Matt. 24:6 And ye shall hear of WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matt. 24:7 FOR NATION SHALL RISE AGAINST NATION, AND KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Matt. 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows
TURN IT OVER TO JESUS
QUESTION: What does it mean when Christian friends of mine tell me to turn all my troubles over to Jesus, or lay it (them) at the foot of the cross. I’m going through some difficult personal issues and all I hear from my Christian friends is that I need to pray about it and lay my troubles at the foot of the cross or turn it all over to Jesus. When I ask them to explain, they can’t. They just tell me that Jesus will take care of it. Does this mean I say a prayer about my circumstance, tell Jesus that I am turning it all over to him, and then ignore the problem and move on hoping the Lord will take care of the issue?
ANSWER: Solving a personal problem can be difficult because the solution is often beyond our control, and making ourselves responsible for a result we can’t control is a recipe for stress.
Turning a problem over to Jesus doesn’t mean we ignore it or stop working on it. We still apply whatever skill or ability we have toward solving the problem but we add two things to the mix.
First, we pray for divine assistance in finding a solution.
Second, we turn the outcome over to the Lord, subordinating our will in the matter to His.
There’s really no risk in this because we know that God is working everything together for our good (Romans 8:28), and giving Him the responsibility for the result takes the stress away.
We just have to be willing to let the Lord produce the result He wants in the situation, even if it turns out to be different from the one we want.
So laying our problems at the foot of the cross means deciding to let His will be done in a matter, and letting Him work through us to achieve it. Jesus said, “Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK?
QUESTION: I recently heard an ‘alternative’ sermon regarding turning the other cheek. According to this teacher, if you turned the other cheek and caused someone to strike you with the back of their hand, it was actually an act of defiance rather than submission. He said Jesus was therefore teaching us to ‘stand up for ourselves’. I would be grateful for your thoughts.
ANSWER: This teaching is from Matt 5:38-42 and Luke 6:27-36. The context of the Luke passage is loving your enemies. The Lord’s first example is turning the other cheek. Next He said that if someone takes your cloak, give him your tunic too. Then He said that if someone forces you to walk a mile with him, voluntarily go with him for two miles.
In Luke’s version He ends with the Golden Rule, and gives examples of loving those who hate you and lending with out expecting repayment. In this way you’ll be treating others the way God treats us. He gave more than we deserved without any expectation of repayment and loved us even when we hated Him.
This response to someone else’s aggression also gives us the moral victory, and in the context of the Matthew passage allows us to store up treasure in Heaven.
There’s no way the “alternative teaching” you heard can be reconciled with the Biblical intent of this passage.
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THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PLAN IS “ANTI GOD” – (GOD WILL NOT ALLOW JERUSALEM TO BE DIVIDED).
1Th. 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; THEN SUDDEN DESTRUCTION COMETH UPON THEM, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape
WORLD TERRORISM – WARS
GENERAL WORLD NEWS:
MASSIVE EARTH CHANGES/EARTHQUAKES/VOLCANOES ETC:
2Chr. 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land
CHRISTIAN WORLD NEWS:
EXTRA WORLD – ALTERNATIVE NEWS:
PROPHETIC NEWS ARTICLES:
MIDDLE EAST WAR LOOMING THE BUILD UP TO PSALM 83 – ISAIAH 17 AND GOG OF MAGOG WARS EZEKIEL 38:
HAMAS TERRORISTS UNLEASH DOZENS OF ROCKETS OVER SOUTHERN ISRAEL AS IDF STRIKES BACK ON GAZA BORDER
Throughout the night, several waves of alarms sounded in the Hof Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions, outside Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters. According to the Israel Defense Forces, 36 projectiles were fired at southern Israel on Wednesday night, including the eight that were launched at Sderot. Four of the 36 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said. “The majority of the rockets hit open areas,” the IDF said in a statement.
IDF strikes Hamas posts in Gaza as dozens of rockets fired at southern Israel early Wednesday evening
Israel’s air force bombed a number of Hamas positions across the Gaza Strip Wednesday night, as dozens of rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli communities near the Palestinian enclave hours, including a barrage that slammed into the city of Sderot, injuring several Israelis.
Throughout the night, several waves of alarms sounded in the Hof Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions, outside Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters. According to the Israel Defense Forces, 36 projectiles were fired at southern Israel on Wednesday night, including the eight that were launched at Sderot.
