A Bomb Shelter is Delivered in Ashkelon, Israel

Song For Israel partners with Operation Lifeshield in Israel to build bomb shelters to help save lives!  We are collecting funds now for the women's "Eden Center," but below you can read about another project that will save lives in Israel. To donate to our Bomb Shelter project, click here.

Operation Lifeshield Briefing    

The video of the deployment of the Lifeshield shelter at the Centre for Traffic Safety Education in Ashkelon has evoked much emotion. Is it the sight of a massive 70 ton pre-cast concrete shelter being lifted over trees and a classroom? The realization that there was no shelter at this unique school until now? Or is it the smiling faces of the 4th grade students as they proudly pose in front of a structure that might save their lives one day?

Like all shelter deployments, this one was very emotional and inspiring. But the shelter placed in Ashkelon last week had an added dimension. You could sense the relief and the change of mood from the staff and educators. It was as if a great burden had been lifted off their shoulders, and replaced with the blessing of a safe space for their students.

Here's the video.






Blessings from Israel.

Shmuel Bowman

Executive Director | Operation Lifeshield


Simchat Torah - A Jewish Holiday Focusing on the Word of God

We rejoice with Israel and the Jewish people as this evening we celebrate the Law (the Word of God). At 8 AM tomorrow morning, the synagogues around the world will be packed as the last pages of Deuteronomy 34 are read. The first five books of the Bible (often called the Books of Moses) are called the Torah. The services continue, once the scroll has been rolled back with the reading at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. Several people take turns reading Genesis 1:1-2:3. This represents the reading of the yearly Torah cycle.  Most services last around three hours as men and women rejoice over the Book given to Israel by God through Moses.

The Torah scrolls are taken out of the Ark (an ornamental closet which contains the scrolls) and is carried around a platform. The scroll is carried in a procession while others are singing and dancing. Jewish people around the world will parade their precious Torah scrolls around their synagogues in circles call hakafot.

The Jewish People have diligently preserved the Word of God for more than 3,000 years, and Simchat Torah gives joyful expression to the Jewish People’s love of the Torah. Will you join them in your heart, praising God for preserving His Word for us?

Pictures From our Feast of Tabernacles Celebration Dinner!

The Feast of Tabernacles is a Joyous Occasion!

The details about this Feast are found in Leviticus 23:33-44. During this seven-day celebration, no work was to be done on the first or the last day. In between these days of complete rest, offerings were to be presented to the Lord on each day of the seven-day period. The first day was a holy day and the rest of the days were feast days!

 For one week, the people of Israel lived in makeshift Booths called SUKKAHs, of leafy branches, symbolizing their journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God’s protection and provision in the Wilderness.

The Feast occurs after Israel’s Fall harvest. Also called The Feast of Ingathering, it was the major annual harvest of the year. The spring harvest was very small in comparison to the fall harvest.

All over Israel you will see sukkahs! They build them in their backyards, on their apartment porches, in the back of a truck! Then they invite friends to feast with them in celebration! A sukkah is supposed to be a makeshift structure that is easily moved. Fruit is hung as a reminder that God provides all that we need. Children make chains out of colorful paper. The sukkah provides shade and as instructed, we leave openings between leafy branches on top, so that we can see His glory in the stars at night. God wants to be our shelter and our shade.

 Leviticus 23:40 says “You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.“You shall take for yourselves on the first day, the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations and you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

What fun to be told to rest before and after the 7 day feast and to rejoice and have joy! And to eat, eat, eat! Rest, have fun and eat.  I like that!

Deut. 16:13-16 Says “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress; and you shall rejoice in your feast. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God…the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely will rejoice.”

In John 7, we see Jesus coming up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles! 1 Corinthians 5:8.  Paul encouraged those in Corinth (mostly NOT Jewish) to celebrate the feasts!

Significance

God wanted His people to celebrate the fact that He provided shelter for them in the wilderness. Shelters or booths were to be built in which the people worshipped for the week of the feast to remind them of their departure from Egypt and their long journey to Sinai. They were to rejoice in the Lord, during the entire celebration of the feast, giving thanks to God for His abundant gifts and all that He had done. This was the only festival where rejoicing is commanded by God. It is a time for His people to remember that God dwelled with them in their wilderness journey. He guided them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They would look up night or day and see that He was with them. God tells them to live in booths for 7 days to remind them that He was with them and supplied all they needed.

God has always desired to dwell with us. God wants to be with you. He desires to dwell with His people. He always has and always will.

