Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dangerous times

Three weeks ago, people were remembering that it was exactly 70 years since the Wannsee Conference, where Nazi leaders decided on the Final Solution to what they called "the Jewish question."

Jews in Israel are now facing a second Holocaust as their sliver of land is surrounded by enemies and Iran, who have promised to wipe Israel off the map, are putting the finishing touches to their nuclear capability.

Israeli Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz said there is no longer any point on the Israeli map that is not within range of enemy missiles. Israeli military intelligence chief Maj Gen Aviv Kochavi said a week ago that Iran has completed the development of a nuclear weapon and is only waiting for a sign from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to start assembling its first nuclear bomb.

There have been meetings galore outside Israel to discuss the threat from a nuclear-armed Iran. The Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy, Yuli Edelstein, told one of them: "What Israel needs now is not more meetings, but a firm commitment from the world community to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons.

"The Holocaust did not start with the first train to Auschwitz, but long before, with hate speech and demonisation of a whole people group, which finally led to actions. The train to Auschwitz could have been stopped in 1938 in Evian or in Munich, but the world community failed to act."

The European Union has placed an oil embargo on Iran in an attempt to dissuade Iran in its nuclear ambitions. The US, Britain and France have ordered additional naval forces to the Gulf. There are doubts if such moves will be effective.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested the Jewish people must not leave their fate in the hands of the international community. "How does the world react to the calls for genocide against the Jews today?" he asked the Knesset. Seventy years after the Holocaust, "Iran is calling for us to be wiped off the map. Hezbollah is calling for our extinction, as are many in Hamas. . .

"The Jerusalem Mufti (Sheik Muhammad Hussein) called on Sunday for Jews to be killed wherever they are. . . echoing his predecessor Haj Amin Al Husseini, who actively helped Hitler and Eichmann. . . I do not hear the international community condemning this. I hear them condemning buildings in the West Bank. But I don't hear them condemning this incitement."

It is impossible to say what will, or will not happen next, but there are commentators who believe that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear installations, out of a concern for their own preservation, within the next several months.

The Bible makes it clear that God has plans for Israel's future:

For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace,
And for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
Isa 62:1.

God has intercessors who pray for Israel:

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem,
Who shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
And give him no rest till he establishes
And till he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Isa 62:6, 7.

He promises to preserve Israel:

He will not allow your foot to be moved,
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
Psa 121:3, 4.

Nevertheless, these are dangerous times. Do remember the Middle East in these difficult days.