Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.
Sometimes today’s news helps us to understand ancient Bible prophecies in a clearer light. As we consider the massacre, rape, torture and kidnapping of Jewish people on October 7, 2023 by Hamas jihadi terrorists, we remember similar atrocities in the days of Jeremiah and the writers of the Psalms. The Psalmist called upon the God of Jacob to remember what Babylon and the Edomites had done, when they murdered the babies of Jerusalem and destroyed Solomon’s Temple in 587-586 B.C.:
- Remember, YHVH, against the sons of Edom did on the day when Jerusalem [was conquered] – those who said, “Tear it down, tear it down to its foundation!” Daughter of Babylon, destined for destruction, blessed will be one who repays you with the retribution according to what you have done to us.” (Psalm 137:7-8)
YHVH gives a word of comfort and encouragement to the Jewish people through the prophet Jeremiah, as He prophesied five curses against the Babylonian murderers of Zion:
- “Draw up your battle lines against Babylon on every side, all of you who bend the bow. Shoot at her, do not spare your arrows, for she has sinned against YHVH. Raise your battle cry against her on every side! . . . Her towers have fallen, her walls have been torn down. For this is the vengeance of YHVH: Take vengeance on her! As she has done to others, so do to her!” (Jeremiah 50:14-15)
- “But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares YHVH (Jeremiah 51:24)
- “Therefore, all who devour you will be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, will go into captivity; and those who plunder you will become plunder, and all who plunder you I will turn into plunder. For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares YHVH, because they have called you an outcast, saying, ‘It is Zion; no one cares for her’” (Jeremiah 30:16-17)
- “May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,” the inhabitant of Zion will say; And, “May my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,” Jerusalem will say. Therefore, this is what YHVH says: “Behold, I am going to plead your case and take vengeance for you” (Jeremiah 51:35-36)
- “Indeed, Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel” (Jeremiah 51:49)
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) just voted (by 145 to 7) on November 1, 2023 to declare that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (the land promised by YHVH to the children of Jacob in Jeremiah 31:4-6) is illegal: “. . . condemning settlement activities by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as violations of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions . . . as actions in defiance of the calls by the international community to cease all settlement activities.” The UNGA, should it choose to vote on the legality of Jeremiah’s prophecies, would also declare that the prophetic promises in the Hebrew prophets to the Jewish people are similarly illegal. But the God of Jacob declares in Jeremiah 30:16-17 that any group which participates in the plunder of Zion will itself be plundered and devoured by God’s hand.
- God is removing all the restraints on the evil hearts of world leaders and their nations who are bent on making choices which are leading them to an eternity separated from the God of Jacob. Their pursuit of doing harm to the Jewish people will determine their eternal destiny.
There is a cost to devouring Jacob
The world’s media do not see world events through the eyes of the Bible. They do not comprehend what demonic anti-Semitism actually is when seen through God’s eyes. Here are five scriptures that reflect the heart and mind of God about this subject, and what His plans are for those who curse the Jewish people:
- And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who demeans (or dishonors or denigrates or treats as of no importance – these are all aspects of the Hebrew verb qalal) you I will curse (Genesis 12:3a)
- In all their affliction He too was afflicted (Isaiah 63:9)
- For this is what YHVH or armies says: “After glory He has sent me against the nations that have plundered you – for whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8)
- Israel was holy to YHVH, the first of His harvest. All who ate of it became guilty; evil came upon them, declares YHVH (Jeremiah 2:3)
- Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the families who do not call upon Your name! For they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his settlement (Jeremiah 10:25)
Medieval anti-Semitism – blood libels and killers of children
Catholic priest Edward Flannery’s classic “The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism,” shows how pagan Greek and Roman empires believed in arrogance that the people of Israel were a primitive nation: Didn’t they worship an invisible God? Didn’t they refuse to bow down before Hellenism, a superior culture? Didn’t they keep themselves separate and distinct from all other nations? The Fathers of the early Church gave a ‘kosher seal of approval’ to this Jew-hatred.
