Attention Christian Zionists –
Very few of us are Israeli. Except for a sprinkling of locals, none of us has the right to vote in Israel’s national elections. Many would argue that what takes place in the reshaping of the Jewish state’s political landscape is none of our business – that we should leave the citizens of Israel to choose the leader they want, and stay out of it.
I have a very different understanding.
For more than 300 years, Bible-believing Christians have actively involved themselves in the outworking of Israel’s promised and prophesied restoration, resisting both distorted – mainstream – Christian theology and comprehensible Jewish opposition to Gentile involvement.
As men and women of faith, those Christians understood – and we understand today – that God is at work in the Middle East, that He is about the business of Zionism.
This careful preparation before the sending of Messiah to Jerusalem means that all the forces of the enemy are raging against His purposes for the people and the land of Israel, bent on their destruction.
Many will not agree with this point of view. But for those whose spirits bear witness to its truth, this is a call to arms.
At this moment, fellow watchmen, the bulk of the enemy’s forces have swung into action to prevent the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister on March 17. Their demonic objective – to bring to nothing the purposes of God – is currently focused on one man. He is squarely in their sights, the target of an intense personal and political attack reminiscent of the gloves off assault that resulted in his failed first re-election bid in 1999.
As we write this, Netanyahu is poised to head to the United States to deliver a speech which – thanks to the enormous controversy it has generated, and the relationship breakdown it has exacerbated with the already hostile Obama administration – will ensure that not just Congress hears it. Even those outraged American lawmakers who plan to boycott the speech will for sure be listening to every word – and the audience will not be limited to the people of the United States; leaders and nations around the world will hear it too.
From an otherwise empty stage – not one world leader appears prepared to stand with him on this, to their shame – the prime minister will decry the appeasement approach of the P5+1 that will leave Iran within a hair’s breadth of going nuclear. And he will warn the nations – already reeling from global manifestations of Islamic violence, terrorism and war – of how a nuclear Iran will change the face of the world forever, bringing all mankind to the edge of the abyss.
The world has had about as much as it can take of the ‘obstructionist’ Jewish state. Not only is Israel in opposition to the international community on Iran, it is also blamed for the failure of the nations to make much progress towards the Two State Solution.
Regular surveys indicate that many nations today hold Israel to be almost the greatest threat to world peace.
If Israel’s elected leadership will not play ball with the international community, the obvious solution is change the leadership.
And because Israel is a democracy, the best way to achieve this is by attacking, excoriating, demonizing and delegitimizing the prime minister out of office.
Nothing is forbidden; no holds are barred. Every heavy weapon in the enemy’s arsenal has been aimed at this man.
Intent on replacing him, the players have lined up on every side. The cost to political legacies, international relationships, even national survival, doesn’t seem to have been factored in. It’s as though loathing has passed the bounds of reason.
The list of his opponents – not all of whom are necessarily consciously working to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu – is long. Cast your eye, fellow Believers, over the names and the charges levelled against him. The scale of the attack will astound you.
The Players – Domestic
Take note of the names, prayer warriors. The actions and motives of these men and women can be targeted in prayer, for the Lord to bring them to nothing in whatever way He chooses.
* Israel’s centre and left-wing political parties are united with a common goal: “rak lo Bibi” (literally: “anyone but Netanyahu”). Israeli political opponents include Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni, who have formed an alliance in order to try to get enough seats to outnumber Netanyahu’s Likud and sweep the election. They have misleadingly named themselves ‘The Zionist Camp,’ but their individual and combined political platforms are the very antithesis of Zionism (by definition, the Jews’ return to and possession of the land of their national origins – the biblical Land of Israel). In another more recent development, the four Israeli Arab parties have united into a single bloc – a potential coalition partner of the centre-left that would effectively bump out the Likud.
