golan from Gilead (in Jordan), then Jordanian Ammon, Moab, and finally Edom in the south, where Petra is located. It ends at Aqaba on the Red Sea. Rift Valley The Rift Valley is around 6,000km and goes north to south from Turkey, to the Red Sea, and into Africa, housing some of the great lakes, and ends in Mozambique in Southeast Africa. The valley is the spine and eastern border of the holy land. The holy land portion of the Rift Valley starts in the north with the Huleh basin, then Sea of Galilee, the Jordan (River) Valley, Dead Sea, and finally the Arabah which leads to the Red Sea at Eilat. North Galilee (upper and lower) is in the far north, then the Valley of Armageddon (Central Valley), then the Central Hill Country, known as Samaria and Judea (the world calls it the ‘West Bank’), followed by the Negev. Bonus Regions Mount Carmel in the north and the Shephelah (lowland) in the south. Coastal Plain Plain of Acre (Asher), south to Plain of Sharon, then Plain of Philistia. From this tiny postage stamp of real estate has come the stage of God’s revelation and humankind’s redemption. To be continued. Rev Kameel Majdali, PhD (Melb) is Director of Teach All Nations (tan.org.au). His MA degree is Historical Geography of the Holy Land from the Institute of Holy Land Studies, now called Jerusalem University College. View from Mount of Precipitation, Northern Israel. | Photo: Flash90 The Promised Land Overview Cyprus Becoming a ‘Treasure Island’ for Israeli Companies Cyprus is becoming one of Israel’s most promising trading partners. This manifests itself in energy, defence, economy, tourism, research and innovation, health and more. Over the last five years, bilateral relations have also served as a basis for regional and international strategic partnerships, including the development of the trilateral partnership between Cyprus, Greece and Israel (with US participation) and the creation of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF). | Photo: Shutterstock Israel and its 66 National Parks Those who love nature and want to discover a variety of different landscapes should also plan a trip to Israel’s nature reserves, once the Corona crisis is over. These reserves are managed by the “Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority”. Apart from the preservation of the diverse flora and fauna, tourists get an insight into fascinating landscapes. Those who cannot travel in a guided group are also welcome as individual tourists. DIDO III Medical Satellite Launched Israel and Italy recently launched a tiny satellite dubbed DIDO III on a Vega rocket from the Kourou base in French Guyana. The overnight launch came as a joint effort by Israeli and Italian space agencies, while the Israeli-Swiss SpacePharma company developed the mini-satellite. The satellite will work as a mini-lab conducting experiments in microgravity conditions. It will carry out several experiments in the fields of biology, chemistry and medicine, each supervised by Israeli and Italian researchers and will work autonomously. The tests in space are intended to bring certainty and new insights. The lab weighs 2.3kg and is about the size of a shoebox.

3. 19 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 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, Marie-Louise Weissenböck and Marijke Terlouw Scripture references: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. C4I Offices Christians for Israel International Leon Meijer, Chairman Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer, President Rev Cornelis Kant, Executive Director P.O. Box 1100 | 3860 BC Nijkerk, The Netherlands | Tel: +31 33 422 0405 info@c4israel.org | www.c4israel.org The English Edition of Israel & Christians Today is published by the following English speaking branches: Christians for Israel - Australia Ian Worby, National Leader PO Box 1508, Springwood Queensland, Australia 4127 Tel: +61 (7) 3088 6900, 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 - South Korea Tel: +61 410 430 677 email: wijung@gmail.com www.c4israel.org/korea Christians for Israel - USA Fred J van Westing, CEO PO Box 2589, Manteca, CA 95336, USA Tel/Fax: +1 209 665 4280 usa-info@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/c4israelAUS Andrew Tucker n International Editor | Christians for Israel Like ever-shifting sand dunes, the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East is changing rapidly. We’re seeing two trends. Iran and Turkey are more aggressively pursuing their expansionist and Islamic extremist objectives. The recent alliance between China and Iran underlines those concerns. Iran’s proxies like Hezbollah (in Lebanon) and Hamas (in Gaza), as well as its nuclear ambitions, present an existential threat. Israel appears to be the only state in the region willing to use force to oppose Iran. An opposite development: over recent weeks Israel has started to formalise diplomatic relations and ‘warm’ cooperation with some Arab allies in the region. With the US playing the role of broker, the UAE and Bahrain have agreed to ‘normalise’ relations with Israel. Other nations, such as Oman and Morocco, may well follow. To some extent, these agreements just confirm the strong relations between these countries already for several years. Some critics pass off the