The Patristic Fathers also drew on pagan anti-Jewish legends which accused Jews of sacrificing Gentiles, eating their flesh and drinking their blood. Over the centuries anti-Jewish legends sprung up, spinning false tales of Jews kidnapping Gentile children, sacrificing them and then using their blood to make Passover matzahs. In Britain, anti-Jewish blood libels about murdered Gentile children like William of Norwich, and Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln grew like weeds, falsely ascribing their deaths to Jewish hands – resulting in deadly anti-Semitic pogroms against English Jews. Legends like these are still alive and well, enthusiastically propagated on Syrian and Egyptian TV in the Muslim world.
- Every time Hamas initiates terror attacks on Israel, their own jihadi media personnel pull out the time-tested blood libels, accusing Jews once again of being enemies of mankind, cruel murderers of defenseless women and children.
Hamas media reporters hijacked the narrative within a few days of October 7, 2023. On that date demonized jihadis performed bestial rapes, tortures and murders on babies and children in front of their parents. But thanks to Hamas spinmeisters, suddenly those atrocities are all forgotten; up to half a million march in London cheering on these Islamist murderers while calling for the genocidal annihilation of the Jewish people and their state. Hamas plays the all-too-willing main stream media, controlling the narrative like a puppet-master and pumping out electronic blood libels to a watching world.
Here is a brief explanation of the real ‘facts on the ground’ – a corrective to jihadi-generated lies concerning the war-related events in Gaza and Israel right now:
- Hamas have fired over 10,000 rockets from Gazan civilian areas onto Jewish civilian areas (a double war crime). In order for the IDF and IAF to take out these rocket launchers, the squads which fire them, and jihadi weapons, the Israeli army must fire at areas where Hamas is using Gazan civilians as human shields. This deliberate Hamas strategy is looking to obtain news footage of bleeding Gazans, hoping to make Israel look like the aggressor and Hamas to look like the victim.
- The IDF has developed specific strategies to avoid Gazan civilian casualties – including air-dropping leaflets warning Gazans of coming attack areas; giving advance warning those who live in buildings where Hamas has HQs, weapons armories and rocket launchers, strongly advising people to vacate those buildings before they are destroyed, etc.
- Hamas controls all media reports coming out of Gaza, often killing reporters who question Hamas perspectives and statistics regarding fatalities and wounded.
- Hamas statistics do not indicate how many fatalities are Hamas terrorists. They present all fatalities as unarmed citizens, women and children. They deny the existence of their HQs as having been deliberately positioned under major Gazan hospitals. Only after the war will accurate numbers be ascertained. In previous conflicts, over 80% of all fatalities were Hamas jihadis.
- Over 1,000 Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets have misfired in this war, landing in Gaza and killing Gazans. These verified facts are nowhere to be found in reportage by the world media, since Hamas does not permit free reporting. One recent example was a Hamas media report that ‘an IDF rocket hit al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza’ (where Hamas has its GHQ). It was later verified that it was a Hamas rocket which misfired.
- Over 10,000 Hamas rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians. If these had not been intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system, many Israelis would have been murdered. Israel is trying not to hit Gazan civilians, but Hamas is trying to hit Israeli civilians. The news media does not report these truths.
Here is a May 13, 2018 prophetic quote from a former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp:
- “Hamas has followed this strategy many times in the past, firing rockets at Israeli civilian communities and constructing under the border sophisticated attack tunnels from which fighters would storm into the heart of Jewish communities and carry out mass murder and abduction. Thousands of Palestinians have died, including human shields that are so central to Hamas’s strategy, as the IDF has been compelled to forcefully defend its people. The world has often reacted with horror and outrage, blaming Israel for the bloodshed provoked by Hamas – just as intended.”
Modern PC blood-libels
A recent example of a modern blood libel (stating that Jews are in the habit of murdering children) is found in the recent statement of French President Emmanuel Macron, in a BBC interview at the Élysée Palace in Paris. He accused Israel of bombing babies without justification, and ordered Israel to stop: “De facto – today, civilians are bombed – de facto. These babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and killed. So, there is no reason for that and no legitimacy. So, we do urge Israel to stop.” World headlines focused on Macron’s phrase, “Israel must stop killing women and children in Gaza.”