Four of the 36 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the army said. “The majority of the rockets hit open areas,” the IDF said in a statement. Spokespeople for the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions said no rockets or mortar shells appeared to have struck inside any of their communities.
The Israel Defense Forces said it was conducting airstrikes on “terror targets” across the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket attacks.
Palestinian media reported the Israeli Air Force was targeting Hamas positions throughout the coastal enclave. The IDF would not immediately comment on the locations of its strikes. Residents of southern Israel were told to remain close to bomb shelters in case of additional rockets or mortar shells from Gaza.
According to the IDF, eight rockets were fired at Sderot at about 7:40 p.m., with two of them being intercepted by the Iron Dome. Two men were injured from shrapnel, a woman was hurt as she ran to a bomb shelter, and 10 more suffered panic attacks, including two pregnant women who were hospitalized after they went into early labor. READ MORE
Over 70 rockets launched; Hamas: ‘We are delivering on our promise’ – Breaking News – Jerusalem Post
Ongoing rocket sirens in southern Israel since 19:00 pm Wednesday.
IDF spokesperson reports over 70 rockets launched during the evening, most of which landed in open territory and 11 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
15 Israelis have been injured from the rocket launches and many families are spending the night in the home shelters.
Hamas in a statement: “We are delivering on our promise. The resistance accepted the responsibility to even the playing field with the enemy and it is succeeding in doing so.”
GAZA-ISRAEL OVERNIGHT ESCALATION: 150 ROCKETS, 25 INTERCEPTS, 100 STRIKES – BREAKING NEWS – JERUSALEM POST
IDF spokesperson announced that since midnight on Wednesday, 80 rockets were fired at southern Israel.
This brings the total amount of rockets fired by Hamas in this round of fire to over 150.
25 of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, IDF spokesperson confirmed.
Several rockets landed in open territory, causing no harm. Others landed in civilian areas, including direct hits in homes in Sderot and Hof Ashkelon. 17 Israelis were injured.
In response, IDF carried out over 100 strikes targeting Hamas terror cells, rocket launch pads and tunnels.
3 Palestinians were reported dead by the Palestinian health ministry, including 30 year old Hamas activist Ali Ghandour, son of senior Hamas commander Abu Anas Ghandour.
Rockets were continually fired from Gaza towards Israeli towns throughout the night, the most recent salvo being at 05:45am Thursday morning.
According to Israeli media reports, a rocket from Gaza hit a house in Ashkelon Regional Council in the early morning hours of Thursday.
Rockets were fired by Hamas in Gaza towards southern Israel incessantly since 19:00 on Wednesday and all through Thursday.
The IDF carried out targeted strikes in response. Three Palestinians were reported dead by Palestinian sources, including son of senior Hamas commander Abu Anas Ghandour.
This is a developing story.
Israelis near Gaza sleep in shelters as sirens blare through night; army boosts Iron Dome deployment, preparing for longer-range rockets; Hamas says pregnant woman, daughter killed
The Israeli army struck over 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday night in response to continuous barrages of rockets fired at Israel from the territory, the IDF said early Thursday.
The military said over 150 rockets and mortar shells were launched at Israeli communities since Wednesday evening. Most of the rockets hit open areas. The Iron Dome defense system — which targets only missiles projected to strike communities — destroyed 25 of the rockets.
However, several hit homes and factories in Israeli communities, causing damage. One barrage that slammed into the city of Sderot Wednesday evening injured three Israelis. At least eight others were treated for panic attacks, including two pregnant women who went into labor.
The military said its overnight raids targeted training compounds as well as weapons manufacturing facilities and storage warehouses. The air force also targeted one car that the army said was being used by terrorists to launch rockets at southern Israel from the Strip. One Hamas operative was reportedly killed in the airstrike. Unconfirmed reports claimed he was the relative of a senior Hamas commander.
For the last 6 hours, thousands of Israeli civilians living in these cities have been running for shelter as more than 70 rockets were launched at them from the Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/AyS8seiSsD
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 8, 2018
Hamas said a 23-year-old pregnant woman and her infant daughter were killed in another strike. The woman’s husband was reported moderately injured. There was no immediate comment from Israel.
Following the attacks from Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman met overnight with senior officers from the IDF and other security services at the military’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, to discuss the situation and decide on a course of action.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, the military was deploying additional Iron Dome batteries in the region in preparation for Hamas possibly increasing the range of its targets. During past wars rockets have reached as far as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beersheba.