The lineup of Netanyahu’s domestic political opponents includes Herzog and Livni – who has not shied away from undermining and criticizing her prime minister in front of Israel-hating foreign leaders, Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid – There is a Future – Party), Zehava Gal-On (Meretz Party), and Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List).
Also, at least one of the members of Netanyahu’s Coalition – Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu – Israel Our Home – Party) has turned on him, charging that the prime minister poorly prosecuted the 2014 Gaza War and mismanaged the recent cross border flareup with Hizb’allah that left two Israeli soldiers dead.
Other opponents included former Israeli President Shimon Peres, former Mossad chief Efraim HaLevy, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, former manager of the official prime minister’s residence, Meni Naftali, the publisher of Israel’s largest circulation daily Yediot Ahronot and its Ynet website, Arnon Mozes, Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren (a Netanyahu appointee), staff at Israel’s National Public Diplomacy Division, etc.
The Players – International
The list of those actively opposing Netanyahu’s reelection in the international arena include some of the most influential people in the US administration – which is significant given Israel’s longstanding strategic relationship with that country – and other high level identities from the political, judiciary and economic sectors.
Among them are President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Democratic Senators Nancy Pelosi and Patrick Leahy,
Also the International Criminal Court prosecutor, the government of Sweden, the European Parliament, an American billionaire who helped finance the anti-Netanyahu grassroots group V15, S. Daniel Abraham, and others.
Like an intensifying whirlwind, starting at ground level, picking up and making into an airborne missile whatever flotsam it can get its hands on, this storm has been hurling the various pieces at Netanyahu with ever increasing intensity and effort, intent on irrevocable harm.
Those cranking the twister into a frenzy, so that it flings its missiles with lethal speed, hope to see Netanyahu sucked climactically into its vortex and spat out limp and inoperable a million miles away.
This is how the attack has been characterized:
Paint the prime minister as barely credible, as disconnected from reality, a wild card, a lone wolf, arrogant, unprincipled, a political opportunist and maybe even a buffoon; heap up scorn and derision; fear monger by charging him with threatening the fabric of the friendship between his nation and its most important allies; drive a wedge between him and his countrymen by portraying him as criminal, reckless and arrogant, a cowboy who is willing to gamble with the alliances Israel enjoys for the sake of his own aggrandizement.
Attack his person, his husbandly behavior, his wife, and his family.
Whip up scandals, investigations, whispers of skeletons in the closet, charges of mismanagement, allegations of financial impropriety, criticism of his performance as Israel’s Commander-in-Chief, backstabbing, deception and mockery, tales of colleagues distancing themselves from him in shame, fan the flames of the Obama-Netanyahu lack of chemistry – leave no stone unturned, no effort spared to ensure Netanyahu’s banishment from office.
In the midst of this onslaught, which was unleashed immediately on the news that new elections would be called, the following intensifying barbs have been particularly obvious:
* Israel’s State Comptroller released a “bombshell report” detailing “lavish spending” and “possible criminal misdeeds” by the prime minister and his wife Sara.
* A former caretaker of the prime minister’s residence accused the Netanyahus of financial impropriety, and subsequently demanded police protection after receiving alleged threats from Netanyahu supporters.
* The Israeli press – overwhelmingly left wing and hostile to the Likud – has sought to sow dissension in voters’ ranks by focusing on inter-party rivalries and portraying the left as harmoniously supportive of Netanyahu’s removal. Intra-party tensions have also been ‘identified’ – some apparently made a mountain out of a molehill by subjective journalists who, for example, made a great deal about supposed rivalries between Likud and its former coalition partner, Beit Yehudi (Jewish Home)
*Everything was categorized as electioneering, including Netanyahu’s participation in January’s million-plus-strong anti-terrorism march in Paris, his calls on Jews in European countries to make aliyah to Israel after eruptions of vicious anti-Semitism, and his expressed anger at the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor who opened an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes under Netanyahu’s watch.
* Worthy of its own mention under the electioneering label was Israel’s assassination of a senior Iranian general Israel believed was out to set up a missile base that would target the Jewish state.