PM Netanyahu’s response was to the point:
- “The responsibility for any harm to civilians lies with Hamas-ISIS and not with Israel. It must be remembered that Israel entered the war due to that terrorist organization’s brutal murder of hundreds of Israelis and holding hostage more than 200 Israelis. While Israel does everything in its power to avoid harming civilians and urges them to leave the battle areas, Hamas-ISIS is doing all it can to prevent them from moving to safe areas and uses them as human shields. Hamas-ISIS is cruelly holding our people hostage – women, children, the elderly – and thus committing a crime against humanity. Hamas-ISIS is using schools, mosques and hospitals as terrorist command centers. The crimes being committed today by Hamas-ISIS in Gaza will be committed tomorrow in Paris, New York and all over the world. The leaders of the world should be condemning Hamas-ISIS, not Israel.”
After a huge outcry among fair-minded French citizens, France’s President Macron eventually called Israeli President Isaac Herzog and, according to Herzog’s office, made it clear that he “does not and did not intend to accuse Israel of intentionally harming innocent civilians in the campaign against the terrorist organization Hamas.” This diplomatic ‘walk-back’ does not erase Macron’s on-the-record blood-libel against the Jewish state.
Not to be outdone, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added some comments on Tuesday at the inauguration of a billion-dollar E-One Moli lithium-ion battery cell production plant in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.:
- “The human tragedy that is unfolding in Gaza is heart-wrenching, especially the suffering we see in and around the al-Shifa Hospital. I have been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules. All innocent life is equal in worth, Israeli and Palestinian. I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint. The world is watching on TV and social media. We’re hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who have lost their parents. The world is witnessing this killing of women, of children, of babies. This has to stop.”
This blood libel accused Israel of deliberately killing women, children and babies. Again, these are all Hamas talking points, but now and once again, they are coming out of the mouth of a Western leader.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded on Twitter within two hours to Trudeau’s charges:
- “It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust. While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way. Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones; Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint. It is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians. The forces of civilization must back Israel in defeating Hamas barbarism.”
From sea to sea
Canada’s national motto is in Latin: “Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos orbis terrarium” (Latin Vulgate Psalm 71:8). The English version is in Psalm 72:8: “May he also rule from sea to sea, and from the [Euphrates] River to the ends of the earth.” This prophetic prayer was written by King Solomon, and talks of the coming day when Messiah Yeshua will rule over the entire planet from a Jewish Jerusalem. In that day the Jewish people will be fully regathered in the land “between the River and the Sea.” In that day their enemies will be totally crushed.
The Canadian Christians who chose this motto knew that Canada is situated between two oceans – the Atlantic and the Pacific. These Christians were believers in Replacement Theology: in their understanding, Psalm 72 could just as easily apply to Canada as to Israel. Yet God’s prophetic word is clear. The two bodies of water are the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel is the people who will live there, according to the unchanging promise of YHVH, the God of Jacob.
- Hear the word of YHVH, you nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away, and say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and He will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. For YHVH has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he. They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they will be radiant over the bounty of YHVH . . . and they will never languish again!” (Jeremiah 31:10-12)
Sea to sea without seeing clearly
The chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” has been heard at pro-Hamas demonstrations across the planet. This anti-Jewish chant also has counterfeit spiritual connections with Psalm 72:8. Since the 1960s, this phrase has been used by the terrorist leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Iran and their sympathizers (including student activists on college campuses). It is a call-to-arms for the establishment of a State of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – thereby erasing the State of Israel and its people. Hamas calls for Israel’s destruction in its Charter and it was in pursuit of those goals that it broke out of Gaza on October 7, 2023 to attack Israeli civilians, murdering, raping, torturing over 1,200 people and kidnapping over 240 people in the single deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.
- Hamas spiritual leader and Sheikh Ahmed Yasin; al Majallah (London) March 31, 2002: “We declare very clearly that Palestine from al Naqurah to Rafah and from [the River] Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea is the land of Palestine.”
- Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh; Al-Aqsa Television, December 14, 2011: “The principles [of Hamas] are definitive and non-negotiable: Palestine means Palestine in its entirety, from the River to the Sea. There will be no concession of a single inch of the land of Palestine.”