Sirens sounded in Israeli communities throughout the night, and thousands of families slept in bomb shelters and protected spaces.
Overnight six rockets exploded in Sderot, including two that hit homes and one that hit a factory. Another hit a house in the Hof Asheklon regional council. In all cases the rockets caused damage but no casualties. In addition, a rocket hit a factory in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, breaking through the roof and damaging equipment inside, a spokesperson for the region said. The factory was empty of people at the time of the rocket attack.
Hamas claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks, saying it was avenging the deaths of two operatives killed in an Israeli strike the day before — a strike that came in response to what the IDF initially identified as a shooting attack on its forces, but which was apparently an internal Hamas exercise.
“In response to Israel aggression, the Palestinian resistance has launched a large number of rockets in recent hours at the enemy,” a statement by the group said. “There was a promise [to respond] and now it has been fulfilled.”
The United Nations condemned the Hamas rocket fire.
Posted by Scott at Thursday, August 09, 2018 No comments: Links to this post
The Israel Air Force retaliated by striking targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening after 17 people were treated for injuries resulting form rocket attacks from Gaza against southern Israel. Following the barrages the IAF struck 12 terror targets including a plant used to manufacture components intended for the construction of tunnels as well as a tunnel for maritime terrorism along Israel’s coast.
A number of terror targets in several military sites, including weapons and rockets, as well as a military compound that serves as a central logistic warehouse were also hit by IAF jets.
Red Alert sirens continued to sound in the South into late in the evening.
Hamas issued a statement saying: “We are delivering on our promise. The resistance accepted the responsibility to even the playing field with the enemy and it is succeeding in doing so.”
According to the IDF, 36 projectiles were launched from the Hamas-run enclave as of late Wednesday night; four were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman held a security assessment with senior military and defense officials at the IDF Kirya Headquarters in Tel Aviv following the initial rocket barrage.
According to Barzilai Medical Center, six people were treated for body injuries and nine people were treated for shock.
Four of the projectiles fell in Sderot. A 34 year old was in light-to-moderate condition with wounds from glass shards and a 20 year old was in light condition with injuries to his limbs from Iron Dome shrapnel.
Civilians were treated at the scene after suffering from stress, including two pregnant women who started having contractions.
Two homes in Sderot were also reportedly hit by the shrapnel and several cars were damaged.
The rocket fire from Gaza came shortly after an IDF tank struck Hamas posts in Gaza after shots were fired across the border towards civilian engineering vehicles working on the IDF’s underground barrier with the coastal enclave.
At least one Gazan citizen was reported injured.
“Terrorists shot at civilian vehicles that were being used in an effort to construct the barrier around the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. One vehicle was hit,” the IDF said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the IDF closed several roads near the Gaza border after warning that it was concerned about a retaliatory attack by Hamas after two of its elite members were killed in an IDF strike on Tuesday.
According to the IDF, Route 25 and several other smaller roads were closed after Hamas was identified as having cleared several military positions along the border and threats made by the group.
The rocket fire also comes as a senior Hamas official said that UN and Egyptian-mediated cease-fire talks between the terror group and Israel have reached “advanced stages,” with a deal expected to be signed soon.
“We can say that actions led by the United Nations and Egypt are in advanced stages and we hope it could yield some good from them,” Khalil Al-Hayya, deputy Hamas chief in Gaza, told Al Jazeera television.
“What is required is for calm to be restored along the border between us and the Zionist enemy (Israel).”
On Sunday, Israel’s Security Cabinet met to discuss the proposed cease-fire agreement. The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement afterward saying that the IDF was ready for any eventuality.
Despite the cease-fire talks, dozens of fires have ignited following the continued launching of aerial incendiary devices into southern Israel. In response, IDF aircraft have continued to strike the cells launching the devices.
Hundreds of such devices have been launched towards Israel since late March when Gazans began weekly protests along the border with Israel.
The protests have been called the greatest threat to Israeli security in the region since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, due to the combination of terror tunnels, riots, attempted infiltration and the use of incendiary items.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, 158 Gazans have been killed since the start of the weekly “March of Return.”
EARTH CHANGES ACCELERATE: RECORD HEATWAVES, MASSIVE “FIRENADOES”, EARTHQUAKES
Major changes are happening to our planet, and the experts are groping for answers. In recent days some have suggested that what we are witnessing is the natural progression of “man-made climate change”, but that explanation has generally been received with a lot of skepticism.
