I left Israel just over a week ago, along with 406 mostly American Christian pilgrims on what has become an annual WND tour of the Jewish state where we help them to discover, or rediscover, the Hebrew roots of their faith.
It was an uplifting journey – an unforgettable and inspirational one.
But just a day or two after most of us left, a rash of fires terrorized the country.
They weren’t just wildfires that spontaneously ravaged the tinder-dry countryside.
Many of them were deliberately set – which is why I call them terror fires.
It’s just the latest in a phenomenon with which Israel is all too familiar.
Even before Israel became a nation in 1948, the region served as a kind of testing ground for terrorism against the Jews. Nothing has changed much since then – except that what Israel has experienced since before its miraculous rebirth after nearly 1,900 years has now spread worldwide.
- First terrorists tried shooting up Israel. But the civilian population armed itself in defense. That put a virtual end to those kinds of attacks.
- Then terrorists invented airline hijackings and bombings to terrorize Israelis. But the nation devised the most sophisticated and effective security measures ever devised to foil them. That put a virtual end to those kinds of attacks.
- Terrorists from surrounding nearby Muslim strongholds tried to infiltrate Jewish cities for attacks. Israel walked them off. That put a virtual end to those kinds of attacks.
- Terrorists then tried firing missiles into Israel. So, Israel put together an anti-missile system that shoots them down before they land. That put an end to those kinds of attacks.
There are lessons here for the world to learn from. Instead, much of the world expresses its contempt for the way a remnant of Jews who survived the Holocaust fought back and proclaimed, “Never again.”
Terror fires are nothing new in the 68 years Israel has been around. When Israel was reborn, there wasn’t much to burn down. It was a wasteland – one its neighbors had not been very interested in. It had been systematically defoliated before the Jews returned, planted forests and made the deserts bloom, as had been prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 35:1-2). Now that Israel has reforested, become an agricultural miracle, a nation that leads the world in freshwater technology and a large exporter of food and flowers, the terrorists have a target-rich environment.
Last week, fires from an estimated 220 points of origin broke out throughout central and northern Israel, and the worst fears of police and military sources were confirm – many were not accidental.
Israel is not the only target – merely the proving grounds for terror effectiveness.
Back in 2012 – and even before – I chronicled the way al-Qaida’s magazine published a lengthy report about attacking the United States by starting wildfires, listing detailed instructions on how to ignite forest fires and the materials required and instructing readers to look for two factors needed for a successful wildfire: dry conditions and high winds.
Israel’s Jew-hating neighbors have burned down tens of thousands of acres of replanted forests over the last 30 years. In 2010, 44 people were killed in Israel’s worst forest fire. The three-day Mount Carmel blaze destroyed thousands of acres of land and forced some 17,000 people to be evacuated from their homes, as well as various prisons, hospitals and military jails.
Thus, it should be no surprise that the latest wildfires have been cheered by many on social media, using the hashtag #IsraelBurns.
In Haifa, a city from which tens of thousands had to be evacuated last week, senior firefighter Shimon Ben Ner told Army Radio: “I know for a fact that they tried to set fire to the department’s station in Haifa deliberately, to cause the Haifa fire department to be paralyzed.”
Christians need to pray for an end to this eco-terror.
Christians are commanded in their Good Book to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Christians need to remember the roots of their faith are in this land and their own spiritual future tied to its rebirth.
Christians need to recall that their Jewish Messiah’s return will be to the nation from which He departed.
It is Israel to which He will come to bring about the restitution of all things.
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