White House ceremonies as a PR stunt. These agreements are significant because they challenge the myth that Arab states cannot have strong relations with Israel unless and until the demands of the PLO are met. That is the logic of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. These smaller (Sunni) states no longer wish their positive relations with Israel to be dependent on the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Similarly, in relation to Jerusalem. The consensus view is that Israel’s ‘reunification’ of the city in 1967 and its declaration in 1980 of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel are illegal, and therefore no embassies should be located in the city (not even ‘West’ Jerusalem). President Trump challenged the historical, legal and strategic assumptions underlying this position when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy to Jerusalem in 2018. Several other states followed his example. A few weeks ago, Serbia and Kosovo signed documents in the Oval Office in which both agreed to move their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem. The EU responded by warning Serbia and Kosovo (both aspiring EU members) that this could undermine their EU membership bids. The EU position has always been that Israel’s reunification of Jerusalem is illegal. It is an irrational position which shows Europe’s deep ideological resentment of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. The Palestinian leadership continues to condemn the normalisation of Israeli- Arab relations as a ‘stab in the back’ and a betrayal of Islamic beliefs. No-one seems to be listening – except Iran and Turkey. Palestinian leaders are missing the opportunity to improve the well-being of their people. Israel is paying a price. Netanyahu’s highly-publicised proposals earlier this year to ‘annex’ Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley have been shelved. Israel has made clear it will not do so without US support. The Administration has indicated no consent will be given for four years – giving the Palestinians time to accept the Trump Peace Plan, which envisages the establishment of a (very limited) Palestinian state within part of the ‘occupied’ territories provided the Palestinians agree to certain conditions. If they do not come to the table (and assuming Trump is re-elected), this would potentially enable Israel in 2024 to implement sovereignty plans. Of course, if Biden wins the election, the Trump initiative will no longer be on the table. The ‘normalisation’ agreements are to be welcomed as a foretaste of the peace that will come when the Messiah has returned and ‘the word of the Lord shall go forth from Jerusalem’ (see, e.g. Isaiah 2). But until then, they are no guarantee for peace. Allies today can become enemies tomorrow. Israel must be on the continual alert to defend itself against those who are bent on its destruction. And there is another challenge facing Israel. In June 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank – the heartland of the Jewish national home. With the exception of Jerusalem, it chose to treat Judea and Samaria as ‘occupied’ territories, refraining from asserting sovereignty. This challenge cannot be put off forever. The Bible tells us that the Lord God is planting His people back in Jerusalem and the mountains of Judea and Samaria, never to be uprooted again. Their calling is to govern the land of which they have been given control. This includes equal treatment of the ‘strangers’ in the land (provided, of course, they accept the Jewish people). Shifting Sands Prayer Points By Pieter Bénard Israel l From 3 to 10 October the Jewish people celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, followed by Simchat Torah (rejoicing of the Torah). This is the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles. Because of Covid-19, the celebrations will be different from usual. Pray that it will still be a blessed and joyful feast under the protection of God. l There is hostility against the Jewish people, lies and agitation, danger of war and terrorist attacks, false accusations and falsification of history. But the miracle remains: Israel lives! Give thanks according to Lamentations 3,22.23: “Yes, the mercies of the Lord are not finished, yes, His mercy does not cease; it is new every morning: great is your faithfulness”. Israel & the Nations l Several special steps towards peace have been taken recently. For example, a peace agreement has been reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and between Israel and Bahrain. There are plans in both Serbia and Kosovo (a country with a Muslim majority) to move their embassies to Jerusalem. Give thanks for these special steps towards peace. l “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8) Israel is the apple of God’s eye. Pray for the protection of Israel while many enemies still want to wipe Israel off the map. Christians for Israel l “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10. In this time of Covid-19 Christians for Israel cannot organise Israel conferences and meetings like usual. Pray for the work to continue online. Pray for new opportunities to spread our message digitally. l Pray that Christians with a vision for Israel may inspire their pastors and