There is Prophetic Fulfillment in EACH APPOINTED DAY

This feast reminded Israel of God’s blessings in the past. He had led them out of Egyptian bondage, cared for them in the wilderness, and brought them into their promised inheritance. Once they had lived in booths and tents, but in the Promised Land, they would live in houses! Tabernacles represent the Lord’s shelter in the future. The Lord will establish his Tabernacle in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:26) and the world will come every year to appear before the King & worship Him. A final ingathering will take place.

In the future, families of the earth (the believers) will come to Jerusalem to annually celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19). God is setting up His kingdom and he is going to restore it. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:3 says “..behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself with be with them and be their God!” God will tabernacle with men! Can you imagine this!?! We will celebrate a spiritual harvest…the Ingathering in that day. The Future Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated on the new earth, with God Himself, will be the most joyous occasion of all time! We can look forward to it!

We can celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, because it speaks of our Messiah! It reminds us of what He has done and what He WILL DO. 

May Your Name Be Inscribed in the Book of Life!

The Fall is filled with Jewish holidays! After welcoming in the Jewish new year, for a ten-day period, the Jewish people observe a somber and introspective period called the “Days of Awe.” An important aspect of the Days of Awe is to seek reconciliation with anyone you may have wronged in the past year. According to Jewish tradition, one cannot find forgiveness from God unless they have a clear conscience. They believe that when they petition God with their since that they “stand trial” before Him and wait for the verdict. The Jewish people focus on the “Book of Life” and attempt to prove to God that their names deserve to be sealed in that book for another year on the Day of Atonement (in Hebrew Yom Kippur).

Western Wall at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem

Western Wall at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem

 Leviticus 16:29-34 establish the Day of Atonement on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishri (on our calendar that would be October 4th.  This holy day is called the “Shabbat of Shabbats”—the most important day of the year for the Jewish person. It is the day “to afflict one’s soul, to cleanse oneself of all sin and abstain from any work or pleasure.”

 In Malachi 3:16-18, the Book of Life is described as “A book of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name.” The Jewish people are taught that in order to ensure their names are sealed in the Book of Life, they must repent, pray and do good deeds. They can only hope that their names are sealed for another year based on their works. For the Christian, we know that our salvation is not based on our own works, but on the finished work of Jesus on a cross. In John 14:6, Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” It is not by works. And we also know that Jesus payment on that cross is permanent. We do not have to wait for Yom Kippur and hope we will be sealed another year.

 However, this holiday is a great reminder 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God still expects us to confess sin, but it is not the admission ticket to heaven. Faith in Jesus alone takes care of that, once and for all.

 It is still a very good practice to observe the holiday with the Jewish people and fast 24 hours to spend time with the Lord and confess sin and pursue reconciliation with others.

 All of the Jewish “appointed days” point to prophecies (some have been fulfilled and other await fulfillment). Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) points to the time in the future when Israel (as a nation) will repent and look to Messiah in one day (Zechariah 3:9).

 A common saying you may hear from Jewish people in preparation for Yom Kippur is: “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life!” We hope that you have found faith in Messiah and that YOUR name is permanently inscribed in that Book of Life!

 

Rosh HaShana -- the Jewish Year in Review by Rabbi Sacks

Below is an article (in part) by Rabbi Sacks called "On Rosh Hashanah, A breath of Life" (Published in The Forward, September 2014--to the Jewish people)

In the year that we are now parting with, 5774 {by the Jewish calendar}, it became dangerous once again to be a Jew. 

Israel, subject to sustained missile attack, discovered how hard it is to fight an asymmetric war against a terrorist group ruthless enough to place rocket launchers beside schools, hospitals and mosques. It found itself condemned by large sections of the world for performing the first duty of any state, namely to protect its citizens from danger and death. 

Anti-Semitism returned to the streets of Europe. One hundred and twenty years after the Dreyfus trial, the cry “Death to the Jews” was heard again in Paris. Seventy years after the 
Holocaust, the call of “Jews to the gas” was heard in the streets of Germany. There were times when it felt as if the ghost of a past we thought long dead had risen to haunt us. More times than was comfortable I heard Jews say, “For the first time in my life I feel afraid.” 

Israeli tanks near the border

Israeli tanks near the border

Let us stay with those fears and confront them directly. We are not back in the 1930s. To the contrary, for the first time in the almost four thousand years of Jewish history, we have simultaneously independence and sovereignty in the land and state of Israel, and freedom and equality in the Diaspora. Israel is strong, extraordinarily so. The success of the Iron Dome missile defense was the latest in an astonishing line of technological advances —not just military but also agricultural, medical and commercial — designed to protect, save and enhance life. 

Israel has lived with the disdain of the world for a very long time. Even the most lukewarm among us knows that it is infinitely preferable to have a state of Israel and the condemnation of the world than no Israel, no Jewish home, and have the sympathy of the world. 

