Amir Tsarfati: We Know God is in Control

Shalom from Israel! The battle rages in the south. The storm clouds of war build in the north. The political opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is back at it, trying to remove him from office. A crazy president in Brazil is comparing Israel to Hitler’s Germany. Ignorant mobs the world over are chanting their slogans of love for the perpetrators of the October 7 massacre, while vehemently condemning the victims. Christians are regularly being slaughtered by Islamists in Western Africa, but the press is ignoring it. Iran missed a turn somewhere and found themselves at the South Pole, so they decided to lay claim to it. Another Putin critic, healthy and only 47-years-old, somehow managed to die in prison. And the president of the most powerful nation in the world, well, let’s just say it appears he may be slightly past his prime.

People, this is the crazy world we are living in!

But through it all, we know that God is in control, and that is why there are great things happening too. You should see the number of pictures I receive from all over the world of churches, community groups, school classes, and families, all waving their Israeli flags and sending messages of love and support. There are pro-Israel rallies and marches in many areas of the world. The new Argentine president has been very supportive of Israel, and the mainland European country that has given us the most love has been Germany, of all places! While the U.S. is turning into a political morass for us, they continue to send arms and much needed munitions, particularly for our missile defense systems. Israel has established a land route to bypass the Houthi blockade of the Red Sea that is bringing us supplies from India via the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. And Israel is forging deeper friendships with most of the Gulf States, as well as, very quietly, the family of Saud in Riyadh.

Even amid this world’s insanity, God is at work. He loves His nation, and He loves His people the world over. It is that truth of God’s hand on His children that comforted me and my family as we sent my number three child, a son, off this week for his mandatory military service. For the next three years, he will serve in the IDF, and we pray that the second and third year of his stint will be much less tumultuous than this first. Once again I say, our God is in control. Halleluiah and amen!

Psalm 34:7-8
The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

The Middle East

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The War in the South
The work dismantling the tunnel system in Khan Yunis continues. Spearheading this operation is Yahalom, a sayeret or “special forces” unit of the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) Combat Engineering Corps. The goal of Operation Protective Edge is to put out of commission Hamas’s extensive tunneling throughout the Gaza Strip. It is extremely dangerous work as there are many places for terrorists to hide and booby-trapping is extensive. But through it all, Yahalom and other units of the IDF are making amazing progress.

Despite international protests, the IDF launched an operation against Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. As expected, it was crawling with Hamas. Hundreds of terrorists were arrested, and many weapons were destroyed. A vehicle stolen from Kibbutz Nir Oz was found on the premises, as were packages of necessary medicine for the hostages that were never distributed. The IDF must fight Hamas where it is at. It is the terrorists who chose Nasser Hospital as the battleground. They are the ones who bear the blame for the resulting humanitarian issues. It is no wonder that more and more Gazans are fed up with Hamas and are speaking out against them. A Gazan widow, in response to the leaflets that Israel dropped offering cash rewards to anyone who could provide the location of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, was recently recorded saying, “I swear, if I knew where he was, I’d bring them Sinwar’s head for free.” So many have lost everything in this war, and they are quickly realizing that the blame does not lie north of their border in Israel but with the terrorists within their midst.

With the operations of both Northern Gaza and Khan Yunis coming closer to completion, the focus is on Rafah. The plan of the war cabinet for that southern region of Gaza is to enter strong close to the beginning of Ramadan. The IDF will move to encircle Yahya Sinwar from all sides, then conduct negotiations for the release of the abductees.

What these negotiations will not include is a promise of a permanent ceasefire if that means Hamas remains a viable entity. Nor will it include any verbiage hinting at a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamantly against a two-state solution, despite the hard push from the United States. The Knesset on Wednesday backed the PM up with an overwhelming majority, only one vote short of 80% support, that included his own coalition and many from the opposition.

If anyone feels that Israel is unreasonable in their prosecution of this war and insistence that a Hamas-led Gaza not be allowed self-governance on their border, they need only remember October 7. Murder, torture, and kidnapping were carried out not just by the Hamas terrorists, but by ordinary Gazan citizens who followed the “soldiers” through the border fence. The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel submitted a report to the United Nations (UN) detailing the systematic and premeditated rape of women, men, and underaged girls and boys throughout the attack. The despicable assaults included the use of foreign objects, including gun muzzles and knives. What we hear from returning hostages is that the sexual violence perpetrated against the abductees has continued through the many days of their captivity.

This is part of the reason why Israelis are so disdainful of the claim by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) that Israel is operating a campaign to destroy the agency. Hey, UNRWA, we don’t have time to fight with you. We already have a war on our hands. All we’re doing is telling the truth of the dozen, at least, of your employees who actively participated in the actions of October 7. We’re just letting folks know of the many UNRWA sites that housed terrorists, warehoused weapons, and provided access points to the terror tunnels under Gaza. The only thing we’ve done is report the truth. The world is doing the rest. When the UNRWA collapses, it will be as a result of your actions, not ours.

The War in the West Bank
Many believe that the IDF is only facing the enemy in the south and the north. However, the West Bank is a dangerous place in which many belonging to Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are harbored along with an extremely large cache of weapons. Almost nightly, there are operations into the region, such as the one that took place in Jenin on Wednesday. Three terrorists were killed and 40 more were arrested when the IDF raided two houses. Also, many weapons were seized, and improvised explosive devices (IED) were located and disarmed along the roads in and out of the city. The West Bank terrorist cells are especially concerning, because when the battle in the north eventually begins, Israel will immediately face another front right in the heart of the nation.