fellow Christians so that they too will understand that Israel is a sign of hope and that the return of the Jewish people is a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy. For daily Prayer Points, go to our website www.c4israel.com.au Ceremony at the White House 15 September 2020. | Photo: Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian News 3 ‘Full Normalisation’ Between Israel and the UAE Johannes Gerloff n Theologian, Journalist, Lecturer & Author On 13 August 2020 US President Donald J. Trump and his staff in Washington announced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had agreed on “full normalisation of relations” between their respective countries. “Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over” parts of the West Bank, the statement from Washington promised. Liberal observers consequently saw Israel’s sovereignty over parts of the West Bank off the table, construction activity in the settlements suspended and the two-state solution as the only remaining goal. Settlers felt betrayed by Netanyahu. The Israeli government seems to have found a way to avoid accepting legal responsibility f or much of Judea and Samaria – even though this is exactly what all relevant politicians and parties promised before the last parliamentary elections, it had been widely announced on the international stage and is of course hotly disputed in the western world. The fact remains that the State of Israel has had the decisive say in the disputed areas between Israel and Jordan for more than 70 years. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly been left with nothing but the ‘threat’ to throw the burden of responsibility for the Palestinian territories, which have b een autonomous for almost two decades, at the feet of the Israelis. Israel’s security cabinet, its foreign and defence ministers, learned of Netanyahu’s phone call with the powerful sheikh through the announcement from Washington, possibly only from the media. Nevertheless, the announcement of a ‘normalisation’ of relations between Israel and the UAE was not a real surprise. For years there have been relations between the two countries, partly overt, partly covert. The first feelers were put out in the 1960s. In 2017, the UAE Air Force participated in an exercise in Greece in which the Israeli Air Force was also involved. In the areas of agriculture, irrigation and cyber technology, billions have flowed back and forth between the two countries. It is an open secret that Netanyahu visited the Emirates and that ‘interest offices’ exist on both sides. Today, hundreds of Jews – some estimates reach up to 1,500 – live in the Emirates. There are now three Jewish congregations, two of which are Orthodox. The United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an association of seven emirates in the Arabian Peninsula, on the Persian Gulf: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Only twelve per cent of the people who li ve there are actually ‘Emiratis’. They represent only one per cent of the working population. The UAE is notorious for its uncompromising adherence to Sharia law, harsh collective punishments and use of the death penalty. Foreign workers enjoy little protection. A Common Enemy A decisive factor in the rapprochement between the Jewish state and the UAE is the threat from Iran, including its nuclear and hegemonic ambitions. Tehran makes no secret of its aspiration to wipe out the State of Israel. At the same time, the Shiite mullahs and their allies are waging a bloody war against th e Sunni Arabs in the Gulf, mainly in Yemen. The nuclear agreement between the West and Iran in 2015 was not only a thorn in the side of Jerusalem but was also decidedly rejected by the Gulf Arabs. In 2016 Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Danon made a trip to Dubai, which was mainly about Iran. Israel’s missile defence techniques and cyber technology are of great interest to the Arab Gulf States. In recent years, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated that it is the only country in the Middle East that has the will and ability to face the threat from Iran. The F-35 Dilemma Immediately after the announcement, fears were expressed in Israel that the US could now deliver F-35 stealth jets to Abu Dhabi. Defense Minister Benny Gantz immediately stressed that Israel would never give up its qualitative military advantage for peace. Netanyahu emphasised that the normalisation agreement does not include Israel’s consent to any arms deals. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to calm the situation on 24 August when he assured the Israeli Prime Minister that “the US will find a way to balance helping its military ally the United Arab Emirates without weakening Israel’s qualitative military edge” in the region. One day earlier, Trump’s special advisor Jared Kushner had said on CNN that “this new peace agreement should increase the probability of [the UAE] getting [F-35s]”. Reactions Israeli Jews and worldwide Jewry spontaneously expressed enthusiasm. Netanyahu praised the announcement of the peace treaty as the “beginning of a historical era”. Israel’s political right responded: “It is time for Netanyahu to go. We need to build an alternative leadership.” Settlers accuse Netanyahu of concluding a peace treaty with a country with which Israel was never at war. One day after the announcement, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash emphasised that this was by no means just a symbolic gesture and that his country wishes far-reaching bilateral relations “as soon as possible”. He called on the Palestinians to immediately start peace negotiations with the Israelis. The Palestinian leadership under Mahmud Abbas spontaneously railed against a ‘betrayal of Jerusalem, t he Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian cause’ and recalled his ambassador from the UAE. On the ‘Haram Al Sharif’, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Palestinian worshipers trampled pictures of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed. October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Short News Sea of Galilee Water Level 27-Year High At the beginning of September, the freshwater lake was at 209.5m below sea level, the highest that has been measured in September since 1993. As late as 2018, the Water Authority warned that the Sea of Galilee was drying up due to low rainfall and was approaching a ‘black line’ below which water quality was problematic. This year, however, there has been so much rainfall from January to March that the water level rose by 2.63 metres. | Photo: Israel Haysom Supermarket Charges UN The owner of a well-known Israeli supermarket and telecommunications company, Rami Levy, started legal proceedings against the UN Human Rights Council for defamation. The council has blacklisted both his companies because they also conduct business in what the council calls ‘occupied territories’. According to the UN Human Rights Council, this blacklisted company and one hundred and ten others harm the Palestinians because they conduct business on the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. Levy’s position is that his ‘companies highly promote the rights of the Palestinians and their financial well-being’. Levy demands compensation of almost seventy thousand euros. | Photo: Flash90 Church Found The remnants of a thirteen hundred- year-old church have been found near Mount Tabor, in the north of Israel. Presumably, this was the location of a monastery that was built just outside the old city of Kfar Kama. Some mosaic floors were uncovered, but more rooms can be excavated, the researchers say. From left: US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook, Avraham Berkowitz, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, US President Donald Trump, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. | Photo: AP Continued on page 4

27. 27 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Theology 10 Jewish Festivals Sukkot Feast of Tabernacles 3-9 October 2020 Sukkot (Hebrew: sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three Biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.’ Sukkot begins at sundown on Friday, 2 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Thursday, 8 October 2020. Shmini Atzeret Eighth Day of Assembly 10 October 2020 Shemini Atzeret - the Eighth Day of Assembly is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei (first month of calendar). In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah . In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably. Shmini Atzeret begins at sundown on Friday, 9 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Saturday, 10 October 2020. Simchat Torah Day of Celebrating the Torah 11 October 2020 Simchat Torah, Simhath Torah or Simkhes Toreh, ‘Rejoicing with/of the Torah,’ is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah begins at sundown on Saturday, 10 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 11 October 2020. Yom HaAliyah Recognises Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish State of Israel 25 October 2020 Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to commemorate the historic events which happened on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan . The holiday was established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honour the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. Yom HaAliyah begins at sundown on Saturday, 24 October 2020 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, 25 October 2020. | Photo: Shutterstock Harsh Words of Jesus Kees de Vreugd n Theologian | Christians for Israel International & Editor | Israel & the Church “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44) How should you read such a text? Is this not pure anti-Semitism: the Jews have the devil as their father? There are some Bible expositors who pose that the roots of anti- Semitism and anti-Judaism lay already in the New Testament. Others say that, in the first instance, the harsh words that are written and spoken in the New Testament about Jews reflect an internal Jewish dispute, whereby tough words are spoken between Jew and Jew. We have to realise, that, in later times, readers have applied such texts to support their own negative approach to the Jews, even though this may be contrary to the plain meaning of the text. It is for sure that such texts have been applied in (church) history to legitimate hatred and persecution of Jews. For example, it has often been remarked that Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, with an appeal to Martin Luther, called the Jews ‘the people of the devil’. Context While these words were in the first instance directed at J esus’ Jewish audience, Jesus did not intend them as a general condemnation of the Jewish people as a whole, for all time. We have to consider these words in their immediate context. Who is Jesus talking to? It is remarkable, even astonishing, to realise that John, the evangelist, is recording what he heard Jesus say to “the Jews who had believed [in] Him” (verses 30-31)! So, the ones whom Jesus is addressing in these verses are not those scribes who were trying to lure Him into a trap. He is probably speaking to spiritual leaders: those Jews (Judeans) from Jerusalem who ‘believe in Him ’. When He speaks about Himself being ‘lifted up’ (verse 28), He is referring to His impending death, and when He points to His heavenly Father, He appeals to their belief (verse 30). But while these Jews did believe in Him, apparently it was a belief that was content with just superficial obedience, that would not cost their lives. Jesus seems to be saying: the ‘truth’ (verse 32) that a true son of the Father will learn when fulfilling the Torah, goes much further and even leads to death. It is precisely for people immediately surrounding Him that Jesus often has such sharp words. Peter had a similar experience. ‘Satan’, Jesus called him once (Matthew 16:23). And so, these words also say something very important to those who profess to believe in Jesus today (Jews and Gentiles): we may speak beautiful words about Jesus, but do we really know Him? Are we willing to follow Jesus’ example as the Son of God and hold to His teachings, even to the point of death? Instead of provoking us to condemn the Jews as a people, as many Christians have read these words over the centuries, Jesus’ harsh words should urge us to self- examination and a deeper commitment to follow His example. Book Review By Kees de Vreugd In 1950, Martin Buber’s book Zwei Glaubensweisen (Two Types of Faith) was published. Buber wrote it in Jerusalem during the days of the battle for Jerusalem (1947-1948). Writing it helped him, as he wrote in his foreword, get through the war ‘in faith’. Buber was a Jewish philosopher, born in Vienna (Austria) to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was raised, in Lvov (Ukraine) by his grandfather Solomon Buber, a scholar of Midrash and rabbinic literature, but he returned to Vienna to study philosophy, history and philology. He joined the Zionist movement and was one of the founders of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, founded in 1925. In 1938, he made aliyah and went to live in Jerusalem, where he became a professor at the Hebrew University. Buber is known for his philosophy of existence as an encounter, which he developed in his book “ I and Thou”. In cooperation with Franz Rosenzweig, he undertook the translation of the Hebrew Bible in German, a project they called Verdeutschung’ (’Germanification’), as they tried to preserve as much as possible the Hebrew style in German. As a Jewish thinker, he also showed great interest in the New Testament, and he became one of the foremost intellectuals in the Jewish-Christian encounter. This was already visible in I and Thou, but is also evident in Two Types of Faith. Which are these two types of faith? Buber discerns them in the Hebrew word Emunah and the Greek word Pistis . Emunah (which is related to the word amen) means to trust somebody, whereas Pistis means to believe something. Emunah means to trust the other (or: the Other) without any other motivation outside the Other. Buber describes this as the basic attitude of ancient Israel in the Old Testament and of Jesus. Pistis means to accept truth without any other motivation outside that truth. This characterises Greek thinking which influenced early Judaism and is, according to Buber, a basic tenet in Paul, as well. Thereby, it became characteristic of Christianity. While Buber’s view of Jesus as fully Jewish is definitely a critique of pre-World War II German critical New Testament studies, it is a pity that he did not untangle Paul from this frame. Today, we only start to learn to understand Paul from his distinctly Jewish background. Yet, Buber also implies that both types of faith need each other . As he concludes: an Israel that strives for renewal of her faith by personal rebirth and a Christianity that seeks for renewal of her faith by the rebirth of the nations could tell each other unspoken things. Buber’s works remain a recommended read and are still available and reprinted in English translation. Available from Amazon. Syracuse University Press; ISBN 978-0815630340 Two Types of Faith by Martin Buber October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Rev Cornelis Kant n Executive Director | Christians for Israel International When we speak about the rise of anti-Semitism and hate against Israel, people sometimes say: ‘They cannot capture God, so they capture His people Israel, the pupil of His eye’. I have always had a mixed feeling about that statement. It certainly applies to people who consciously turn against Jews and Israel with violence. However, there are countless Christians around the world who assert that