The unity Israel showed during the Gaza conflict was deeply moving. It reminded us that in a profound existential sense we remain one people. Whether or not we share a covenant of faith, we share a covenant of fate. That is a good state to be in, when we stand before God not just as individuals but as a people. 

As for anti-Semitism, rarely has it been more self-evident that the hate that starts with Jews never ends with Jews. The most significant enemies of the Jews today are the enemies of freedom everywhere. Worldwide we may feel uncomfortable, anxious. But there are parts of 
the world where Christians are being butchered, beheaded, driven from their homes and living in terror. 

As for Muslims, one prominent academic recently estimated that of the hundreds dying daily, at least 90 per cent were doing so at the hands of their fellow Muslims. Bahai are at risk. So are the Yazidis. So in other parts of the world are Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and for that matter atheists. No historian looking back on our time will be tempted to call it the age of tolerance. “Whether or not we share a covenant of faith, we share a covenant of fate.”

Tne message resonates through these days: life. “Remember us for life, King who delights in life, and write us in the book of life for your sake, God of life.” Almost at the end of his life Moses turned to the next generation and said to them: 

Apples and Honey are a tradition of Rosh HaShanah

Apples and Honey are a tradition of Rosh HaShanah

“Choose life, so that you and your children may live.” We take this for granted, forgetting how relatively rare in the history of religion this is. 

Why so? Why, if we believe the soul is immortal, that there is life after death and that this world is not all there is, do we not say so more often and more loudly? Because since civilization began, heaven has too often been used as an excuse for injustice and violence down here on earth. What evil can you not commit if you believe you will be rewarded for it in the world to come? That is the logic of the terrorist and the suicide bomber. It is the logic of those who burned “heretics” at the stake in order, so they said, to save their immortal souls. 

Against this horrific mindset the whole of Judaism is a protest. Justice and compassion have to be fought for in this life not the next. Judaism is not directed to fear of death. It is directed to a far more dangerous fear: fear of life with all its pain and disappointment and unpredictability. It is fear of life, not fear of death, that have led people to create totalitarian states and fundamentalist religions. Fear of life is ultimately fear of freedom. That is why fear of life takes the form of an assault against freedom. 

Against that fear we say from the beginning of Elul to Sukkot {Feast of Tabernacles} that monumental psalm of David: “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom then shall I be afraid?” On Rosh Hashanah we blow the shofar, the one mitzvah (command) we fulfill by the breath of life itself without needing any words. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the “anniversary of creation,” we read in the Torah and haftorah not about the birth of the universe but about the birth of Isaac to Sarah and Samuel to Hannah as if to say, one life is like a universe. One child is enough to show how vulnerable life is – a miracle to be protected and cherished. On Yom Kippur we wear the kittel, a shroud, as if to show that we are not afraid of death. 

Israeli reservist prays near Gaza border July, 2014 

Israeli reservist prays near Gaza border July, 2014 

Never before have I felt so strongly that the world needs us to live this message, the message of the Torah that life is holy, that death defiles, and that terror in the name of God is a desecration of the name of God. “

The state of Israel is the collective affirmation of the Jewish people, a mere three years after emerging from the valley of the shadow of death, that Lo amut ki echyeh, “I will not die but live.” Israel chose life. Its enemies chose the way of death. They even boasted, as did Osama bin Laden, that the love of death made them strong. It did not make them strong. It made them violent. Aggression is not strength; it is a profound self-consciousness of weakness. And the main victims of Islamist violence are Muslims. Hate destroys the hater. 

Today it is not just Israel or Jews whose freedom is at risk. It is the whole of the Middle East, large parts of Africa and Asia, and much of Europe. Therefore let us approach the {Jewish} New Year with a real sense of human solidarity. Let us show, by the way we celebrate our faith, that God is to be found in life. The love of God is love of life. Let us take to heart King David’s insistence that faith is stronger than fear. No empire ever defeated the Jewish people, and no force ever will. 

May God write us, our families, the people and State of Israel and Jews throughout the world, in the book of life. And may the day come when the righteous of all nations work together for the sake of freedom, peace and life. “Let us approach the New Year with a real sense of human solidarity. Let us show, by the way we celebrate our faith, that God is to be found in life. The love of God is love of life. Let us take to heart King David’s insistence that faith is stronger than fear. No empire ever defeated the Jewish people, and no force ever will. 

May God write us, our families, the people and State of Israel and Jews throughout the world, in the book of life. And may the day come when the righteous of all nations work together for the sake of freedom, peace and life. 