- Hamas’s Politburo Chief Khaled Meshal; al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies & Consultations, Beirut, November 28-29, 2012: “Palestine, from its river to its sea, from its north to its south, is the land of the Palestinians; their homeland, and their legitimate right. We will not relinquish an inch or any part of it -for any reason or under any circumstances and pressures.”
- Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi; November 11, 2023: “The only solution for this conflict is the resistance continuing against the Israeli oppression until the establishment of the Palestinian state from the river to the sea”
Lecturing Israel on how to fight its wars
Hamas’ General Head Quarters is situated underneath Gaza’s main al-Shifa Hospital. Israel has communicated this information to the world each time Hamas has attacked Israel. But the IDF has never militarily confronted this problem head-on. This time something different is happening. The IDF has surrounded al-Shifa hospital (and two adjoining ones, al-Rantisi and al-Nasser). Israel Navy Seals have broken in to one of the hospitals and found large supplies of explosive and weapons, as well as clothing and baby bottles belonging to Israeli hostages. Motorcycles which were used to kidnap hostages were stored in the basement of al-Rantisi Hospital, adjoining al-Shifa. The strategic planning and valor shown by the IDF in capturing these hospitals without causing casualties to those who were actually patients (and not Hamas terrorists hiding out), and possibly freeing any hostages still captive takes great courageous and is worthy of high commendation. But the US Administration’s comments about this heroic operation are shocking in their obtuseness:
- US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Sunday on the CBS News program ‘Face the Nation’ regarding the IDF’s operation to free Gaza City’s al-Shifa Hospital, “The United States does not want to see firefights in hospitals where innocent people, patients receiving medical care, are caught in the crossfire. And we’ve had active consultations with the Israel Defense Forces on this . . . The bottom line is that we do not want to see firefights in hospitals.”
- President Biden stated: “I have not been reluctant in expressing my concerns about what’s going on and it’s my hope and expectation that it will be less intrusive action relative to the hospital . . . So, I remain somewhat hopeful but the hospital must be protected.”
These tone-deaf comments could actually strengthen the hand of the jihadi forces in this situation, and totally support the PR goals of Hamas.
One last example, this time regarding Lebanon. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah jihadi terrorist group has been firing anti-tank missiles, mortars and RPGs at Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers who are in farms and towns on the Israeli side of the confrontation line. Over 21 Israelis have been wounded, one seriously. Ten Israeli civilians and soldiers have been killed by Hezbollah fire. The IDF has only been responding to fire and not taking pre-emptive initiative (as per American requests), taking out those Lebanese rocket squads and launch pads from where fire was directed by Hezbollah against Israel.
Yet this past week US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “expressed concern” to Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, regarding Israel’s involvement with Lebanon, according to a report by US news outlet Axios, citing three US and Israeli sources who were briefed on the call. These sources claim that “Austin’s message to Gallant reflected growing anxiety in the White House that Israeli military action in Lebanon is exacerbating tensions along the border, which could lead to a regional war.” Anonymous sources stated that some members of the Administration are worried that Israel is trying to “provoke” Hezbollah, which could in turn “create a pretext for a wider war in Lebanon” which could drag the US and other regional actors, like Iran, into the conflict. Other unnamed US Administration officials outlined steps to Israel on how to reduce civilian casualties, including by “using smaller bombs against Hamas,” according to the New York Times.
A British military expert notes: “While political leaders such as Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak have so far consistently resisted calls for Israel to cease fire, they constantly say that Israel must observe the laws of war and minimize civilian casualties. They know that is exactly what the IDF is doing, and their words amount to posturing to appease elements of their electorates that oppose support for Israel. They should know better than to provide cover for Hamas and its supporters in this way.”
What do the specialists say about Israel’s bombings?
- Even superpowers do not win every war. Decisive victory has evaded America’s top brass in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Lebanon. Yet France, Britain, America and Canada have no problem telling Israel how to defeat the very enemies that those superpowers have not managed to defeat. Perhaps some humility would be in order when such advice is given.
A world-renowned military expert does have some wisdom to share here regarding Israel’s military track record and civilian casualties. Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander of British military forces in Afghanistan (leading Operation Fingal in Afghanistan from July to November 2003), Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia. He served with NATO and the UN, and participated in the Gulf War in Iraq. He is a consultant on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee, where he wrote the British forces doctrine on dealing with suicide bombings.