they want to have nothing to do with Israel and who oppose any Israel-theology that advocates Israel’s permanent place in God’s plan of salvation. These are often very faithful people with love for God and His Son Jesus Christ. Can you then immediately call them enemies of God? That seems a bit extreme to me. )iding Israel My attention, however, was attracted by Psalm 83 regarding my mixed feeling. That Psalm speaks about people who turn against Israel: ‘They have said, ‘Come let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more’. The Hebrew word translated here as ‘wipe out’ can also be translated as ‘hide’ or ‘disappear out of sight’. The same word also appears in Hosea 5:3 ‘I know Ephraim and Israel is not hidden from Me’. The Lord God here wants to make clear that He is watching His people and that His people are not hidden from Him. Also, in Psalm 69:5, we come across this same word: ‘O God, i t is You who knows my folly, and my wrongs are not hidden from you’. Here again, it is not about wiping out, but about being hidden or not hidden from God. God sees and knows the guilt of the writer of the psalm. The attempt to ‘wipe out’ the people of Israel as described in Psalm 83 can therefore indicate both a violent attempt to exterminate the Jewish people and the denial and disappearance, concealment, of Israel. Could we, therefore, also think here of Christians? They are endeavouring to deny every significance of Israel and to make Israel’s significance disappear from the Church and the ology, so that ‘Israel’s name is remembered no more’. Remarkably, such an attitude towards Israel is described three times in Psalm 83 as enmity against God Himself. Thus the Psalm poet says in verse 2: ‘For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves’. Your ‘enemies’ and ‘those who hate you’ is like repetition using different words. And in verse 5, he says: ‘Against You, they make a covenant’. In every instance, the psalm poet emphasises that the destruction or concealment of Israel is also inevitably a form of enmity against God. This conclusion sounds harsh, but it is almost inevitable. The prophet Zechariah already wrote that whoever touches Israel touches the pupil of God’s eye. God remains eternally faithful to his people and has a great plan for the future with Israel. And so we turn directly against God Himself when we try to make Israel, in whatever way, disappear from the attention of the Church and of the nations. Theology 11 Are Israel’s Enemies Also God’s Enemies? October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Mandy Worby n Christians for Israel Australia James 1:26-27, “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Aristotle the philosopher; Cyrus the Great; President Andrew Jackson; Nelson Mandela activist and former president of South Africa; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; Malcolm X; John Keats the poet; writers Edgar Allen Poe, Leo Tolstoy and JRR Tolkien; musicians Louis Armstrong, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Faith Hill, John Lennon and Tina Turner, Mark Schultz; entertainers Ingrid Bergman and Carol Burnett; Samuel Goldwyn the movi e mogul; Lee Majors, Marilyn Monroe and Orson Welles; Babe Ruth the baseball player; Bertrand Russell the philosopher; Johannes Kepler the scientist; Apple founder Steve Jobs and Vidal Sasson, the beauty products magnate; fictional characters Frodo Baggins, Tom Sawyer, Oliver Twist, Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Huckleberry Finn, Pollyanna and Anne of Green Gables. Luke Skywalker of Star Wars, Mowgli of Jungle Book, Snow White, Superman, Tarzan and Wolverine...and my mother! What do all these characters have in common? They were all orphans. The Hebrew word for orphan is ‘yatom’, and it means ‘fatherless.’ During Bibl ical times if a child had a mother but no father, the child was considered to be an orphan because, during that time period, single-parent families were predominantly impoverished because the men were the breadwinners and not many women worked outside the home. Without the breadwinner, single mothers and their children were at the mercy of other people’s generosity. So, those who were ‘fatherless’ were considered orphans. Today, especially in our western nations, there are greater provisions for single-parent families, and children with only one parent are not considered orphans at all, despite the fact that ‘fatherless’ children are becoming incredibly common...unfortunately. )ow %oes (od 3egard 0rphans All through the Old Covenant Scriptures God warned His people not to oppress or afflict orphans and widows; these most vulnerable members of society were supposed to be defended and protected against corruption and malice and were to be protected against those who would target them to rip them off and manipulate them. Exodus 22:22, ‘You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.’ Deuteronomy 10:18, ‘He (God) executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.’ Deuteronomy 24:20-21, ‘When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan and for the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan and for the widow.’ Deuteronomy 27:19, ‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan and widow. And all the people shall say, “Amen”.’ We’ll continue learning about orphans next time. Orphans - Part 1 | Photo: Shutterstock | Photo: Pxhere

