State of Emergency in Israel
What is the Root?
With everything happening in Israel and Jerusalem at the moment it is clear that we need to be praying for the peaceful resolution of the violent escalations that don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. However there are two very different narratives being pressed at the moment, both of which give a clear bias and would cause anger for peace loving people around the world toward one side or the other, but it is really good for ratings. The initial cause of the escalation is painted in a bias manner whether it be Pro-Jews or Pro-Arabs living in Israel and all context is essentially forgone on both sides of the aisle. In order to know how best pray we have to first understand what is actually happening and why.
The Sources of Conflict: Explained
The source of the entire altercation in Israel has been a group of 6 Arab families in East Jerusalem living in Sheikh Jarrah who are going to court against Jewish Israelis who initially tried to force them from their homes where they and there families have been living for generations and had moved there as refugees in 1956 while the area was under the control of the Jordanians. The nationalist Jews who were attempting to do so used a law passed in 1970 that allows Jews to reclaim East Jerusalem land owned by Jews before 1948. They mostly failed initially, and the cause was then taken up by both Jews and Arabs in great numbers who knew this was simply unjust and since then a great amount of public attention has been brought to the issue.
The Jewish families claim that their families who lived in those same places before them for many generations have a right to that land and have documents to prove it, and now a settlement is being debated in court. Many Arab families in East Jerusalem are facing this issue. One of the underlying problems is that most Arabs living in East Jerusalem only have residency and not Israeli citizenship, which was and is their own decision because they refuse Israeli citizenship in protest saying Jerusalem is the capitol of Palestine and not Israel. Their lack of citizenship gives them less rights and makes it harder to reap the benefits of being a citizen like voting in local elections and certain rights in court that Israeli citizens naturally have. Every person that has refused citizenship is available at any time to apply for citizenship. It gets more and more complicated, but either way, there is clearly injustice happening against these families who have lived there since 1956, but now you know in short what is really happening.
This is where Hamas comes in. Arabs living in East Jerusalem who get Israeli citizenship are often made to be targets of criticism in their own communities who have the full support of both Fattah and Hamas to do so. In the case of the families in East Jerusalem, they made a statement on May 4th saying that they understood the pain of the Jewish families who owned the land prior to 1948 and were willing to negotiate some sort of deal, but they said that was made very difficult after Hamas threatened them if they went through with any sort of agreement. Now the trial has been postponed for another date. This is what sparked everything off… supposedly. You’ll see why we say supposedly soon.
What Happened At The Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Mosque?
The rumors that Israeli police attacking worshippers on the Temple Mount was a suppression of religious freedom is false. Instead, the reality, which is documented by the people on the Temple Mount at the time is that there were stockpiles of rocks, boulders, and fireworks prepared for hundreds of people specifically to attack the police once the time of prayer was closed which is precisely what happened and is what caused the Israeli police to react. The fact remains that Israel maintains far greater religious freedom than the Jordanians who occupied Jerusalem before them.
Under the Jordanians Jews were not even allowed access to the Western wall and were not allowed access to the thousands of Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives where Jewish people people have been buried for the last 2,500 years. Nearly sixty synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians and Jewish tombstones were ground up to pave roads. In fact, Jews are still not allowed access to the Temple Mount even though it is the holiest site, so as not to incite violence. Those facts remain unknown to most people because it does not fit the narrative most media prefer to push.
The International Narrative
Now that we are clear on the true supposed origins of these escalations, the main international narrative has thus far been, Israel began the violence by attacking people during Ramadan prayers, forcing Gaza to retaliate, and Israel responded by killing children. Clearly, if you do not know what is happening and continues to happen in Israel, this narrative would make even the biggest pacifist want Israel to pay a heavy price.
The facts however are much different, and even though zero people in the Jerusalem clashes have been killed, Hamas has retaliated and continues to retaliate with hundreds and hundreds of rockets that have killed and injured Israelis in multiple cities. And of course Israel has retaliated by hitting military targets within Gaza which are often precariously and strategically placed in heavily populated civilian areas as a deterrent to retaliation, but also as a way to demonise the Israelis when civilians are killed to bolster their cause. For this reason, among the many militant casualties in Gaza so far are some civilians including children. To be clear, every death is a terrible tragedy on both sides no matter which way you look at it, but we are here to give the context.
The Real Reasons?
On May 7th, Iran and all of its proxies, including Hezbollah in Jordan, Hamas and the the Islamic Jihad Organization in Gaza, and even as far as Yemen and leaders in Jordan and Turkey celebrated Al Quds day on the last day of Ramadan. On this Iranian made holiday many leaders called for Jihad on Jerusalem, declaring Israel a Terrorist state, and one commander even saying that a knife only costs 5 shekels in East Jerusalem and it is the job of every Muslim to cut off the head of every Jew. So this “might” have had something to do with the violent clashes on the last day of Ramadan in Jerusalem as well.
On top of that, the supposed righteous retaliation of Hamas comes at a time before elections are held which will decide if Hamas or Fatah will be the true leadership of “Palestinians”. It is very likely that this is a major catalyst to the show of force by Hamas to show the people that they are the only ones willing to use force against Israel. The families fighting for their homes in East Jerusalem seem much more likely to be a tool for Hamas to legitimise their response and instead of helping the families who are mostly supported by left leaning Jewish people, Hamas exploited their situation for their gain. To add to the severity of the attacks, the fact that Israel has still not been able to form a government is for Hamas and all of Israel’s many enemies a sign of weakness to be exploited, which is happening.
In the Meantime…
The UN security council is pushing for a resolution to condemn Israel while the EU condemns Israel in tandem, and the vast majority of western nations continue to call on Israel to de-escalate the situation, and to restrain, restrain, restrain. Israel’s President Rueven Rivlin responded to the EU criticism by saying, “No countries in the world would accept a similar situation”, and he is right. What country in the world would stand by without going to war as their enemy fires hundreds of rockets at their civilian populations causing death and injury for multiple days in a row? What more restraint do you want? Maybe Israel should just stop killing the people and destroying the equipment used to kill its citizens. Perhaps that is the answer. Once again we see that the context of the situation is not as clear cut as the headlines and mainstream media would have us think.
1.Pray for true justice to be done in East Jerusalem, justice that every person deserves.
2. Cover in prayers the southern cities in Israel including Ashkelon, Sederot and Gushdan, and central Israel including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
3.Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Psalm 122:6
4. Pray for the IDF They are defending all people living in Israel both Arab and Jew and every minority.
5. Pray the Iron Dome systems will continue working non-stop and effectively.
6. Pray for the protection of the peaceful civilians in both Israel and especially Gaza who are living under constant bombardment in retaliation to these strikes.
7. Pray for Israel’s leadership who are making key decisions to continue defending Israel and retaliating to attacks, and please pray that there will not be a full scale war.
8. Pray for the forming of a stable government in Israel that has thus far been illusive to strengthen Israel’s position in the eyes of its enemies.
9. Lastly, pray for the salvation of every Jew and Arab in Israel no matter whose side you believe is more correct. Salvation is for all and we must remember to love especially our enemies and pray for those who persecute us in the mighty Name of Yeshua.