Something truly dramatic appears to be happening to the globe, and it isn’t just because the amount of carbon dioxide in the air suddenly reached some sort of magical “tipping point”. But without a doubt, temperatures are getting warmer.
In July, Death Valley experienced “the hottest month ever recorded on the planet”. Over in Europe, Saturday was being billed as Europe’s “hottest day ever”, and temperatures in Lisbon, Portugal were expected to top 107 degrees both Saturday and Sunday.
On the other side of the planet, the crippling drought in Australia is devastating farms “like a cancer”, and things are so hot in North Korea that the government has declared “an unprecedented natural disaster”…
This week, the North Korean government called record-high temperatures in the country “an unprecedented natural disaster” and said that country was working together to fight the problem.
An editorial published Thursday in Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling party, highlighted the difficulties that the long stretch of high temperatures would cause for North Korea’s agricultural sector, specifically crops such as rice and maize.
The newspaper called for North Koreans to act as one and “display their patriotic zeal in the ongoing campaign for preventing damage by high temperature.”
In California, extreme heat and bone dry conditions continue to fuel some of the worst wildfires in the history of the state…
Crews battling deadly Northern California wildfires prepare for another day of hot and dry conditions that could drive the flames into new areas and threaten more homes.
According to Cal Fire, more than 15,000 personnel are on the lines of 18 large blazes across California on Saturday. So far, the fires since June have killed 8, burned more than 559,000 acres and damaged or destroyed over 1,800 structures. Roughly 17,000 homes continue to be threatened by these fires, and about 45,000 residents are under evacuation.
Ultimately, this may turn out to be the worst year for wildfires that California has ever seen.
Of course there have been bad years for wildfires before. But what we haven’t seen before are “firenadoes” that pack 143 mph winds…
On Thursday, NWS researcher combed through the wreckage left behind and determined a fire whirl—commonly known as a fire tornado—roared through the area between 7:30 p.m and 8 p.m. on July 26th.
It was packing 143 mph winds, turning heavy-duty high tension power line towers into twisted pieces of metal, uprooting trees and ripping the bark off other trees.
When I first heard about this fire tornado, I was absolutely stunned.
I had never heard of a fire tornado anywhere near that size in the United States, and apparently the experts hadn’t either…
“This is historic in the U.S.,” Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Research Laboratory, told BuzzFeed News. “This might be the strongest fire-induced tornado-like circulation ever recorded.”
Known as a pyrocumulus cloud, the ominous red weather formations usually occur over volcanic eruptions or forest fires when intensely heated air triggers an upward motion that pushes smoke and water vapor to rapidly rise. They can develop their own weather patters, including thunderstorms with severe winds which then further fan the flames.
Elsewhere in the Southwest, drought continues to intensify, and this is starting to produce absolutely enormous dust storms.
For example, check out what just happened to the city of Phoenix…
A huge wall of dust enveloped the Phoenix metro area on Thursday in the second monsoon storm in a four-day span.
Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport said flights were delayed or held until visibility improved.
National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists said blowing dust in the Phoenix area brought near-zero visibility for drivers Thursday evening.
Certainly a dust storm is less destructive than a “fire tornado” in the short-term, but as we saw in the 1930s, a consistent pattern of giant dust storms can absolutely cripple a nation.
And let us not forget all of the shaking that has been happening to the crust of our planet.
On Sunday, Indonesia was shaken by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake…
The death toll rose to 82 after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok and on nearby Bali on Sunday, damaging buildings, sending terrified residents and tourists running into the streets and triggering a brief tsunami warning.
Social media posts from the scene showed debris piled on streets and sidewalks. Hospital patients, many still in their beds, were rolled out onto streets as a safeguard against structural damage to the hospital buildings.
So why is all of this happening?
Yes, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, and it has been increasing for a very long time. Ultimately, the amount that humans contribute to the overall level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is marginal, and even if we took the most extreme measures possible there is very little that we could do to significantly affect the balance.
And scientists assure us that our planet once had much, much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the air then we do today, and our planet appeared to have thrived under those conditions.
But the narrative won’t change. The mainstream media will continue to tell us that the Earth changes that we are witnessing are due to global warming and that if we reverse course that we can go back to how things were before.