32. 32 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Aliyah 16 October 2020 | Israel & Christians Today The Bible contains two commandments regarding the return of the Jewish people that involve non-Jews. First, we may proclaim the return; we can read this clearly in Jeremiah 31:10. The nations will be involved in the return; we can read this in Isaiah 49:22, which was written down thousands of years ago. When I think of the land of the North and how many volunteers from so many nations have been involved in the Aliyah work, I realise that what the Lord has promised also happens in His time. We are grateful for your continuing prayers and support. Thanks to your faithful support, we have been able to ‘Bring the Jews home’ to Israel, and we continue this effort, especially now that more and more Jews are deciding to make Aliyah. | Photos: Jewish Agency Biblical Assignment We are grateful for your support Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’ Jeremiah 31:10 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 You can donate by using the coupon below. Koen Carlier Aliyah Fieldworker Christians for Israel Ukraine Arrival of new olim at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. | Moshik Brin, Jewish Agency PLEASE COMPLETE FORM & RETURN TO: Christians for Israel Australia, PO Box 1508, Springwood, QLD 4127 or you can donate securely online c4israel.com.au/donate Yes, I would like to make a donation towards... C4I MINISTRY 1 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) $______ ___________ Israel and Christians Today Paper (free or by donation) $30 each The Signs of the Times (BOOK) by Willem Glashouwer The Signs of the Times (DVD) 7+ Hours Teaching The Signs of the Times (BOOK+DVD PACK) Save $7 ___________ ___________ ___________ $25 each ___________ NEW! The Biblical Eternal Triangle (BOOK) by Rev Fraser Harding NEW! All Israel Shall Be Saved (BOOK) by Jill Curry NEW! Bazyli & Anna Jocz (BOOK) by Kelvin Crombie The End Times Through Jewish Eyes (DVD) by Enoch Lavender $12 each ___________ $30 each ___________ $20 each $30 each $25 each ___________ City of David - 67 2 Shifting Sands Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2020 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 12 Burning Bright 14 - 1 6 Aliyah Special President Donald J Trump, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords Tuesday, 15 September 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. | Photo: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead Changing Alliances in the Middle East On 15 September 2020, on the lawns of the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed ‘normalisation’ agreements with the Foreign Ministers of the small Gulf States United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The agreements have been brokered by President Donald Trump and his team at the White House led by the President’s Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Israel’s two existing peace treaties with Arab states (Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994) were based on the ‘land for peace’ paradigm. They have created a cold, formal peace between these nations, but no real cooperation at the people-to-people level. The agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, on the contrary, are focused on security and economic and cultural development. Many commentators have hailed these agreements as a major break-through. Israeli intellectual Natan Sharansky described the UAE agreement is “the first real agreement about normalisation which doesn’t include any concessions to any dictator. It simply says that it is in our interest to co- exist, to co-operate, and to help one another. I believe the meaning of it is huge. It is much bigger than the size of Abu Dhabi and Israel.” Sharansky believes this development is “changing the paradigm of the last 50-60 years that has been dominant in the West, especially in Europe: that ‘we, the free world, have all these problems with the Moslim world, and specifically the Arab world , and have all these waves of terror because Israel is not willing to give the Palestinians what they want us to give.’ None of this was true, nor was it able to strengthen peaceful elements in the Arab world. Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace.” Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace. AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au City of David - 67 2 Shifting Sands Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2020 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 12 Burning Bright 14 - 16 Aliyah Special President Donald J Trump, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords Tuesday, 15 September 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. | Photo: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead Changing Alliances in the Middle East On 15 September 2020, on the lawns of the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed ‘normalisation’ agreements with the Foreign Ministers of the small Gulf States United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The agreements have been brokered by President Donald Trump and his team at the