Shalom from a very different Israel than what we had one month ago. Back then, we were mired in political friction. There was a huge divide over judicial reform with threats being leveled from all sides. Culturally, we were not just two different countries with a conservative population and a liberal population, but we had countless subgroups centered around religious beliefs and lifestyle choices and ethnic backgrounds. When I looked at my nation back then, I felt incredible sorrow. We were a nation fighting an internal war and I could see my country falling apart.
That is no longer so. When you look at Israel now, you see one country, one people. We are Israelis, and if you harm one of us, you harm us all. As a nation, we were attacked. As a nation, we were murdered and tortured and kidnapped. And as a nation, we will have our vengeance on those who perpetrated these heinous acts on our children, our elderly, our women, and our men. We will also ensure that those who attacked us will never have the capability to do it again, because we know that if they could, they would. Hamas didn’t just “get this out of their system” and now they’re ready to play nice. They are the same evil, antisemitic Nazis they have always been, and they will not be satisfied until every Jew has been pushed into the sea.
That’s not going to happen.
“But, Amir, you are a believer in Jesus. Shouldn’t you turn the other cheek?” I will answer that in two ways. First, nowhere in Scripture is a nation told to turn the other cheek. There is no Bible passage that tells a government that they must accept the evil done to it and respond in love. In fact, throughout Scripture it is the State that is used by God as His weapon against evil. Currently, Israel is that weapon in God’s hand, and He is using it to eradicate the demonic terrorists who carried out such vile and malicious crimes against innocents.
Second, as believers we have a responsibility to protect the innocent. Yes, Jesus said that turning the other cheek is the correct action when struck. But He said that in a certain context and in relation to a specific situation. If I am being attacked and I feel it is appropriate to respond to my attacker in love, then I should do so. But if a child is being attacked, my response must be protection of the innocent by whatever means is necessary and proper.
Israel’s actions meet that “necessary and proper” criteria to protect the innocent and eradicate evil. More and more nations are going to soon find themselves in the same situation making the same types of choices, because this radical antisemitism and, in many circumstances, its accompanying universalist Islamist vision is not going to remain localized to the Middle East. This war is a global event, and it has ramifications around the world.
The Israeli ground assault is continuing in Gaza. The plan is to cut the Gaza Strip in two, which will allow the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to wrap around and eventually surround Shifa hospital – the main hospital in Gaza. Now, New York Times, before you start saying, “See, we told you that Israel likes to bomb hospitals,” let me tell you why they are doing that. Within that hospital compound, built both above and below ground, are Hamas’s main headquarters. If Israel really didn’t care about civilians, they would have dropped a few bunker buster bombs on the Shifa property and been done with it. Instead, they are making a risky maneuver so that they can target Hamas terrorists, all the while announcing what they are going to do so that the hospital and the surrounding area can be emptied of civilians. Once again, we see the difference between Hamas and the IDF. Hamas targets innocent civilians. The IDF warns civilians so that they can escape. The reason non-combatants are killed is because Hamas forces them to remain behind to maintain the human shield, and so that they can use their bodies afterward as propaganda for the world’s media.
Gaza has had billions of dollars poured into it. Where has it all gone? First, to the Hamas leaders. Hamas Deputy Chairman Mousa Abu Marzuk is worth $3 billion, former Chairman Khaled Mashal is worth $4 billion, and current Chairman Ismail Haniyeh is also worth $4 billion. It’s understandable, though, because it takes a lot of money to pay for their luxury housing in Turkey and Qatar. I mean you couldn’t expect them to live in Gaza amongst the riff-raff, could you? Most of the remaining money went to the construction of an intricate, multi-leveled system of 1300 tunnels that stretch for 500 kilometers (311 miles) and reach 70 meters deep (229 feet).
The flaw in this tunnel system is that it needs gas for generators to power the ventilation system. So, while there is food and water in Gaza, as well as electricity in most areas, gas is very difficult to find. This is because the IDF has confiscated all the gas they can find. No gas, no ventilators. No ventilators, no air. No air, the terrorists will be forced to scurry out of their holes where they will surrender or be killed.
