Jerusalem on Fire

January 22, 2022
Jerusalem On Fire

‘For thus the LORD has spoken to me:
“As a lion roars,
And a young lion over his prey
(When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, He will not be afraid of their voice
Nor be disturbed by their noise),
So the LORD of hosts will come down
To fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
Like birds flying about,
So will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem.
Defending, He will also deliver it;
Passing over, He will preserve it.”’

— Isaiah 31: 4-5

“If a land can have a soul, Jerusalem is the soul of the Land of Israel.” — David Ben Gurion

PRESS TIME NEWS: On November 26 the United Kingdom proscribed all of Hamas, including its hitherto exempted “political wing,” as a terrorist organisation. Five days earlier Australia designated the entirety of the Iranian-spawned Lebanese group Hizb’Allah a terrorist movement. Hamas’s political wing is also in Australia’s sights.

In the previous edition of this publication, I alerted uninformed Christian readers to the now near-unstoppable creation of a State of Palestine in the heart of Israel’s ancestral land; a process being bankrolled to the tune of billions of euros by the European Union.

What we see happening on the ground across the “West Bank” is cause for real alarm that should galvanise us, pro-Israel Christians, into strongly opposing our governments’ support for the “Two-State Solution” (TSS).
As with ‘solutions to the Jewish question’ that have gone before—both in the minds of their designers and in their goal—this one is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel and, thus, to the survival of the Jews as a nation.

Palestine is a weapon designed to destroy the Jewish state.

Turning now to Jerusalem—the heart and soul of the Land of Israel:

If smoke from the fire of illegal Arab occupation and construction is rising across Judea and Samaria, which it is, then the flames are already licking their way through Jerusalem neighbourhoods and burning with growing intensity around the Temple Mount.

Hamas—the self-proclaimed “defender of Jerusalem” and “liberator of Al-Aqsa”—ignited, has fanned and will continue to pour fuel on that fire until Palestine with Jerusalem (Al Quds) as its capital is theirs.
In recent weeks, the Israeli government has firmly asserted Israel’s exclusive claim to Jerusalem. Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid have been adamant that Israel will not agree to a US consulate for Palestinian Arab affairs in the city.

This sounds good, but then Bennett is also on the record as saying that he opposes the TSS.
So his current efforts to resuscitate the Palestinian Authority (PA)—backed by Lapid and Defence Minister Benny Gantz—belie his words.

It made mistakes, but the effectual strategy of the previous government was to keep the PA in a state of limbo, insisting that there was no partner for peace in that structure, working to cut off its foreign funding and, with the signing of the Abraham Accords, voiding the ‘Palestinian veto’ that sought to prevent Israel forming alliances with other Arab states.

At the same time, Israel kept a loaded gun pointed at the head of Hamas, cocking the hammer and shooting every time rockets were fired at Israeli communities around Gaza. This approach, while not sustainable in the long-term, saw Israelis enjoying interludes of security unparalleled in their modern history.

Bennett has switched from this. After securing Israel’s budgets in early November, he swung attention to his new policy towards the Arabs in Samaria, Judea and Gaza:

We will strengthen the PA and thereby resume negotiations with it on the question of Palestinian statehood.
And we will weaken Hamas.

To this end, Lapid (who is set to become prime minister 20 months from now) and Gantz wants other nations to pour money into the PA/PLO.

Addressing a conference at UCLA on November 22, Gantz asserted that by investing financially in the PA the international community “will contribute to peace and stability and enable us to continue building the foundation for our common future.”

Those who know Israel’s history can only gasp at such naivete. It’s a solidly established fact that the only future the Palestinian Arabs are interested in is a judenrein one.

More to the immediate point, however: the horse Bennett has chosen to back is lame. The PA, led by Mahmoud Abbas, long ago lost the majority support of Arabs whose allegiance is today consistently with Hamas. This is the fiery reality in the regions all around Jerusalem—Gaza to the south-west, Judea to the south, Samaria to the north, and now the capital itself.

Writes The Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled Abu Toameh, “Like many Palestinians… the predominantly Muslim residents of … Jerusalem is part of a conservative and religious society that supports any group that is associated with Islam. The PA, by contrast, is loathed … because it is regarded as a corrupt secular regime that operates in violation of Islamic teachings.”