Rosh HaShanah and the High Holy Days

The Hebrew month of Elul (August/September) is the month of the “High Holy Days”. The period between Rosh haShana (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is also called “the ten days of awe”, because of the need for introspection and repentance. This yearRosh haShana begins Wednesday evening, September 24th.

IMG_1051.JPG

Rosh haShana (lit. head of the year) heralds the Hebrew month of Tishrei (September/October). Tishrei is Aramaic for “to begin”.

It is celebrated for two days and is seen as a Day of Judgment. On the first day, the tashlich* (“you will cast”) ritual takes place in which “sins” are symbolically cast into open water. People also throw bread and pebbles.

Rosh haShana is a day of rest, like the Shabbat. The sound of the shofar* (ram’s horn) is intended to awaken  people from their “slumber” and alert them to the coming judgment. The days of repentance begin with Rosh haShana and climax at Yom Kippur. Religious Jews believe that even though judgment is pronounced on Rosh haShana, during the following ten days they can mend their ways and alter judgment in their favour. (That is why people are extra nice to each other.)

In the weeks leading up to the holiday, people greet each other with “Shana Tova” (A good year) or “Shana Tova uMetuka” (A good and sweet New Year). Often they add “Gmar Chatima Tova” (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life), referring to the coming Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement.

Apple and honey, symbolizing the sweet New Year is always part of the holiday cuisine. Other symbolic food is a fish head (“head” of the new year) and a round challah, to symbolize the year cycle).

In ancient times, Rosh haShana was the beginning of the economic year. The emphasis was on the agricultural seasons and the pilgrim’s festivals (PesachShavuot and Sukkot). It those days it was only celebrated for one day, instead of the modern two-day holiday. 

Rosh haShana is seen as the anniversary of God’s Creation. On this day, mankind passes before the Creator, like sheep before the shepherd. Three books are opened – the Book of Life, which seals the righteous, who will live; The wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living” (See Psalm 69:29), while those “in between” have until Yom Kippur to repent and become righteous.

By Petra van der Zande

Excerpt from the book: Remember, Observe, Rejoice.  Used with permission.

Two New Revelation Bible Studies Begin Next Week

Book of Revelation - Precept Upon Precept

"What is the Sign of His Coming and of the End of the Age?"

(Chapters 5-22)

The focus of chapters 5-22 is the end times. Through careful observation of the text, discover exactly what God says will take place. Explore the relationship of the book of Revelation to the Gospels -- realize the prophecies and teachings they contain about the last days. 

  • Begins Wednesday, September 17th,  2014,    7 PM. (Co-ed) in Anaheim Hills,
  • Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:15 AM (Women only), Anaheim Hills. 

Both classes end mid January, with another book on Revelation following. Cost $29 (includes workbook). (Part 1 & 2 are not pre requisites). Click here to register.

A Greater Threat--From the North

Below is a letter received from Sally, from our partner congregation in Israel:

Shalom from Kfar Saba!,

I want to update you and give you prophetic perspective from here in Israel.

Last week, once again, Hamas and Israel agreed to a temporary cease fire.  This time it is for 30 days to discuss long-lasting peace.  Interestingly enough, this cease fire was executed exactly 30 days from Rosh Hashanah, which begins September 24th.   If you recall, one of the plans that the Israeli military confiscated, was the plan to cause a pogrom on Israel and her people, to be executed on Rosh Hashanah of this year.  It was to be done through the tunnels that were discovered, and would have involved murder, kidnappings of women and children, and complete devastation to our communities next to Gaza.  Through this discovery, we can only hope that this plan was thwarted.  But only prayer and time will tell.  As of this writing, the cease fire from Gaza is holding.

A new front is in our midst, and that is up North.  Some fear this will be far more devastating to our nation as it involves Hezbollah and Isis.  Already there are rockets flying indiscriminately from Syria and involving the United Nations Peace Keeping forces.  Our forces are prepared, and our people are ready. Now we just wait on the God of Israel, Who never slumbers nor sleeps to watch over us.

While this has certainly been an unusual summer, God is doing amazing miracles!  We have had a few religious Jews come to faith by a dream in the night, and are sharing with others about their new found faith.  In addition, our next generation is responding to your prayers and is developing deeper relationships with Yeshua and each other.

Here are a few prayer points:

  • For God to protect us from terrorist attacks from the south, north and Samaria (just a few days ago, there was a terrorist attack at a border crossing 2 km from us in Kakilia.)
  • For God to direct you and us how to pray for our safety and protection and provision during this time.
  • For our children to be safe in schools and to be a light to those who are fearful due to this summer’s war.
  • For those who are impacted by the war, to be healed from the shock and trauma.

