BTW, considering the subject of the kingdom of heaven and the establishment of the physical messianic kingdom on earth in Israel, at present and during the past couple of hours a large area of southern Israel has been under heavy bombardment by missiles fired from Gaza. I’ve spent a portion of that time in my home’s concrete-reinforced shelter room. So far, all but a few of these missiles have been intercepted and destroyed by the Iron Dome defense system (Baruch HaShem!). The few that landed have not injured anyone or caused serious damage. They have reached, however, as far as the northern suburbs of Jerusalem, as well as to Tel-Aviv, and the alert sirens have blared from BeerSheva to Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Hamas claims to have fired toward Haifa, but I have not yet seen any reports confirming that their missiles can actually reach that far. Nonetheless, this is a time for intensive prayer for the continued protection of Israeli citizens, and success for the IDF efforts to destroy Hamas’ capabilities to continue waging war against civilian populations in this or any manner.
July 8, 2014 at 3:12 p.m.
It all seemed to start with the kidnapping and subsequent murder of three Jewish teenagers, Gilad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrah, perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. This horrible and tragic event brought Israeli Jews and Jews in the diaspora together in a way that hasn’t happened for a long time. While the IDF made a concerted effort to find the perpetrators, the military and public response was remarkably restrained. Believe me, as a father and grandfather, if one of mine were brutally murdered in what we call in the United States, “a hate crime,” I’d have wanted blood.
But I’m not as noble as the families of the victims.
Apparently in revenge for the killings, a 16-year-old Palestinian named Mohammed Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and found burned to death. Although there were early allegations that Abu Khdeir, supposedly gay, had been murdered by other Palestinians in an “honor killing” and then blame shifted to Jewish Israelis, the latest report is that six Jewish suspects were arrested. It is still highly disputed in some circles that the suspects are the actual killers and that police are covering up for Arab perpetrators, perhaps to stop or at least inhibit the Palestinian rioting that has broken out since Mohammed’s burnt body was discovered.
I heard that one of the mothers of the Jewish victims reached out to Mohammed’s mother, but I can’t find that story online just now (speaking of people more noble than I am), but I do know that Mohammed’s parents refused a visit by President Shimon Peres. In fact, unlike the mothers of the Jewish boys, Mohammed’s mother called for violent revenge against Jews.
If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know where my bias lies in all this, but I’m not writing my “meditation” to bash Palestinians, but rather, to try to put all of this together.
I received the following email from Judith R. in response to my recent Shabbat Shalom Weekly:
“And no word condemning the despicable murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and referring to him by his name??? What kind of Rabbi are you? Wasn’t he also created in God’s image?”
Of course she is right.
The juxtaposition of attitudes is startling.
But “attitudes” aren’t all people are worrying about in Israel just now.
Some 120 rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel on Tuesday, the first day of the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge.
IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner told the AFP news agency that 23 of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, with most of the rest exploding on open ground causing no damage or casualties.
Hamas upped the ante on Tuesday and extended the range of the rockets.
“120 Rockets Fired at Israel During Day 1 of Operation”
First published 7/9/2014, 1:15 a.m.
Hamas has vowed revenge after an attempt to use Palestinian civilians as human shields resulted in several fatalities, as Israeli Air Force planes targeted the home of a Hamas commander.
Gazan emergency services claim Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 15 people on Tuesday and wounded 80 others, as the military began an aerial campaign against terrorists in the Strip and prepares for a potential ground offensive.
-Ari Soffer, Dalit Halevi, and AFP
“Hamas Vows Revenge After Use of Human Shields Goes Awry”
First published 7/8/2014, 5:29 p.m.
Struggling to maintain the banner of ‘resistance’, the Gazan terror group is firing at Israel in the hope Ramallah and Cairo will hear its plea for help.
“Hamas decides to go for broke”
Published 7/8/2014, 4:02 p.m.
Times of Israel
And America’s response to all of this?
Hamas terrorists kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was a U.S. citizen.
These jihadist terrorists murdered kids. Yet, the reaction of the Obama Administration has been an absolute disgrace.
