By: Lonnie Mings, Israel News Digest—
Seven Israelis and a number of Palestinians have been killed in the past two weeks of bloodshed. The Palestinian dead include 10 knife-wielding assailants, police said, as well as children and protesters shot in violent demonstrations.
Many people who support Israel have denounced what they called biased reporting about the violence in Israel.
“A terrorist is a terrorist, whether it’s a terrorist who is flying a plane into the World Trade Center or whether it’s somebody walking up to somebody else and putting a screwdriver into them, or a knife, or some other instrument, really just because of who they are. That’s terrorism and that needs to be reported exactly the same way. Here in the US, if we were to report on the current activities going on in Israel the way we did back on September 11, the way it would look would be a bunch of terrorists were hurt flying into the Trade Center.”
The US State Department suggested Israel may have used excessive force to confront Palestinian stabbings, and “they didn’t like to see that.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was using legitimate force and any other country would do the same to deal with “people wielding knives, meat cleavers, and axes, trying to kill people on their streets”.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Washington of “misreading” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying shooting knife-wielding Palestinians was self-defense. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the US remarks “foolish”.
The violence has been triggered in part by Palestinian anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is Islam’s holiest site outside Saudi Arabia and is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Temples.
The violence has been exacerbated by inflammatory remarks made by PA President Abbas, who has apparently given up on trying to make peace with Israel and has been urging his people to attack Israelis.
He recently accused Israeli Defense Forces of “executing” a Palestinian teenager, who, in fact, isn’t even dead. He is currently in a hospital in Jerusalem, being treated for injuries he sustained when he was shot by soldiers after he stabbed two Jewish people – one his own age – a teenager, 13 years old.
What is taking place now verges on an “Intifada” (shaking, with the intent to cast off Israel hegemony over the Palestinian areas). This writer and his wife lived through two violent Intifadas in Israel, but hoped to never see a third. Those living there, be they Jews or non-Jews, never know, when they step out of their houses, whether they will return alive or not.
Hundreds Rally for Israel in New York City
On a brighter note, a Reuters article, which appeared in the Jerusalem Post on October 15, reported that a pro-Israel rally was held in New York across the street from the Consulate General of Israel. There were about two hundred people in the crowd who shouted, “We stand with Israel,” waved Israeli flags, and held signs reading, “Israel, we are with you.”
Rabbi Avi Weiss, who organized the rally said, “Jews are being murdered because they are Jews, in Israel. And this is the time to cry out and say enough is enough is enough…Those who are silent, like our own government that is much too silent, the governments of the world – silence is complicity.”
Rabbi Weiss went on to say, “I would like to see the President himself speak out much more often and with much more force about the horror felt by American citizens. Rabbi Henkin, who was murdered as he was driving in his car with his wife, [and four children in the back seat], is an American citizen. I don’t feel that sense of pain coming from the White House. And I don’t feel it from a block away from the United Nations. The world is silent.”
Talia Friedman, who was at the rally, said, “For me it’s about showing solidarity with Israel and the people who are under terrorist attacks, to show solidarity. Especially in New York where we understand what it’s like to be a victim of terror. We are here to say we are sorry for what you [Israel] are going through and we hope there is a peaceful resolution.”
Let us cry out to God for peace in the Middle East, especially in that land which He chose to watch over and give to Israel. The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that the land often called “Palestine” was given to Israel. We believe that this is all part of God’s unfolding plan – as painful as it is at the moment. But His promises are sure:
“I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities, and live in them….I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God” (Amos 9:14,15).