I look forward to what He has in store!

Love you

Sally

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Stand With Israel Music Video

Song For Israel stands with Israel! We want to do more than just stand. We are collecting donations to build a bomb shelter for women and children. We have collected over $2,500 so far and with the Israeli government matching our donations, that is $5,000!  Please click here to learn about our bomb shelter project and donate.

Israeli Responses to the Video:

"I saw your video for Israel and I cried the whole time! It is simply amazing and I have no words! I live in Israel and yes, we are going through a really hard time now. I am in Yerushalaim where thank G-d it is not like in the south (!) but still yesterday we had a siren late at night and had to pull children out of bed, etc... it was scary. But... we know that G-d is with us and with all the good people of the world. I am so so touched by what you did!
Love and blessings,"

"I just want to tell you how much joy and tears your song "Israel, You're Not Alone" brought to me. I am not much of a Facebook person but my wife showed me the video which apparently is touching the souls of so many Jews who are currently feeling very alone in the world, almost like when Hitler came to power. Your song reminds us that we do have real friends, like you, motivated by the belief in the One God, whose words contained in the Torah are absolute truth. You have brought much comfort to me and MANY others and I want to bless you with all of God's blessings, material and spiritual. May the One God grant all of you continued strength to persevere in proclaiming His truth in an upside-down world in which falsehood increasingly reigns.
God bless you and thank you SO much!"

"From Jerusalem, a heartfelt Thank You for your support, your song and your love. Your sincerity is apparent and we hope that your message is heard by many."

"thanks for all your thoughts, efforts and activities. And may G-d be with you and bless you, and may you be enveloped in the peace of those who seek Zion and Jerusalem, especially in the face of those who seek it not. (see Jeremiah 30:17)"

"We are so grateful that you are standing with Israel and the Jewish people. Your son made me cry with joy. It warmed my heart. We are grateful to you for your love and support. Please continue to stand strong!"

"I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful video "Israel You're Not Alone." My brother sent it to me after seeing it on Arutz Sheva, and, aside from at first being slightly confused because you all looked quasi-Jewish, I felt so touched and awed that you would do that for Israel. All those images of people around the world holding signs saying Israel You're Not Alone made me tear up. We always hear about those who are anti-Israel, considering they're usually vocal and violent; it's heartening to see there exists non-Jewish people who recognize that Israel is in the right and aren't afraid to say it. Thank you, thank you!
Now that I've explored your site, I can also commend you on your support of small farmers. So important!
(And as an aside - really nice photos.)"

"I loved everything about it. I also love the fact that you guys are not hate mongers, nothing about what you do is about hating the enemy, its about loving Israel. I was reminded that this is the major difference between us and them and your activities, clearly demonstrate it. Palestinians supporters are about hating Jews and Israel and our supporters are about loving what is good. We will defend the good, hard, but we are defined by loving what is good, not by the need to defend it."

"I just stumbled over your website and I was so moved. To hear about people who love and support my home, who see the beauty and holiness of Yehuda and the Shomron was truly heart-warming. Thank you for taking this rather uncomfortable stand. These are indeed the days leading up to redemption and you have a part in it. May you be blessed."

"My father, grandfather, great grandfather and all of my three sons are/were dedicated orthodox rabbis. So I think I have some acquaintance with what it takes to be a true servant of G-d. Therefore let me testify that I believe with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my might that you are faithful servants of G-d, par excellence. Thank you, and may G-d reward your sacred service with His abundant blessings in this world and the next"

Help Provide a Bomb Shelter for the Women at the Eden Organization in Israel

The Eden Organization is located in the Negev region of Israel, impacting thousands of children and teenagers. However, they do not have a bomb shelter at this facility. Song For Israel is partnering with Operation Lifeshield to provide a shelter for them. The bomb shelter will cost $30,000. Operation Lifeshiled has collected all but $7,000 of thefunds needed to protect those living here. 

Right now, the Israeli government is matching donated dollars. Song For Israel has already raised $2,195 toward this project. After the Israeli government matches this, our gift looks like $4,290. We are very close to being able to provide safety for these needy friends in Israel.  Please watch this video and then click here to donate to this project. Thank you for helping us to bless them!

Children of Netivot, Israel

Rockets keep hitting Israel and in Netivot, the sound of the Code Red siren continues to pierce the stillness of summer. For the children, where activities and summer camp have been cancelled by the IDF, the local park (or parking lot) is where most of the long hours of the day are spent. Last week, between sirens and while rockets fell close-by, Operation Lifeshield delivered more Lifeshield shelters to Netivot.