Remember, a U.S. citizen was just murdered (along two other Israeli teens) by Palestinian terrorists – known brutal terrorist who routinely fire rockets at Israeli civilians – and the Obama Administration responded by urging restraint.
In fact, President Obama actually urged “all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation.”
Destabilize? Hamas terrorists killed an American teen and all this Administration is concerned about is that things may destabilize?
“President Obama Responds to Hamas Terrorists’ Murder of American Teen with “Strongest Possible” Meaningless Words”
July 1, 2014, 12:47 p.m.
OK, that last story is over a week old, but to the best of my information, America hasn’t become more involved diplomatically or in any other way since Hamas started firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians in an all out attempt to provoke other Arab forces to join the violence against Israel.
I do know that although the American press was exceptionally silent about the death of the three Jewish teens, it prominently posted stories regarding Mohammed:
Several Israeli Jewish suspects were arrested Sunday in connection with the killing of a Palestinian teen, Israeli police said.
“Investigation continuing, strong indication a nationalistic incident,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted about the death of Mohammed Abu Khedair.
Rosenfeld told CNN that those arrested were Israeli Jews.
-Kareem Khadder, Ben Wedeman, and Steve Almasy CNN
“Israel arrests several suspects in killing of Palestinian teen”
updated 11:21 a.m., Monday, 7/7/2014
If I can be said to have a bias in this situation, so can the American news media…and perhaps the American President.
Amazingly, even in the midst of a war zone, life goes on in Israel:
Making Aliyah is never an easy task, and leaving family, friends and memories behind is enough of a challenge for any new oleh.
But imagine making Aliyah under fire.
That is precisely what 26-year-old Becky Kupchan – one of the 64 new olim who arrived today from the USA – is doing. She is moving from Chicago straight to the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva, despite the fact that the city, like other Negev communities, is currently being rocked by waves of rocket-fire from Gaza.
“Making Aliyah Under Fire”
First published 7/8/2014, 8:06 p.m.
Where am I going with all this? By the time you read this tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, everything I’ve written will be old news. Things could get better or things could get worse. Or things could get much, much worse.
I think of my friends in Israel. I won’t embarrass anyone by naming names. But I’m not limited to my personal feelings for friends and acquaintances. If Israel is under attack, then so are all Jews everywhere. My wife is Jewish. So are my two sons and my daughter. At different times, my wife and my daughter have visited Israel. What if they were visiting there now?
But as I said, Jews are under attack all over the world. If Arab Muslims are firing rockets at Jews in Israel, they are at war with all Jews. The rest of the world, if they/we don’t stand up against terrorism and against this rabid series of rocket launches, are offering tacit approval of this war.
And what’s going to happen when Israel seriously strikes back as the operation continues? If this were happening in America, how long would even the person we have now in the White House stand by and let innocent people be endangered before firing back with all the might in our arsenals, eliminating the hostile forces and everything (everyone) else in the way?
Most of you reading this blog post have never been under fire unless you have served in the military or in law enforcement. How would you like to hear a siren in the middle of the night and have fifteen seconds to get to shelter because after that, it becomes distinctly possible you could be killed in a missile explosion?
Such things don’t happen in America, in Canada, in most or all western nations. They are happening right now in Israel.
It started (this time) with an act of terrorism and cold-blooded murder that took the lives of three innocent Jewish teenage boys. It escalated with what appears to be a completely misguided revenge killing of another innocent teenager, a Palestinian. And then all hell broke loose.
I can only record how this began, I can’t tell you how it will end. Well, I can tell you that it will end, ultimately end.
“A song of ascents. Of David. Had it not been for Hashem Who was with us, let Israel declare now. Had it not been for Hashem Who was with us when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us raw when their anger was kindled against us. Then the waters would have washed us away; illness would have passed over our soul. Then the wicked waters would have passed over our soul. Blessed is Hashem, Who did not give us as prey for their teeth. Our soul escaped like a bird from the hunters’ snare; the snare broke, and we escaped. Our help is in the name of Hashem, Who made heaven and earth.”
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.