White House led by the President’s Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Israel ’s two existing peace treaties with Arab states (Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994) were based on the ‘land for peace’ paradigm. They have created a cold, formal peace between these nations, but no real cooperation at the people-to-people level. The agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, on the contrary, are focused on security and economic and cultural development. Many commentators have hailed these agreements as a major break-through. Israeli intellectual Natan Sharansky described the UAE agreement is “the first real agreement about normalisation which doesn’t include any concessions to any dictator. It simply says that it is in our interest to co- exist, to co-operate, and to help one another. I believe the meaning of it is huge. It is much bigger than the size of Abu Dhabi and Israel.” Sharansky believes this development is “changing the paradigm of the last 50-60 years that has been dominant in the West, especially in Europe: that ‘we, the free world, have all these problems with the Moslim world, and specifically the Arab world , and have all these waves of terror because Israel is not willing to give the Palestinians what they want us to give.’ None of this was true, nor was it able to strengthen peaceful elements in the Arab world. Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace.” Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace. AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au City of David - 67 2 Shifting Sands Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective & Christians Today ISRAEL October 2020 Tishrei - Cheshvan 5781 Israel & Christians Today is the premier publication of Christians for Israel 12 Burning Bright 14 - 16 Aliyah Special President Donald J Trump, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan participate in the signing of the Abraham Accords Tuesday, 15 September 2020, on the South Lawn of the White House. | Photo: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead Changing Alliances in the Middle East On 15 September 2020, on the lawns of the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed ‘normalisation’ agreements with the Foreign Ministers of the small Gulf States United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The agreements have been brokered by President Donald Trump and his team at the White House led by the President’s Senior Adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Israel ’s two existing peace treaties with Arab states (Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994) were based on the ‘land for peace’ paradigm. They have created a cold, formal peace between these nations, but no real cooperation at the people-to-people level. The agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, on the contrary, are focused on security and economic and cultural development. Many commentators have hailed these agreements as a major break-through. Israeli intellectual Natan Sharansky described the UAE agreement is “the first real agreement about normalisation which doesn’t include any concessions to any dictator. It simply says that it is in our interest to co- exist, to co-operate, and to help one another. I believe the meaning of it is huge. It is much bigger than the size of Abu Dhabi and Israel.” Sharansky believes this development is “changing the paradigm of the last 50-60 years that has been dominant in the West, especially in Europe: that ‘we, the free world, have all these problems with the Moslim world, and specifically the Arab world, and have all these waves of terror because Israel is not willing to give the Palestinians what they want us to give.’ None of this was true, nor was it able to strengthen peaceful elements in the Arab world. Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace.” Normalisation between Israel and its neighbours is essential to create real peace. AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA www.c4israel.com.au | info@c4israel.com.au Please post cheque or money order to: Christians for Israel Australia Inc (don’t use staples) NEW INTERNET BANKING DETAILS: BSB: ANZ BANK – 014-279 Account No: 405318551 Ref: Your name & donation purpose. Please confirm by emailing info@c4israel.com.au MY DETAILS Name: _________________________________________ If y ou don’t know or have your Member ID please include: Address: ________________________________________ P hone: _________________________________________ E mail: __________________________________________ Christians for Israel Australia ABN: 79 941 819 693 ICT1020 4 3 SOCIAL WELFARE PROJECTS $___________ Hineni soup kitchen ($10 per meal) $___________ First Baptist Church Bethlehem ($10 or your best gift) $___________ Meals on Wheels Ukraine ($15 per meal) $___________ First Home in the Homeland ($350 pp) $___________ Food Parcels ($15 per parcel) $___________ CFOIC (Judea and Samaria) Heartland ($30 or your best gift) 2 ALIYAH - BRING THE JEWS HOME $350 One Person* $6250 One Busload (25 persons)* $1460 Bnei Menashe - Asian Jews (1 person) $1250 One Family (5 persons)* *NOTE: Certificates for individuals and families from the Ukraine only. 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