No, we can’t go back, because the changes that are happening are way outside of our control.
Fundamental changes are happening to our planet, and this is just the beginning.
The Book of Revelation describes cataclysmic events yet to come that will affect large portions of our planet and we should be spiritually prepared for the days ahead.
Learn more about what the Book of Revelation has to say about the future with our “Decoding The Future” DVD documentary – available here.
TAKING BACK THE HIGH GROUND
Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
How is it that those who hate anybody who disagree with them have the moral high ground in labeling people bigots, hate mongers, homophobes, Islamophobes, misogynists, racists, xenophobes, Nazis or whatever? If you profess Christianity or conservatism, you are automatically thrust into one or more of these categories. In fact, you will be accused of doing the same type of hate-mongering that the accusers are doing against you. Yet they seem to get away with it as if they are the moral authority. This is no less than political intolerance and ideological bigotry. Christianity has nothing to do with these traits. Nevertheless, Christians are painted with a broad brush of prejudice. We need to take back the high ground.
As we journey toward the Day of the Lord, Christ himself says that things will get worse for Christians. He said in Matthew 24:9-10,
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
This is the way of the world. Even in a nation where the very First Amendment to the Constitution underscores freedom of religion and free speech, Christians have become demonized as uneducated knuckle-draggers that cling to their guns and Bibles. Christians, however, are not out there bullying and killing people who don’t believe the way they do.
In Christianity there is no racism, bigotry, hate, misogyny or other “phobes.” We are to hate sin and stand against evil. In this day and age when everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes, people do not recognise bible-based morals and ethics. They believe them to be old-fashioned and not relevant to modern society.
Even many Christians look the other way on some of the current mores of society that are in conflict with Holy Scripture. When so much is against us, how then do we take back the high ground? It seems that we can appeal to some by asking questions about certain biblical principles (without calling them that) that will either make them think or find points of agreement.
Additionally, our example of living speaks volumes. People will know us by our deeds and the spirit in which we conduct ourselves. Remember the Apostle Paul’s approach in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22,
“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Using this approach, we may save some; we may begin taking back the high ground. Food for thought.
HAMAS BLACKMAIL, MEDIA SILENCE
by Bassam Tawil – https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12808/hamas-corruption-media-silence
Hamas’s strategy is to remain in power forever; to achieve that goal, it is prepared to do anything. Hamas has always acted out of its own narrow interests while holding the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hostage to its extremist ideology and repressive regime.
“Those who claim to be confronting Israel are nothing but corrupt, extortionist bribe-takers. Today, every politician in the Gaza Strip is well aware of the fact that the corruption at the border crossings has become the norm of the official establishment, and not actions by individuals or a certain apparatus.” – Hassan Asfour, former Palestinian Authority minister, human rights activist and political columnist.
Here one always needs to ask: where is the role of the international media in exposing Hamas’s corruption and exploitation of its own people? Why is it that the mainstream media in the West does not want to pay any attention to what Asfour and other Palestinians are saying? The answer is always simple: As far as foreign journalists are concerned, if Israel is not the one asking for bribes or blackmailing the Palestinians, there is no story there.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip, says it wants Israel and Egypt to keep the border crossings with its coastal territory open on a permanent basis. The message that Hamas has been relaying to Israel and Egypt has been along the lines of: If you seek a cease-fire, you must reopen, on a permanent basis, the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing (with Israel) and the Rafah terminal along the border with Egypt.
It is worth noting that the Kerem Shalom border crossing has been open for most of the time in the past few years, with Israel allowing the entry of goods and medical supplies into the Gaza Strip. Recently, Israel shut down the border crossing temporarily, but only after Palestinian rioters had set the terminal on fire at least twice in the previous weeks. Israel’s decision temporarily to shut down the Kerem Shalom also came in response to hundreds of kite and balloon arson attacks launched from the Gaza Strip against Israel, and which have set fire to more than 30,000 dunams (more than 7,400 acres) of land in southern Israel.
The Rafah border crossing with Egypt is a different story altogether. For the past few years, the Egyptian authorities have kept the terminal almost completely shut. Why? Because the Egyptians do not like Hamas in particular and the Palestinians in general. They see Hamas as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and suspect that the Gaza-based group has been involved with Islamist terror groups waging war on the Egyptian army in the Sinai Peninsula.