“When Palestinians are told on a daily basis that the Jews are ‘defiling’ the Aqsa Mosque and plotting to squeeze the Arabs out of Jerusalem, many rallies around Hamas, and not the PA. The PA, in other words, is driving many Palestinians, including East Jerusalemites, into the open arms of its rivals in Hamas.” Which renders Bennett’s policy bankrupt.

this one is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel and, thus, to the survival of the Jews as a nation

Hamas’s already overwhelming popularity skyrocketed following its May 2021 missile attacks on Jerusalem, which it claimed to put an end to sovereign Israeli actions there.

And most recently, Hamas showed that it can strike at will in the heart of the city.

On November 21, a short distance from the Temple Mount, a senior member of Hamas’s so-called political wing who has openly engaged in anti-Israel violence, shot to death 26-year-old Eliyahu (Eli) Kay.

Those who knew Eli described him as a warm and friendly young man whose life’s journey epitomised Zionism—his recent immigration from South Africa, his sacrificial commitment to his people—the Jews—and the deep love-tie that bound him to the land of Israel.

Eliyahu Kay (Photo: Twitter/@FarukOnalan)

Eli loved Jerusalem.

His name, Eliyahu, means “YHWH is God”. The Bible calls the hilltop behind the Western Wall where he worked “The Mountain of YHWH.”

It is the Jews’ holiest site.

The man who killed Eli was Fadi Abu Shahidam. His name is tied to the word shahid—martyr. Muslim martyrs are those who die in the act of killing for Allah.

Abu Shahidam lived in Jerusalem and taught Islamic studies at an Arab school for boys that—almost bizarrely—is run by Israel’s Ministry of Education. He was daily at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount where he led Muslim tours and instigated protests against visiting Jewish groups. He also participated in riots against the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

And, as mentioned, Abu Shahidam was a high-grade representative of Hamas.

The killer’s popularity was evidenced in mosque prayer services held in his honour after the attack, and the praise heaped upon him by the Hamas leadership in Gaza, where candy was distributed in celebration of his crime.

The evening after the attack, Arabs marched brazenly in Jerusalem, waving Hamas flags and proclaiming their allegiance to the terrorist organisation and its Izzadin al-Khassam armed wing.

Israel could do nothing to stop them. Or if it could, it didn’t. A twisted irony: while the political wing of Hamas is now beyond the pale in the UK, and soon, hopefully, in Australia—its members and leaders are pursuing their aims in Israel—and in Israel’s capital.

Here’s the unvarnished truth:

More ardently than most Christians hope in the Biblically-foretold destiny of Jerusalem; more fervidly than millions of Jews (including most Knesset members) believe that Jerusalem will indeed eternally be their undivided capital—the Muslim Palestinian Arabs know that Allah will give them Al Quds, and that the Jews are destined to burn.

The Land of Israel and the City of the great King are in peril. Yet, by and large—as best as I can tell—the vast majority of Christians today are engaged in other matters.

During the Second World War, most were caught up in other matters too—especially in the situation facing their own nations. This was natural enough.

But the terrible result was that while the Church was thus occupied, the Jewish people came horrifyingly close to being wiped out.

Many of us who were born after that war have wondered, ashamed, how Christendom could have been silent, and have asked ourselves what we would have done.

Let us learn the lesson—and ask the Lord what He asks of us. If the Church was largely silent in the 1930s and ‘40s, let Christians who say they stand with Israel not be observers on the sidelines this time.
The God of Israel intends to fight Allah with a far more devastating blaze.

As He says:

‘In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.’ (Zechariah 12:6)

And His holy hill? That small piece of real estate at the heart of the battle? His purpose for Moriah is locked-in:

‘Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of YHWH’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the Word of YHWH from Jerusalem.’ (Isaiah 2:2-3)

Yes, He will assuredly do it, but there is a battle raging, and we who believe are not called to spectate; we are the Lord’s hands and feet and mouthpieces—He involves us in the performing, the outworking, of His Word.
So may we be willing to have Him show us how right now, in His name, we are to take our stand on the walls of Jerusalem and make it clear to the world Whose side we are on.


Stan Goodenough

Stan Goodenough: is a South African gentile who has lived in Jerusalem for a quarter of a century. A Christian journalist, writer and tour guide, he believes passionately that Australia is being offered a unique opportunity to lead the way in supporting Israel’s God given and legitimate right to extend sovereignty over its restored land.

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