Col. Kemp recently addressed the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, stating that “no army in the world acts with as much discretion and great care as the IDF in order to minimize damage. The US and the UK are careful, but not as much as Israel.”
In his address to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Geneva, October 16, 2009 concerning the 2006 war between Israel and Hamas, Colonel Kemp stated:
- “Based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population. Hamas, like Hizballah, are expert at driving the media agenda. Both will always have people ready to give interviews condemning Israeli forces for war crimes. They are adept at staging and distorting incidents. The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong, that they are abusing human rights. The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties. During the conflict, the IDF allowed huge amounts of humanitarian aid into Gaza. To deliver aid virtually into your enemy’s hands is, to the military tactician, normally quite unthinkable. But the IDF took on those risks. Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes. More than anything, the civilian casualties were a consequence of Hamas’ way of fighting. Hamas deliberately tried to sacrifice their own civilians.”
- “In my opinion the actions taken by the IDF were necessary to defend the people of Israel from the ongoing, intensive and lethal attacks by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. It is the inalienable duty of every government to use its armed forces to protect its citizens and its terrain from external attack . . . As the Gaza Strip is effectively a separate state, outside of Israeli control, these actions amounted to an attack by a foreign country against Israeli territory. In these circumstances I know of no other realistic and effective means of suppressing an aggressor’s missile fire than the methods used by the IDF, namely precision air and artillery strikes against the command-and-control structures, the fighters and the munitions of Hamas and the other groups in Gaza. Nor have I heard any other military expert from any country propose a viable alternative means of defense against such aggressions … In conclusion, in my opinion the IDF took exceptional measures to adhere to the Laws of Armed Conflict and to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. During the conflict many politicians, UN leaders, human rights groups and NGOs called on the Israelis to take greater action to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza. Yet none of them suggested any additional ways of doing this. I conclude that this was because Israel was taking all feasible steps. I believe Israel to be world leaders in actions to minimize civilian casualties; and this is borne out by the efforts made by the US Army, the most sophisticated and powerful in the world, to learn from the IDF on this issue.”
A recent article by Col. Kemp points to military dynamics and strategic lessons that the world needs to learn from Israel’s fighting example:
- “Too often Western nations, despite earlier rejection, condemnation and sometimes hostility, have eventually been obliged to follow the lead Israel was first forced to take to protect its people. American and European responses to jihadist attacks on their own territory, especially after 9/11, is an example of that. We are at present living through another example: the Iranian nuclear threat. Israeli leaders have repeatedly warned that Tehran’s nuclear program not only represents grave danger to their own country but to the entire region and to the world. As in its response to Munich, Israel is conducting a covert campaign to stop it, including by targeted assassinations. Meanwhile the US and European countries are appeasing the mullahs in Tehran, just as they did with Palestinian terrorists in the 1970s, and are on the verge of striking a deal that will pave the path to an Iranian nuclear capability. This time, ignoring Israeli warnings will have even more dire and far-reaching consequences.”
A recent report by five retired US generals, (including Major General Mike Jones, Former Chief of Staff U.S. Central Command) determined that Israel’s efforts during the 2014 war with Hamas to minimize Gazan civilian casualties were “virtually unprecedented.” The report, commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and titled ‘2014 Gaza War Assessment: The New Face of Conflict.’ says that Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties “adhered to or exceeded the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) . . . in a virtually unprecedented effort to avoid inflicting civilian casualties, even when doing so would have been lawfully permitted.” Regarding Hamas, the report stated that it “not only violated LOAC [laws of armed conflict] but also expertly enlisted and perverted its principals in an attempt to delegitimize Israel’s actions.”
How should we then pray?
- Pray for clarity, moral courage, discernment and strategies for Israel’s leadership at all levels in confronting the Hamas-Hezbollah-Iran threat
- Pray for Israel’s leaders to withstand international pressure so that Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza can finally be shattered
- Pray for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent
- Pray for the physical rescue of the 238 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas. One kidnapped IDF soldier Noa Marciano was brutally murdered by Hamas while in captivity
- Pray that the outstretched arm of YHVH will not return before it brings justice to God’s enemies
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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