Lebanon and Syria
Iran desperately wants their militias in southern Syria to do something directed at Israel. But so far there has only been the occasional rocket or artillery fire. Hezbollah in Lebanon is receiving the same pressure from Iran. The skirmishes across the Lebanese/Israeli border have been more intense that those with Syria but have still mostly been in the form of rockets and airstrikes. However, there have been border breaches that had to be dealt with by the IDF. Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of Hezbollah, has announced that he will make a very important speech Friday at 3:00 PM. The speculation is that he will declare Hezbollah’s entrance into the war.
This would be unfortunate for two reasons. First of all, the Lebanese don’t want war. Most civilians in Lebanon are good, hard-working people who are in the unfortunate situation of having their country commandeered by a terrorist organization whose puppet strings are being pulled by Iran’s radical Islamist regime. Maybe this will be the catalyst for the people to finally rise up and oust Hezbollah. The second reason Nasrallah should think carefully before entering the fray is that him doing so would be a fatal mistake. Because of the organization and training of Hezbollah, it would likely take more Israeli lives to end Hezbollah. But rest assured, by the time the IDF has finished, there would be no more Hezbollah and no more Hassan Nasrallah. Last night, Ismail Qaani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), visited Beirut, likely to discuss Hezbollah’s involvement in the next phase of the war. Please pray that this front does not open wide.
The Houthis of Yemen have declared war against Israel. You may wonder why this 50,000-strong rebel army based 1000 miles away from Israel is declaring war. Because they, too, are funded and directed by the ayatollahs in Tehran. These extremist Shiites have long-range ballistic rockets, and they have fired them at Israel. At least one was destroyed by a US Navy ship. Another was taken out while still in space by Israel’s new Arrow-3 hypersonic anti-ballistic missile system. So far, they have just fired missiles at Israel. But if one of those ballistic missiles finds its target, there will be mass casualties.
What do all of Israel’s enemies have in common? A fealty to Iran. The Iranians have a superiority complex when it comes to their fellow Middle Easterners. If there is dirty work to be done, they would much rather it was Arab hands that did it. Their Persian hands are too finely manicured for grunt work. That is why they created the militias. Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Houthis, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, and all the others, they are all the Persians’ fighting force, because it’s no use spilling Iranian blood when there are so many Arabs just hanging around. I know my words sound harsh and incredibly callous, but they are one hundred percent accurate when it comes to the attitude of the Islamist regime in Tehran. If Hezbollah and the militias in Syria attack from the north, Israel knows who will be behind it. When the time is right, there will be a reckoning.
The Egyptian government is finally opening a field hospital on their side of the Rafah crossing. What they are not doing is opening wide their gates to an influx of Gazans. Why? Because they know the violence and trouble that comes with them. The Egyptian prime minister is so determined to keep Gazans out of the country that he recently said that he is prepared to sacrifice millions of lives to protect the border from Palestinians. When it comes to relations with Israel, there continues to be the same surface coolness between the two countries. Yet, behind the scenes there is secret cooperation.
Jordan remains at peace with Israel. Their concern is with the missiles in Syria and Iraq, and they have asked the US to deploy Patriots to protect the skies above their country.
Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain
Each of these countries has made it clear that the Abraham Accords are here to stay. Both Russia and Iran want to drive a wedge between the Saudis and Israelis because of energy, but their ploys are not working. The UAE indicated that a strong relationship with Israel is “our future”, while the Bahrainis said keeping a relationship with Israel is in their common interest. Remember, when the Ezekiel 38 War launches, these countries will remain out of the battle, and will strongly criticize those nations that attack Israel.
United States of America
The US has been Israel’s best friend through this fight, and we are very grateful for their help. Unfortunately, American bases in Syria and Iraq are paying the price. On an almost hourly basis, Iranian militias are attacking the US military with rockets and suicide drones, and the American casualties are mounting. As concerning as these developments are overseas, I am just as worried for the US mainland. So many terrorists have merged into the constant immigrant flow, and now the FBI has announced that they are very nervous about attacks taking place in US cities that are inspired by what Hamas did on October 7. There is also a new cultural divide taking place between virulent Palestinian supporters and those who criticize the horrors that Hamas perpetrated. Much of this ignorant hatred is originating in American academia.