Like many Arab countries, the Egyptians consider the Palestinians to be an ungrateful people who have never appreciated the sacrifices their Arab bothers made for them. In recent years, a growing number of Egyptians, such as the prominent Egyptian writer Lamis Jaber, have been expressing their views against the Palestinians in public.
Some Palestinians have gone so far as accusing the Egyptian media of waging a campaign aimed at delegitimizing the Palestinians.
This is the reason most Arab countries impose severe restrictions on the Palestinians and even subject them to discriminatory and apartheid laws, such as denying them citizenship and the right to purchase real estate, as well as preventing them from working in various professions, as is the situation in Lebanon.
What, then, is really prompting Hamas’s demand that Israel and Egypt reopen the border crossings on a permanent basis? Is Hamas suddenly showing genuine concern for the well-being of the two million Palestinians living under its control in the Gaza Strip? Is Hamas suddenly sincere about ending the humanitarian and economic crisis there? Or has Hamas perhaps finally turned into non-violent peaceful movement that seeks to turn the Gaza Strip into the “Singapore of the Middle East?”
Alas, it seems that none of the above is so. Hamas apparently has something on its mind, but it is not a torrent of tears for its people. Not, at least, while Hamas leaders continue to live in the lap of five-star-hotel luxury from Turkey to Egypt to Lebanon and beyond.
What Hamas has on its mind is Hamas. Hamas’s strategy is to remain in power forever; to achieve that goal, it is prepared to do anything. Hamas has always acted out of its own narrow interests while holding the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hostage to its extremist ideology and repressive regime.
So, when Hamas says it wants the border crossings to be open all the time, that is because Hamas is thinking of what is good for Hamas. According to reports in various Palestinian media platforms, Hamas has been using the border crossings to enrich its coffers and add more cash to the bank accounts of its corrupt officials. This vocation consists not only of asking for bribes, but also nepotism. If you have good connections with someone high up in Hamas, you will be able to pass through the Rafah border crossing more easily and faster than others.
Palestinians have always known about Hamas’s corrupt practices at the border crossings, but only a few dare to speak out about them. Palestinians are understandably afraid to talk about the bribes that Hamas officials collect or demand from Palestinians wishing to leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal (during the rare times it is opened by the Egyptians). Reports also say we are talking about big money that is being collected from desperate Palestinians who want to travel abroad for their studies or to receive medical treatment.
One Palestinian not afraid to speak out about Hamas’s corrupt practices at the border crossings is Hassan Asfour, a former Palestinian Authority minister, human rights activist and political columnist.
In a daring move, Asfour published an published an article on August 2, in which he called on the Hamas leadership to stop blackmailing Palestinian would-be passengers at the Rafah terminal. Asfour denounced the practice as “cheap exploitation,” and pointed out that Hamas was requesting from $1500 to $3000 per traveler.
“The political factions in the Gaza Strip know about this, but chose to ignore it,” Asfour wrote. “This has destructive repercussions on the daily lives of the people.” In an implicit reference to Hamas, Asfour wrote:
“Those who claim to be confronting Israel are nothing but corrupt, extortionist bribe-takers. Today, every politician in the Gaza Strip is well aware of the fact that the corruption at the border crossings has become the norm of the official statement, and not actions by individuals or a certain apparatus.”
The corruption, he added, is “part of the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip and these practices are being done with Hamas’s knowledge and under its supervision.”
Addressing Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yayha Al-Sinwar, Asfour said, referring to the bribes and corrupt practices at the border crossings: “Stop this national and human disgrace. Enough of this unprecedented corruption. Do not underestimate the anger of the people [over the Hamas corruption].”
Asfour’s revelations about Hamas’s corrupt manipulation of Palestinians come as no surprise to many Palestinians, especially those who live in the Gaza Strip and those who are familiar with Hamas’s repressive practices. However, here one always needs to ask: where is the role of the international media in exposing Hamas’s corruption and the exploitation of its own people? Why is it that the mainstream media in the West does not want to pay any attention to what Asfour and other Palestinians are saying? The answer is always simple: As far as foreign journalists are concerned, if Israel is not the one asking for bribes or blackmailing the Palestinians, there is no story there.
Most sad of all, is that because of the refusal of the international media to highlight human rights violations by Hamas, the Palestinians will suffer even more while the UN and Egypt talk about a cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel, which would have the borders crossings reopened on a permanent basis. This means that Hamas leaders will again be able to laugh all the way to the bank, while their people hunt for the means to pay extortionate bribes of up to $3000 to get themselves healed or educated.