The West Bank is also the origin of numerous terror attacks on Israeli civilians, including the one that took place just this morning near Jerusalem. Three Palestinian gunmen from the Bethlehem area opened fire on a line of cars stuck in traffic. Put yourself in that situation. You’re just going to work when suddenly automatic weapons are being fired at you and the cars around you. And because you are in traffic, you’re trapped and helpless with nowhere to go. One man was killed in the attack and 11 more innocent civilians were wounded. Two of the gunmen were killed at the site of the attack by police and armed citizens, and the third was “neutralized” a short time later.

The War in the North
The soft war in the north continues with rockets crossing the border southward and airstrikes directed north. A targeted elimination by Israel killed two in the Kfar Sousa neighborhood of Damascus, a district known for the presence of Iranian security personnel. The Israeli airstrike took place just one day short of the one-year anniversary of a similar attack directed at Kfar Sousa. Eventually, the generals of the IRGC are going to catch on that their people are much safer when they are kept in Iran. Although, that’s not always the case.

The IDF continues their “softening” of targets in Lebanon prior to the coming launch of the war in the north. A concerning report was released on Tuesday by French newspaper Liberacion that claims that Hezbollah has a tunnel system in Lebanon that dwarfs that of Gaza in both size and sophistication. Back in the 1980s, Iran and North Korea came alongside Hezbollah to begin the tunneling, and the terrorist organization has been working on it for the past four decades. The tunnels can be used for attack, troops movement, warehousing, barracks, and other needs. Hundreds and hundreds of kilometers stretch through the country reaching Syria and Israel.

Yemen
The Houthis of Yemen continued their attacks on shipping throughout the week, leading U.S. forces to carry out five self-defense strikes on Saturday. Each strike was aimed at lessening the terrorist group’s ability to carry out their missile launches. This morning, however, it became quite evident in Israel’s southern city of Eilat that the Houthis still have plenty of capability when warning sirens sounded. A surface-to-surface missile was inbound toward the city. Thankfully, the Arrow missile defense system was able to intercept and destroy the threat before it reached its target.

Iran
Iran has declared property rights in Antarctica and announced sovereignty over the South Pole. Sometimes the potential jokes are so plentiful that it is best just to sit back and let the fact stand on its own. I will say that this excites me for my Mossad thriller novel series. I think I’ll call my co-author, Steve Yohn, about getting Nir Tavor a heavy-duty parka and maybe a pack of sled dogs.

Russia
Speaking of my Nir Tavor series, during a discussion about imprisoned Putin critic Alexei Navalny on page 107 of my latest novel, Out of the Far North, one of my characters made the suggestion, “I hope Navalny has his life insurance paid up, because I don’t think he’s going to be around much longer.” Fiction became reality last Friday when Navalny fell over dead during a walk in an Arctic prison. When his lawyer and his mother arrived at the prison colony the next day, they were told he died of “sudden death syndrome”. This is a diagnosis that can likely be used for most of Putin’s now deceased critics, including the many who fall from high-rise balconies and the ones who commit suicide by shooting themselves twice in the back of the head.

Brazil
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio da Silva, known as Lula, made a speech in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sunday in which he declared the war in Gaza as genocide. He then took it a step further, saying the only other moment in history when something so heinous has occurred was “when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.” A firestorm ensued. The next day, Foreign Minister Israel Katz reprimanded Brazil’s ambassador to Israel and declared Lula persona non grata in Israel. That same day, Lula ordered the ambassador home to Brazil. Kudos go out to the opposition in the Brazilian government which on Tuesday garnered 110 signatures for a call for the impeachment of the president.

The Ministry

In last week’s newsletter, I included a letter from Professor Yonatan Dubi in which he presented four opportunities to support humanitarian efforts in Israel. The final one listed, Nachshon Preparatory Academy, gave a link for information but not a link to give. If you want more information about the academy, please click this link. If you want to support the academy’s work, you may use this link.

Have you seen the second of my series of two-to-three-minute videos explaining the history of Gaza and the Palestinians? If not, check out “Should Palestine Be Free from the River to the Sea?”, and be sure to share it with your friends and family.

What’s next? From the very beginning, the eyes of mankind have always been looking ahead – waiting, wondering, worrying. Now more than ever, wars and pandemics have the world feeling like we’re living in a pressure cooker that is about to blow. In my teaching, “Global Suspense”, premiering Friday, February 23 at 12:00 PM PST, you’ll learn how our peace regarding the future can only come about by looking to the past.

If you are looking for a beautiful reminder to pray for Israel or just something you can use to keep track of all your appointments, the Behold Israel Ministry Calendar is for you! This 16-month biblical calendar features stunning imagery shot by various photographers in the Holy Land. Get yours today!

After the amazing success of our Alaska Cruise conference in 2023, we are preparing to take our teaching back on the water! For these opportunities, we will be presenting our Discovering Daniel & Revealing Conference in two very different venues. The first will be a cruise through the Mediterranean, which will take place from October 19-29, 2024. Our second opportunity to present these teachings will be on the waters of the Caribbean on January 18-25, 2025. Registration for both cruises is currently open! Make sure to register soon, as we anticipate these events to fill up quickly.

Thank you so much for your prayers and generous support of this ministry. God is working and I am seeing incredible progress on CONNECT! Already we are planning new online shows and other ministry opportunities that we can use to get the truth of the Scriptures out to the world. Thank you for your partnership in fulfilling that mission!

Photo credit: Soman, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

Awaiting His Return,

Amir Tsafati

AmirTsarfatiAmir, 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.

The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.

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