Song For Israel is helping to raise funds to bring more bomb shelters to Israel to help save lives. Right now, the Israeli government is matching donations we collect. We have already collected over $1,000 from generous donors, which will mean $2,000 to Operation Lifeshield! 

Help save lives today! Click here to donate.

Fighting Without Silver Bullets by Carolyn Glick

Caroline Glick has become one of my favorite writers! Please read this article she has written that gives much food for thought on the Middle East.

Posted By Caroline Glick On August 6, 2014 @ 12:50 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage. Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Hours before Israel accepted the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal on Monday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traveled to the south to try to allay the fears of area residents.

It’s not at all clear how successful he was.

Residents of the communities bordering the Gaza Strip who evacuated their homes are skeptical of the IDF’s claims that it is safe for them to return.

In an interview with NRG website, Yael Paz-Lahiany, a mother of three young children from Kibbutz Nahal Oz just across the border from Gaza professed profound confusion and concern.

“I really don’t understand what is happening here and don’t know what to think. Just on Saturday we had 10 red alerts at Nahal Oz and I don’t know what to say. I also don’t understand what the prime minister said [Saturday].

I just know that I am staying at Kibbutz Dorot, and here too they are operating on emergency footing, the nurseries are only partially open, and no one is going back to normal. So if 10 kilometers from Gaza they haven’t returned to their routine, how are we supposed to go back to our lives 800 meters from the wire?” Israel’s operations in Gaza so far have been based on the hope that Hamas can be convinced to stand down.

Israel has destroyed its tunnels. The IDF killed hundreds of Hamas terrorists. The IDF destroyed Hamas’s bases.

Hamas’s missile arsenal is depleted. Its leaders are safe only so long as they remain hidden in their illegal bunkers under Shifa hospital. Hamas remains cash strapped and without access to resupply from Iran or other allies.

Assuming that Hamas maintains the 72-hour ceasefire that it requested, in negotiations that may ensue for a more detailed cease-fire agreement if the US is unable to coerce Israel and Egypt into agreeing to open the borders and save Hamas, Hamas will be destroyed through attrition.

If this happens, Israel will have won a great victory.

But if Hamas continues to attack southern communities at any level Israel will have no choice. It will have to send its forces back into Gaza with the mission of retaking control there.

There is only one thing worse than reasserting Israel’s military control over Gaza: Losing southern Israel. So long as residents of the south fear returning to their homes, Israel is losing southern Israel.

This looming prospect of having to retake Gaza would be bad enough if Israel only had to concern itself with Gaza. But Israel enjoys no such luxury.

Far more dangerous than Hamas is Hezbollah. Whereas Hamas’s missiles are unguided, Hezbollah has guided missiles that are capable of reaching every centimeter of Israeli territory. And their payloads are big enough to destroy high-rise buildings.

Unlike Hamas, Hezbollah has anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles capable of disrupting air and naval operations.

Hezbollah has drones that it has launched successfully.

And the possibility that Hezbollah has some level of unconventional weapons cannot be ruled out.

Hezbollah commanders and fighters have gained massive experience fighting in Syria and Iraq. They have sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities including human intelligence and signals intelligence assets.

They have advanced command and control systems.

And by all accounts, Hamas’s terror tunnels are nothing in comparison to Hezbollah’s extensive network of tunnels that run beneath the border with Israel.

Hezbollah’s announced war plans involve invading and taking control over communities in the Upper Galilee.

In the face of Hamas’s repeated aggression in recent years, many Israelis are now looking wistfully at our quiet northern border. It was the massive destruction Israel wreaked on Lebanon during the 2006 war, they say, that is responsible for this tranquility. We deterred Hezbollah.

Unfortunately, this is dangerous nonsense that bespeaks a fundamental refusal by those that express this view to reconcile themselves with the nature of Hezbollah and its decision making process.

Hezbollah’s decision to go to war in 2006 was made in Tehran, by Hezbollah’s Iranian masters. The decision not to go to war since has also been made by Tehran.

Tehran decided to deploy Hezbollah to Iraq and Syria.

And Tehran will decide, based on its own sense of priorities, when Hezbollah and its massive arsenal of terror should attack Israel.

The only way that Israel’s operations in 2006 have impacted Hezbollah’s future aggression is by enabling it. Israel agreed to a cease-fire that enabled Hezbollah to rearm, reassert control over southern Lebanon and expand its influence over the Lebanese military and state. Had Israel routed Hezbollah in 2006 or refused to accept the pro-Hezbollah cease-fire terms embodied in UN Security Council resolution 1701 then the situation would be different.

This brings us to Iran, the hidden hand behind the 2006 war, and at least to some degree behind the present war with Gaza, and the direct threat that it constitutes for Israel.

