Articles

Palestinians Set Fire to a Biblical Heritage Site

Source: The Times of Israel

 “This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority’s occupation is no different than that of ISIS!”

Relations between Israelis and Palestinians have never been particularly kind, but since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the UN General Assembly in September, violence has escalated. This was made clear when Palestinians set fire to a Biblical Heritage Site.

When Abbas addressed the crowd, he petitioned the UN for support in their attempt to overrule the Oslo accords of 1993 and 1995 and accused Israel of sabotaging US peace negotiations in the Middle East. He even stated that Israel was specifically behind the recent conflict occurring at the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Abbas called on fellow Palestinians to rejoice as the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN headquarters in New York for the first time.  Palestinian Authority had petitioned the UN to sanction the raising of their flag along with other non-state flags such as that of the Vatican.  When it was put to a vote, only eight countries voted against the motion including Israel and her known allies, the United States and the United Kingdom. While this does not necessarily give Palestine more power, Israeli officials expressed concern that the motion would throw a spark on the already fiery conflict.

Since that day, nearly 40 Israeli and Palestinian citizens have been killed, with hundreds more wounded in stabbings and shootings attacks. BBC News has reported that the number of stabbing attacks on Israelis by Palestinians has more than tripled since September, causing Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu to increase security measures across Jerusalem. He announced this week that any Palestinians found attacking an Israeli would no longer have the right to live in Jerusalem. He also announced that police checkpoints would be placed outside of all Palestinian neighborhoods.

While the conflict originally was focused around the Temple Mount, a holy site for both Jews and Muslims, the new Israeli checkpoints have caused an even greater tension between the groups.

This tension is what drove hundreds of Palestinian rioters to gather around the site of Joseph’s tomb, located in the West Bank. This site has recently become an extremely popular pilgrimage site for religious Jews, but last night Palestinians set fire to the Biblical site. While no one was injured in the fire, Israeli citizens are outraged.

Avigdor Lieberman, former foreign minister with Benjamin Netanyahu, has stated, “This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority’s occupation is no different than that of ISIS,” with President Abbas reportedly encouraging his followers to kill Israelis and destroy sites of holy and historical significance.

Israel is increasing security around the country in response to this newest instance of violence, but it makes one wonder, what will happen next?

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  • Why Israel is at the center of so much controversy in the Middle East
  • Why the march to Armageddon has already begun
  • God’s eternal plan for both the Jewish people and Christians

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The U.N.’s War on Israel

Israel-and-UN

Israel-and-UN

This year the United Nations celebrates its 70th anniversary as the envisioned upholder of world peace and democratic rights. However, it has unwittingly become a bastion for the promotion the exact antithesis of these ideals. In a bold move, as reported by The Israel Daily, the United Nations has passed a resolution condemning all past, present, and future actions involving the Israeli military as “war crimes.” An official on the U.N. Security Council is reported to have stated, “In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we just waste so much of our time singling out Israel for every little thing. This new ‘all-encompassing resolution’ is simply a much more efficient way to handle things. We’re the UN, we don’t like to waste time or resources.”

Such a pronouncement should come as no surprise as the U.N. has a long history of condemning Israel while overlooking the actual crimes and heinous actions of other nations. For example, as recently reported in The New York Times, despite having increased its membership from 51 founding member states in 1951 to the daunting number of 193 members in 2015; less than half are democracies. Also significant is that of the 193 member states, the overwhelming majority of 120 belong to a group within the U.N. called the Non-Aligned Movement. This group has been led by the Nation of Iran since 2012. The effect of such obviously biased “leadership” in any group within the United Nations can no longer be overlooked.

Under such prejudiced direction, the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women issued a report at the conclusion of its annual meeting that, of all the nations in the world, singled out only the nation of Israel for denunciation. This report conveniently overlooked the report by The Country of Origin Information Centre (an independent body that collects and analyses information on current human rights situations and issues in foreign countries) citing the most heinous atrocities against women, such as stoning for adultery, occur routinely in Sudan and Iran. The hypocrisy of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women becomes apparent when one recognizes that Sudan and Iran both sit on the 45 member commission. Similarly, the United Nations Human Rights Council includes nations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela whose persecution of free speech and other basic human rights is deplorable.

Furthering this collective bias the United Nations has toward Israel, as Ron Prosor noted in his New York Times article, “the General Assembly adopted about 20 resolutions critical of Israel, while the human rights situations in Iran, Syria and North Korea merited just one condemnation apiece.” This is; however, not merely a recent oversight by the United Nations. In 2007 the Human Rights Committee was headed up by Sudan while the Sudanese president was being investigated for genocide in Darfur. Likewise, North Korea, where over 200,000 of its citizens have been imprisoned, received just one negative resolution while Israel received 20. This biased action by such a, supposedly, prestigious international organization has given Israel’s outspoken enemies ample political ammunition. The Arabic news organization, thought by many to blatantly foster terrorism, Al Jazeera has boldly turned such U.N. resolutions into headlines proclaiming Israel guilty of war crimes for any retaliation Israel may launch in response to the countless unprovoked attacks Israeli citizens experience from terrorist groups in Gaza, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.

As deplorable as such international bias against Israel is, it should not be surprising. The Bible clearly indicates there will come a time when the nations of the earth will be gathered together, under satanic beguile, to oppose Israel (Ezekiel 38: 1-23; Zechariah 12:3; 14:1-2; Revelation 16:13-16). Perhaps the continued persuasion of the world’s nations at the biased hands of the U.N. is part of the prelude to the events of the last days?

PRAY: For the eyes of the world’s citizens to be opened to the biased decisions made by the United Nations toward Israel. Pray also for the leaders of nations to be made aware of the bias the U.N. has toward Israel that this could be corrected. Most of all, “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).