The strike had some analysts shouting about how “war during an election campaign favours a right wing [Netanyahu] government” over the center left ‘Zionist Camp’ led by Isaac Herzog.
* But the prize went to Netanyahu’s acceptance of a Republican invitation to speak about Iran to the US Congress on March 3, just two weeks before the elections, and on the eve – as it transpired after the original date was changed – of the Esther Fast that leads into the holiday of Purim celebrating the Jews’ deliverance from the genocidal plans of the Persian (Iranian) Haman.
White House officials let it be known they were furious – that Netanyahu had gone behind Obama’s back and had “spat in their faces.” Angrily they publicly announced that Obama and Kerry would not meet with the Israeli. They followed this with a clear message to Netanyahu’s opponents back home about how hard it would be to trust him as prime minister in future.
The efforts to manipulate were transparent: Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice charged Netanyahu with fraying the bond of friendship between Israel and the US, following which Lapid and Livni accused their leader of irresponsibly ruining Israel’s ties with America.
Democratic senator Nancy Pelosi and two top Jewish Democrats Eliot Engel and Adam Schiff met with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to try and pursuade him to oppose Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.
Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry breached protocol of their own by meeting with Herzog (Netanyahu’s opponent) during a security conference in Munich (of all places).
And an unnamed official warned ominously, “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”
But Netanyahu responded:
“As prime minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons that would be aimed at the State of Israel. This effort is worldwide and I will go anywhere I am invited in order to enunciate the State of Israel’s position and in order to defend its future and its existence.
“In the coming weeks, the superpowers will reach a framework agreement with Iran – an agreement that would allow Iran to keep its capabilities as a nuclear threshold state – which primarily endangers the existence of the State of Israel.
“Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.”
The Counter Attack
Zion Warriors, fellow saints: We are clearly witnessing the enemy’s rabid thrashing about as he tries to counter the purposes of God.
In the face of this total onslaught, using level-headed language and free from any sense of desperation ourselves (urgency is essential, anxiety fruitless), let us calmly but purposefully draw our swords and powerfully engage the foe, rallying around Benjamin Netanyahu in the understanding – derived also from the frantic efforts against him – that he is indeed God’s man to lead Israel at this hour. ***
Let us enter into battle fully in our inheritance as saints of God, with the high praises of God in our mouths – He is Lord over all and His purposes are sure, all glory to Him – and with the two edged sword of His Word in our hands. (Psalm 149:5-9)
Let us join with the Jews who will fast for 24 hours from the evening (17:38 Israel time, 10:38 Washington time) of March 3 – even as Netanyahu comes to the podium to address the US Congress and the world.
We proclaim, in faith, that God’s Word will stand, and will accomplish that which it has been sent out to perform.
* very specifically against all of the above attacks gaining any traction whatsoever; (may the plans of the enemy coming to nothing).
* that the regiments and armies of those who manifest hatred towards Netanyahu will be as nothing, that they will melt away under the burning gaze of the Most High who will one day set His King on His holy hill in Zion and Who, until then, is more than able to establish His chosen leader to head up the government of the nation that He alone is restoring to its land and to its destiny in this land.
* staying the course until the election votes have been counted and ‘Bibi’ has been preserved in the Prime Minister’s seat.
* that arrogant world leaders will be humbled as they see that even the massive weight of their international influence, and their alliances with other nations, will not succeed in thwarting the purposes of the God of Israel.
* that God’s words through Ezekiel will be seen to be true: As He works out His purposes for Israel through the leaders which He – not the United States – ordains, the nations will see and know that He is the LORD.
*** I call for this, well aware of Isaiah 58:8-9 which states, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts…”
* * *
“For if you remain silent at this time,
relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place,
but you and your father’s family will perish.
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position
for such a time as this?”
The Lord’s words to Queen Esther
(Esther 4:14, NIV)