Last month US President Barack Obama bought himself and Iran four more months. Iran can continue to develop its nuclear weapons until after the US midterm election unconstrained by international scrutiny.

Obama can pretend for four more months that he is going to achieve a nuclear deal that will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Israel however, was not given four months.

Without the Iranian nuclear umbrella, Iran’s terror proxies in Gaza were able to develop weapons to attack nearly the entire country. What will they develop if that nuclear umbrella is instated? Prime Minister Netanyahu is correct. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is an existential threat to Israel. And it needs to be wiped out.

Given the threats from Lebanon and Iran, it is clear that Israel’s decision to try to limit its operations in Gaza was necessary. Israel cannot afford to tie its forces down indefinitely. And if Israel is forced to retake control over Gaza, it will need to deploy its forces in such a way that it maintains sufficient reserve capacity to handle Gaza, Lebanon and Iran simultaneously.

This would be challenging enough under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, the situation is made all the more complicated by the Obama administration’s strategic aim of appeasing Iran by enabling it to develop nuclear weapons and by siding with Hamas against Israel and the US’s traditional Sunni Arab allies.

The administration’s unswerving devotion to this policy aim was again clarified on Monday when Palestinian sources at the Cairo talks told the media that the US had again joined forces with Hamas-supporting Qatar to achieve an alternate cease-fire, undercutting Egyptian efforts and giving Hamas reason to walk away from the table.

Just last week the US media lambasted Secretary of State John Kerry for supporting Hamas against Israel in cease-fire negotiations. The fact that the Obama administration continues to act in this manner suggests that it is completely committed to this course of action.

Israel can cope with all of these challenges and surmount them. But it won’t be easy.

In recent days a spate of government ministers and foreign supporters have recommended bevy of options that involve getting someone else to deal with Hamas for Israel. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that Gaza should become a UN mandate.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her colleagues on the Left, joined by former Bush administration deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams say that Fatah can be brought into Gaza to fight Hamas for Israel.

These suggestions are all based on wishful thinking and an extraordinary capacity to ignore reality.

The UN is institutionally committed to delegitimizing and ultimately destroying Israel.

Fatah can only come into Gaza after Hamas has been destroyed completely and driven from leadership by Israel.

Under any other circumstance, Fatah will collaborate with Hamas against Israel, as it has always done. And if Hamas is routed and destroyed Fatah would only destabilize the situation.

The time has come for us to recognize that there are no easy answers for Israel. IDF operations in Gaza in recent weeks have dealt a harsh blow to Hamas. Perhaps the terror commanders have been deterred. Perhaps not.

Whatever the case may be, if Israel and Egypt are able to continue to block US attempts to open the borders for Hamas resupply until Kerry gets swept up in another major crisis, then Hamas can be defeated through attrition.

If not, then Israel will have no choice but to retake control of Gaza while maintaining enough forces in reserve to respond to a second front in the North, and finally end Iran’s dream of becoming a nuclear power.

There are no silver bullets. The price of freedom is hard work and vigilance.

Only if we act in full cognizance of the gravity of the moment and the absence of easy answers will we navigate the minefield we find ourselves in successfully and restore the safety of the south, the north, the east and the center of the country. 

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/caroline-glick/fighting-without-silver-bullets/

Click here to print.

 

Save Lives in Israel - Help NOW With this Emergency Fund

Terrorists are bombarding Israel with rockets that are reaching highly populated areas (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem)!  Lives are being lost. Sirens like the one in the video below are heard on a regular basis and families are running for bomb shelters.

“We live in fear and anxiety….we only have 15 seconds to find a shelter….”

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a bomb shelter. Many do not survive. Even if the Iron Dome intercepts a rocket mid-air, the debris falling is much like bullets being scattered to the earth. Shelter is imperative!

We are stepping up our campaign to build bomb shelters during this time of emergency for Israel. Last year we raised $2,000 and donated it to Operation Lifeshield to build a shelter.  A very small shelter costs $12,000. We need a lot of money to build larger shelters for schools and public places.

Right now, the Israeli Government Ministry is matching funds donated to us for Operation Lifeshield! This new program provides special shelters for social service institutions located in areas hardest hit by rockets launched by Hamas. These matching funds make your donation right now go a lot further to help save lives in Israel.

Please donate NOW during this time of emergency by clicking here.

To read more about our Bomb Shelter project, please click here.

To see a Tribute to the Soldiers Who Have Given their Lives to Protect Israel, click here.

A Tribute to the Soldiers Who Gave Their Lives to Protect Israel

Please pray for the families and friends who have lost loved ones who gave their lives protecting Israel.