SWORDS OF MIDIAN
By Hal Lindsey – https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-8-8-2018/
A deadly poison is making its way through the body politic of the United States. Intelligent, thoughtful Americans are now openly wondering if a civil war looms in our future. Bloomberg recently quoted political scientist Thomas Schaller saying, “I think we’re at the beginning of a soft civil war. I don’t know if the country gets out of it whole.”
Thomas Ricks of Foreign Policy Magazine asked a group of what he called “smart national security thinkers,” a basic question. “What are the chances of another civil war breaking out in this country in the next 10 to 15 years?”
Ricks said, “I was surprised that the range of answers ran from ‘five percent’ to ‘95 percent.’”
The well-known Hollywood director, actor, and liberal activist, Rob Reiner, has on several occasions characterized America as presently being in a civil war. Charles Hurt, Opinion Editor for the Washington Times and political commentator for Fox News, wrote in June, “Civil war is upon us.”
That may sound like hyperbole. After all, in the war between the states, more than 600,000 soldiers died. Gettysburg alone saw 51,000 deaths. We see nothing like that today. Thankfully, our military has not divided over geographic or political issues. Vast armies do not stalk one another through the fields of Pennsylvania, Georgia, or Virginia.
Nevertheless, lines have been drawn. They’re not lines of soldiers charging up Cemetery Hill. But neither are they traditional political lines where an issue is debated, then settled by ballot. Increasing numbers of Americans no longer trust the vote. When I say that, I’m not just talking about Russian or Chinese interference in US elections. I’m talking about Americans no longer trusting their neighbors to make sound decisions. Just as important, they no longer trust the media to give them the facts on which to base sound decisions.
In Chicago last weekend, 66 people were shot and 12 killed – Americans shooting Americans. If those numbers of casualties had taken place at a single venue, it would have the primary headline in every newspaper and news website in America. It wasn’t at a single school or church, but it was all in one city.
Over the same weekend, Portland saw another round of violent confrontations between right-and-left-wing extremists. People are being hounded from restaurants and while walking down the street because of their political views.
The New York Times just added a racist and sexist to their editorial board. It’s difficult to find useable quotes from Sarah Jeong because her language is so atrocious. I can summarize it by saying, she believes white people are stupid. She expresses special rage against white women. But she apparently hates men of all colors – saying they should be killed. In one tweet, she said, “My point is that we should kill all the men ‘prior’ to removing the state from marriage as an institution.” She spent years tweeting horrible things about the police. She had no sympathy for members of law enforcement who had been hurt in the line of duty. She said that Americans should consider banning police.
What is her excuse for such outrageous rhetoric? She says she meant it as “satire.” She could be the poster child for a new era of rage that is dividing American families, schools, clubs, churches, and previously long-standing friendships.
America’s turmoil reminds me of God’s judgment against the Midianites. You may remember the story of Gideon, and how God lowered the number of men in his army from 32,000 to 10,000, and finally to 300. In Judges 6-8, you can read the story of how God used Gideon and his 300 men to defeat a force of 135,000 Midianites and their allies.
The key to the military victory can be found in Judges 7:22. “The Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow.”
God did the same thing in judgement against the Philistines in 1 Samuel 14. And in 2 Chronicles 20, He defeated the armies of Moab and Ammon in the same way. People became frightened, angry, and confused. They turned their swords on one another.
Is God doing that to America in judgement for our national sins? Or, are we simply doing it to ourselves? Brother has turned against brother; and friend against friend.
It’s time to cool the temperature. It’s time to remember the words of Proverbs 15:1. “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”
We should be critical of the New York Times’ hypocrisy in hiring. And we should speak up about political differences. Political decisions can be tremendously important – sometimes life and death. But in a free society, we must also allow people their mistakes. Don’t lower the boom over every incorrect position. I’m all for robust debate. But don’t destroy people for being politically incorrect, even if they are incorrect on issues that you hold dear.
Our job as Christians is to represent Jesus Christ. The Lord preached against sin, but always as a warning against sin’s lethality. Even His harshest words were spoken as part of His primary mission as stated in John 3:17. “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Christians are to follow the words and example of Christ. In Matthew 5:44, He said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
With the world on edge – when tempers are flaring, and people feel their lossless – followers of Jesus have an amazing opportunity to spread the Gospel with love.