There is a massive division between Europeans and the enormous Muslim population that now exists in their cities due to an open border policy. The tension between the old guard and the newcomers is getting stronger. For so long, European governments refused to admit there was a problem, but as Ayn Rand once said, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” I’m afraid that those consequences are just around the corner. It well may be the war in Israel that pushes Europe over the brink. As the anti-Israel protests swell and the number of Jewish houses that are being spraypainted with Stars of David grows, it is very likely that some flashpoint will occur which will set the streets on fire.
On paper, Turkey and Israel are allies. But President Erdogan wants to be seen as a strong Muslim leader. Just this past week at a massive rally celebrating Turkish independence, he took the opportunity to go on a very antisemitic rant, including making it clear that he didn’t consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization. But even as he says those things, he allows two American B-1 bombers to land in Turkey in case they are needed against Hezbollah. Erdogan is trying to straddle two worlds, but he will have to choose one side or another soon. Again, because we know Ezekiel 38, we recognize that it will not be Israel’s side.
Jewish People Around the World
All the Hollywood Jews had a very bad day last week when they suddenly woke up and realized that being liberal and progressive is not enough. Many discovered that their friends had begun to abandon them for the sin of being Jewish. They thought that the world was beyond hating Jews just because they are Jews. But the world was just taking a little break. Now antisemitism is back in vogue. In Germany, cases of antisemitism have risen 240%; in Austria, 300%; South Africa, 720%; and the UK, 1351%.
There is a dark cloud covering the world right now. Standing with Israel is soon going to exact a price. It may be relational. It may become physical. What we are seeing is symptomatic of the growing influence of the enemy. It is truly diabolical, and you will not understand it until you put your spiritual glasses on. But it is what we as believers expect because we know that this world is being prepared for the day when there will be a single leader who will rise up with the power of Satan himself. And in that day, all who are still left in this world will follow him.
You do not want to be around when that happens, because it will be a period when God’s judgment will come down upon this world. It will be a time unlike any other, when the Lord sets out to discipline His people and punish those who have rejected Him. But you don’t have to be here. The Bible tells us that salvation is a matter of believing and receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you want to know more about how to become a follower of Jesus, follow this link.
On a very personal note, may I please ask you for prayer for my heart and my mind. With all the evil that I am exposed to, I am constantly under attack. The little sleep I get is often filled with visions and scenarios of the horrors that I have seen. I do not fear for myself or my nation. God is prepared to fight our battle for us. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). My request is simply for the Lord to give me occasional relief from the oppressive effects of witnessing such darkness and that He grants me some blessed sleep uninterrupted by violent dreams. Thank you, and may God bless you for praying.
Once again, I will leave you with a list of resources:
Special Israel Prayer Meetings – Please join us today and tomorrow at 10:00 AM PDT for a prayer time when we will be lifting Israel up before the Lord. With Hassan Nasrallah possibly announcing Hezbollah’s intentions in the war, the church must be gathering to pray for God’s people. Details can be found HERE.
My Telegram Channel – a constant flow of news throughout the day. Subscribe to my channel to make sure you know exactly what is going on.
“Special Middle East Update: The War in Israel” – recorded yesterday, this gives you much more detail on the situation in Israel and beyond than was possible in this newsletter.
Tune in for the premiere of my teaching, “The Unknown God”, tomorrow at 12:00 PM PDT. This was filmed on location in Greece, revisiting the Apostle Paul’s encounter with the people of Athens nearly 2,000 years ago, proclaiming to them that the God of creation can indeed be known!
Out of the Far North – this third novel in my Nir Tavor Mossad Series looks at Russia’s role in the growing tension in the Middle East and their animosity toward Israel which will one day explode into war. Like the previous two bestsellers, they present both biblical truth and geopolitical realities in an action-packed story exciting enough to have had my previous novel, By Way of Deception, nominated as an ECPA Christy Award finalist for 2023.
Discovering Daniel – so much of what is taking place in the Middle East ties in with the Old Testament book of Daniel. This book, a prequel of sorts to my bestselling Revealing Revelation, is available for preorder leading up to its May 7, 2024 release.
Photo credit: By Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages, CC BY-SA 3.0, link
Amir Tsarfati, a Jewish Christian, is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.