Please help save lives in Israel by donating to our Bomb Shelter Campaign.  To read all about it, click here.

How to Pray for Israel

Pray for Israel

Below is a personal report and Prayer Points that we have received from Sally Shiff, representing our partner congregation in Israel called: Kehilat Hamaayan (The Congregation of "The Wellspring.")

Here is what to pray for:

Here is what to pray for:

  • the safety of our soldiers that have been called up for active duty
  • wisdom for each soldier and to listen to the holy spirit where to turn, where to look
  • wisdom for the leaders of the military to make accurate decisions
  • wisdom for our Government to make decisions and not capitulate to foreign countries due to lack of accurate information
  • salvation for not only the Jews but Arabs as well
  • for all of us to find the heart of God
  • to live in the shelter of His care
  • pray against fear and shock and trauma
  • for this not to escalate out of revenge but to trust in the arm of God.

 A personal note from Sally at the Hamaayan Congreagation in Israel:

On a "how am I doing note", I am fine...for the most part.  I have moments of realization that my country is at war, and that is taxing.  It feels the same way the days after 9/11 did, just to give you a reference. The longer this takes, the longer the times of this "feeling" lingers.  At the same time, I feel the encouragement of the Lord and the joy of being there for others.  But, focused in on daily life only to be shocked by the instant alarms is a reality that I, growing up in Tucson, would have never imagined I would come to know. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in the south where they are getting rockets every 6 minutes. This has brought me closer to His secret place even more, and that is priceless.  And the appreciation for everyday life has grown immensely. This letter was cathartic, and I am grateful for your prayers...I can feel them, and God uses them to sustain me. 

Thank you! Sally

Liaison for Hamaayan

http://www.kehilat-hamaayan.org.il/

Sally will be visiting us in Orange County this coming December...watch for information about that upcoming event in our Song For Israel newsletter.

Here is a note from Rachel, of the same congregation:

Shalom and thank you for your prayers and for your encouragement. We pray God's work in our hearts as a Nation, as well as in the Palestinians. may the Lord use this terrible situation to bring many to His kingdom, using His vessels both in Israel and in Gaza.

About half an hour ago, around 9PM here, while I was bathing my 2 year old boy, we heard the sirens again today, indicating

we should run to the bomb shelter just across the street. We couldn't do that, than we heard the strong noise of the Iron Dome intercepting the missiles coming from Gaza in this direction. We have no idea yet where it fell, but we can only be grateful for God's protection.

 

Important Update -- The War in Israel

God made a special promise to Israel that they can cling to in these times of war: "Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand....The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever" (Psalm 121).  Because God NEVER breaks His promises, of any kind, we know He is keeping watch over the war that is going on in Israel.

Today is Day 21 in the Israel/Palestinian war.  In a nutshell here is what is going on:

  • There have been several cease-fire agreements between Hamas and Israel, yet Hamas continues to rocket Israel during cease fires. The UN is asking Israel to agree to longer cease fires, but Israel is limiting any humanitarian cease fires to short periods of time since cease fires are not respected by Hamas.
  • Gallup Poll was taken on July 24, 2014, to determine "American's View of Actions in the Middle East." Following are those responses: 
    • 42% of Americans feel Israeli actions against Hamas are justified; 39% unjustified and 20% have no opinion
    • 11% of Americans feel that Hamas' actions against Israel are justified; 70% feel they are unjustified and 20% have no opinion
  •  The Iron Dome continually intercepts rockets over Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
Iron Dome Launches Interceptor

Iron Dome Launches Interceptor

  • There have been over 1,000 Palestinians killed in this war and 43 Israelis. God is protecting Israel, however, the world is crying out "genocide" against Israel. Israel has a right to protect itself when they are being constantly hit by Hamas rockets. Israel is focusing on destroying the cement tunnels built by Hamas that are running throughout Israel and planted with explosives. 
  • Israel's Health Ministry offered humanitarian aid worth millions of shekels to the Gaza Strip, but the Palestinian Authority has refused to accept it.
Protest in solidarity with Gaza in Chicago

Protest in solidarity with Gaza in Chicago

  • There was a protest in solidarity with Gaza in Chicago, Illinois, on July 20, 2014. America is divided because many have not studied the issues carefully.

    Solidarity with Gaza Rally in Chicago, Illinois

  • Syrian troops want to join with Palestinians in jihad war against Israel.

  • Hamas negotiating with Korea to obtain additional weapons to be used against Israel.

  • In a phone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama stressed need for "immediate" Gaza cease-fire.

Please pray for Israel, it's leaders and their enemies--that they may seek God's face.